The Tesla Model 3 is the most expensive new car that I’ve ever purchased and seeing as how the top vehicles being traded in for a Model 3 include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, and Honda Accord, I’m not alone. Having such an expensive vehicle has made me more cautious of curbs, other vehicles, and the elements, so one of my first inclinations after taking delivery was to seek out some protection for the car.
At the top of my list of things to protect was the rims. The forums are littered with the bodies of Tesla Model 3 rims that lost a battle with curbs and I had no desire for my rims to meet a similar fate. Naturally, I reached out to Matt and Roger at EV Annex* for a set of their wheel bands. The EV Annex Wheel Bands are universally compatible with Tesla’s aero rims, with or without the covers, as well as the 19 inch and 20 inch optional rims for the Model 3 that Tesla offers.
I liked that the two-piece protectors were relatively easy to install, only requiring the rims to be clean before removing the cover of the sticky backing on the track and pressing them onto the rims. I applied them with the aero covers in place and just pressed them onto the exposed metal band that somehow manages to stick our farther than the aero cover and the tires of the car. Once I had the track in place, snapping the actual protective band into place was a breeze and it clipped firmly into the track.
I went with a black track and a red insert to give the rims a bit of pop against the black paint and grey aero covers, but the bands come in a variety of more muted and more colorful combinations to suit a wide range of driver preferences.
I’m eager to see how the rim protectors last over time, given their adhesive backing, but reviews online speak to durability through the seasons. The manufacturer says they’re designed to sacrificially absorb impacts under 5 miles per hour, after which the insert can be replaced at a much lower cost than a rim or rim repair.
Interior Vinyl Wrap
The interior of the Tesla Model 3 is beautifully spartan and I find most of it very appealing. The piano black center console always stood out to me as a bit of an odd entry into the interior as it is simply a fingerprint magnet. I very quickly came to the conclusion that it would make a good candidate for a vinyl wrap — which is basically a large, custom sticker designed to cover the surface. I was happy to find that EV Annex was apparently of a similar mind and had already created custom-cut vinyl wraps for all of the piano black surfaces inside the Model 3 (and then some).
After looking over the options, I was a bit nervous about applying the wrap to the cupholder section specifically, with its sharp corners and precise lines around the cup holders themselves. Once the wrap showed up, I got to work and found it to be much easier to apply accurately than I had imagined. It wasn’t easy … but it wasn’t hard. I took my time, and after 30 minutes or so, had all of the pieces applied to the center console.
I’m very happy with the fit of the pieces from EV Annex, the high-quality 3M vinyl they use, and most importantly, the ease of the installation. It’s a great product that met my needs at an affordable price point. About that — EV Annex includes a second set of all of its vinyl wraps to give owners confidence that if they mess up the install on the first round, another piece is ready at hand to swoop in as a replacement. I was able to get them all on successfully the first time around, so I have a spare set if I accidentally damage one in the future.
EV Annex offers vinyl wrap kits for the center console, for the wood dash trim, the steering wheel, and the window control panels on all the doors that can be purchased individually or as a complete set at a bit of a discount. It’s not cheap, but it’s high-quality 3M 1080 vinyl and, remember, you get a second set included with the purchase. The wraps come in Carbon Fiber and Gun Metal Grey at present. I went with the grey for a more muted effect.
All-Weather Floor Mats
EV Annex also sent over a set of their rubber all-weather floor mats for the Model 3. I wasn’t planning to replace or upgrade the floor mats in the Model 3, as I loved the luxe feel of the stock floor mats, but with a 7 year old and 8 year old spending hours in the back seat every week, the utility of all-weather floor mats was simply too logical to pass up.
Upon receiving the set of mats from EV Annex, the first thing I noticed was just how heavy and solid they were. These things are built like tanks out of a thick, rubber material that frankly seemed a bit strange at first. I pulled them out of the box and looked them over but didn’t fully understand the design until I had them all in the car. At that point, I realized just how nicely the precision fit of the mats was and how much sense the heavy-duty rubber pattern made.
The design is built to capture dirt and debris in each of the little depressions in the design. One of my main gripes with the all-weather mats I had for my Prius was how the wide open rubber tray allowed debris to move around so much. Living at the beach, sand is everywhere and the EV Annex mats do a great job of catching the sand and containing it. It’s a small design nuance, but one that I have come to appreciate about the EV Annex mats compared to the style of all-weather mats from the more mainstream manufacturers.
The mats are also emblazoned with a nice EV Annex badge that pops on the matte black rubber of the rest of the mat. My favorite mat is the trunk mat that adds a nice layer of protection and durability to the trunk so I don’t have to worry about scuffing up the less durable stock carpeting. The heavy-duty EV Annex mat seems to just beg for abuse as I toss another skateboard, a suitcase, or some muddy hiking shoes onto it.
Cover It Up
Onto the exterior of the car. I’m not a fan of washing my car. It’s not a lazy thing, it is a water thing, so EV Annex’s car cover for the Model 3 seemed like a great option to solve for that. Our current living situation only allows for one car in the garage, so I’m left to fend for myself for parking (and public charging) while my wife charges comfortably in the garage at night.
The downside is that my car takes the brunt of the ocean air and comes away with a mixture of salty, sandy moisture every morning that’s not going to be my friend if I don’t change something. Being located in Florida, the guys over at EV Annex seem to have read my mind, as the cover not only protects the car, but also has built-in mesh for the charging vents in the front bumper of the Model 3 and a charging flap in the appropriate location. This lets me protect the car at night and while I’m charging for maximum clean car time and minimum water wasted on admittedly infrequent car washes.
These were the items at the top of my list for the Model 3. What’s on your list? What are your must-have accessories or upgrades for the car? Let us know so we — and our community — can compare notes.
*Disclaimer: EV Annex provided these items free of charge, but we were under no obligation to provide favorable reviews. The review above represents my honest opinion of the products provided.
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