Published on August 22nd, 2016 | by Kyle Field0
EV Annex Cubby Compartment Fills A Gap In The Model S
August 22nd, 2016 by Kyle Field
Back in March, Zach and I met the guys from EV Annex — premium producers of Tesla Model S accessories — while we waited in line to lock in our own reservations for the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3 outside of the Santa Monica Tesla store. Later that night, we ran into them again inside the Tesla Model 3 launch event where we talked about their first impressions of the Model 3. As a Tesla Model S owner, I excitedly asked if they would be interested in sending some of their favorite products over to CleanTechnica for us to review … and they agreed.
Having owned the Model S for a just few months at the time, I was still a bit confused about the Tesla approach to in-car storage, with the two obvious outages being the center console (or lack thereof) and the “cubby” or the compartment under the large in-dash display that served as more of a launchpad for items that would be flung into the atmosphere at the slightest hint of acceleration than as an actual storage compartment.
The EV Annex founders similarly struggled with the lack of “normal” in-car storage in the Model S, but they took their grievances and turned them into action, creating the first Center Console Insert (the CCI) for the Model S, a new Rear Center Console Insert (the RCCI), and their brand new second-generation Cubby storage solution, the Cubby Compartment. This is the product I was most excited about, and it has solved one of my biggest pet peeves with the car, so this initial review covers the Cubby Compartment, with reviews of the other products coming soon.
The Cubby Compartment has two primary functions: 1) to keep the stuff that’s in the cubby … in the cubby and 2) to keep the stuff that’s in the cubby out of sight. To do this, EV Annex created a slide-in tray that is held in place by a solid magnetic grip.
Putting all the goodies in the cubby into a tray means that everything in the tray is easy to see and easy to access. This offers a functional upgrade from stock, as the stock cubby frequently “eats” smaller items that are nearly impossible to see if stranded in the rear of the cubby. The Cubby Compartment allows owners to take full advantage of every cubic inch of storage in the cubby and makes cleaning a cinch.
From a security standpoint, the Cubby Compartment is finished with the same high-quality factory finishes as the Center Console Insert and the Rear Center Console Insert. I had ordered the CCI and RCCI in Piano Black, which matches stock nearly perfectly, so I mixed it up with the Cubby Compartment to get a feel for the upgraded interior and chose Carbon Fiber instead.
The Cubby Compartment comes with easy-to-follow installation instructions that are hardly needed, as installation is a snap. After reading through them to be sure I understood what was required, I asked my 5-year-old boy to come out to the car to install it for me.
He pulled the backing off of the single magnet that affixes to the rear of the cubby, snapped it onto the magnet affixed to the compartment, and eased it into place. After applying a bit of firm pressure from the front of the compartment to set the magnet followed up by a little direct pressure on the magnet, the compartment was ready to go. I can confidently say that installation is “so easy a 5-year-old can do it” … and probably a 2-year-old but we ran out of 2-year-olds at home a few years back, so I can’t confirm. 🙂
Functionality — The reason I love this accessory more than the others is that it’s such a simple fix to a gap in the functionality of the Model S. Building a car that can go 0–60 mph in 2.6 seconds (!?!?!) with a cubby to store things that the driver wants distributed randomly throughout the passenger compartment at launch makes little sense to me, and this easy-to-install upgrade fixes that … turning what was a bug into a feature.
Quality — This is obviously a very high-quality product that should last as long as the car it is built for. That goes for both the functional aspects of the compartment as well as the aesthetics of the finish. The handle is high-quality aluminum that fits right in with the frame of the touchscreen. The finishes on EV Annex products are top notch as well, with high-gloss piano black matching stock spot on, and the carbon fiber looking as crisp as stock finishes.
Service — One thing I have always appreciated about EV Annex is its full-service approach to customer service. It has always been very responsive to my emails, has promptly shipped items, and includes a handful of extras that really round out the products. One of my favorites: a few courtesy charging notice cards that are handy to leave in my Model S and which I can then leave on any gasmobiles that “accidentally” park in EV charging spots. EV Annex also includes a brief catalog of some of its coolest products, robust installation instructions (which are complemented by video versions online), and other relevant materials.
Price — While the Cubby Compartment is the perfect hack to add storage to the interior of the car, the bottom-up design and high quality of the product don’t come cheap. Matte Black and Piano Black finishes are $149.95, Obeche Wood Gloss, Matte, and Lacewood finishes are $159.95. And the Carbon Fiber finish tips the scales at $169.95. Having said that, the Model S isn’t a cheap car, so I think the fact that this is a high-quality product with factory-matched finishes means that the price does make sense.
For the Model S owner who is looking to actually use the storage underneath the touchscreen, the Cubby Compartment is the perfect aftermarket purchase. The high quality of the product and the easy install roll together for a price that’s approachable for most Model S owners.
For more information on the Cubby Compartment, check out the product page or make your way over to EV Annex to check out its comprehensive line of Tesla Model S, Model X, and (soon) Model 3 accessories.