With the Tesla Model 3 making its way into more people’s garages and driveways, the options for customizing and personalizing the owner experience is expanding. And if you’re looking for a great holiday gift for yourself or another new Model 3 owner in the family, here are a few of my favorites, based on personal experience as a Model 3 owner.
Put the Metal to the Pedal
Aluminum Alloy Pedals — Under $20 on Amazon.com. One of the benefits of buying the top-of-the-line Performance Edition of the Model 3 is that it comes with sleek aluminum brake and accelerator pedals. But if you opted for the standard Model 3 (or the earlier Performance Edition without the Performance Upgrade Package), then you’re stuck with boring basic rubber and plastic pedals.
With these aluminum pedal covers, you can give those pedals a modern makeover, without making (another) big dent in your bank account. You can buy these directly from Tesla for $150 or just order them on Amazon for much less. Whatever you decide, be sure to put them in a sealed plastic bag and let stand in some very hot water for an hour or so to get the rubber nice and flexible. This makes them much easier to install.
A Fob-ulous Gift
Model 3 Key Fob — $150 on Tesla.com. Some folks aren’t big fans of using the Model 3 Key Card or Tesla app to get into their cars. For those who want a slightly more traditional approach, Tesla has started selling a Model 3 key fob that allows you to unlock, drive, and lock your Model 3. And it’s in the shape of a mini Model 3.
The first batch of these sold out quickly, but they are currently in stock at the Tesla Shop. Note that this fob does *not* offer a “passive mode” to automatically unlock your doors as you approach the car. If you want to do that, you will still need to use the Tesla app on your mobile phone.
Get a Handle on This
Color-matching door handle wraps: $19.99 on Amazon.com. The chrome door handles of the Model 3 present an elegant look, but how are you going to tell the difference between your Model 3 and the five others that look just like it at the Supercharger? These door handle “wraps” are an exact fit for the Model 3 door handles and are color matched to the standard Model 3 paint options.
But feel free to get creative: Put red handles on a blue Model 3. Or if you’re feeling patriotic, put red, white, and blue handles on your black Model 3. There are also carbon fiber and black matrix design options in case you want to mix things up.
You may feel like you’re paying $20 for four stickers … and you are … so they call them “wraps” so they can charge more. But to be honest, they are very nice stickers and help to make your car stand out from the rest.
Note that the blue wrap is slightly lighter than the Tesla blue metallic paint, and the sticker size is just a hair smaller than the door handle, so you get a small chrome “accent” around the edges of the handle.
12V USB cell phone and device charger: $17.99 on Amazon.com. The Model 3’s mobile phone charging dock in the center console provides a clean and elegant solution, but it can be impractical. If you don’t mind removing your phone from your case (or your case is thin enough), then you can simply plug your phone into the provided cable in the center console and this keeps the phone within reach and visible while driving. Unfortunately, my Otterbox cases are too thick to fit there, and too unwieldy to have to remove and replace with every trip. Also, the built-in front USB ports are a bit under-powered, maxing out at one amp (though, this does seem to have gotten better in a recent software update). And if you are taking advantage of the Model 3’s built-in dash cam functionality, then one of the two front USB ports needs to have a USB thumb drive plugged into it, and this cuts you down to a single USB port up front.
Fortunately, there’s a standard 12V power port hidden in the center console. You can tap in here for beefier USB charging via a dedicated USB charger. I like the units that include a built-in 12V splitter, so you can also power an accessory like an air compressor or radar detector without unplugging the adapter. And having this inside the center console means that it and all of the cables can be neatly tucked away when not in use. The one I like includes three 12V power ports, two high-power 2.4 Amp USB ports, and two standard 1 Amp USB ports. Of course, it’s not as neat and tidy as the Tesla stock charging solution, but it is more practical.
Look Ma! No Wires!
Wireless Charging Pads for Model 3 ($129.99 on Nomad.com; $99.99 on GetJeda.com, $89.99 on EVANNEX.com). Another option for elegant cell phone charging is a wireless charger. There are plenty of generic ones to choose from on Amazon and elsewhere, but there are also a few options purpose-built for the Model 3. The Nomad, EVANNEX, and Jeda Model 3 wireless charging pads fit in the same space Tesla dedicated for wired charging at the very front of the center console. So they blend in nicely with the modern clean look of the Model 3. And they can be hidden away by simply closing the console lid.
Since these are wireless chargers, you can easily place and remove your phones on the pad, assuming you have a phone that supports wireless charging (most recent Android and Apple phones do). Note that unlike the other products listed here, I have no direct experience with these wireless chargers. However, I will be requesting review samples for more detailed coverage in the future.
Jack It Up
Model 3 Jack Pads ($106/set of 4, Amazon.com). Teslas are a bit different from traditional cars in many ways, one of which is the large battery pack that takes up most of the underside of the car. As with the Model S and Model X, the Model 3 also includes custom lift points for a jack or car lift. These are areas of reinforced metal that can support the weight of the car without damaging the battery pack or the body panels. And in case you want to be able to change your own tire or get under your car for any other reason, it’s helpful to have these Tesla Model 3 Jack Pads. They’re designed to fit into the four guide holes on the bottom of the Model 3 so you can safely raise your car.
There are plenty of folks building DIY Model 3 jack pad solutions out of hockey pucks and wooden dowels, but if you want an off-the-shelf product, the ones on Amazon look good and function as expected. It’s also helpful to keep these in your car in case you need emergency service while traveling and the local repair shop has never seen one of them fancy electric cars before.
Mat’s All, Folks!
Tough Pro All Weather Mats — $85 to $200, Amazon.com. As winter weather descends upon us, our thoughts naturally turn to all-weather floor mats. Well, at least mine do. But I’m strange that way. Tesla sells some pretty nice all-weather mats in their online store, but they’re a bit bulky and can get pricey if you want complete coverage. After considering multiple options and reading reviews, I chose (and recommend) the Tough Pro Model 3 mats, which are available on Amazon. They’re custom fit for the Model 3, really rugged, and have a honeycomb design that helps trap mud, slush and snow, protecting the factory mats underneath.
You can either buy a set of three mats, which covers the front and back seat floor areas ($85), or get the complete set of six mats, which includes front and back seat floor mats plus mats for the frunk, rear trunk, and covered secondary storage compartment below the trunk. The complete set of six mats sells for $200.
These are a few of my favorite Model 3 accessories, and ones I would have been happy to receive (had I not already bought them for myself).
Have your own favorite accessories or gift ideas for Model 3 owners? If so, let us know in the comments.
Use my Tesla referral link for a supercharging bonus on any Model 3, Model S, or Model X purchase. Follow me on Twitter — @MrBoylan
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