Tesla Model 3 Accessories and efficiency

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Some folks have been asking me what are the must have accessories for the Model 3 (for the lucky ones who are getting it). Here’s my stack ranked list:

  1. Protective wrap. The car has lots of paint in the front and from our Model X experience, you really need a protective film. There are many out there. We used XPEL, but the main thing is to get a great installer.
  2. Paint correction. This seems weird, but it really does work, they get the slight imperfections out of the paint.
  3. Ceramic coating. If you are going to keep it for a long time, the cost of say a Modesto Protective coating is pretty reasonably since you won’t have to wax the car for 3-5 years depending on the coating.
  4. Floor mats. It makes not sense to have the included ones in places where it rains or snows. Right now the 3D Maxspider Kagu looks like the goto since WeatherTech does not make floor mates yet, but it is super hard to find right now. The Amazon price which is the same as partcatalog.com is $205 by the way. It says it’s not unavailable. And Autoanything is slow to deliver, so partcatalog.com seems like a good bet but now they are showing 8 weeks until delivery and there is no estimate for when.
  5. Screen Protector. The folks at Tesla Model 3 Owners Club like the one from Abstract Ocean. There is apparently a 10% first users discount.
  6. Frunk and Trunk mats. Get the Weathertech ones, the Tesla store actually has them for a reasonable price at $70 each or check AutoAnything going through Cashbackmonitor.com. You can also get them from partscatalog.com. These mats are $150 and $135 at Autoanything respectively which is way more. The rumor is that the Tesla mats are actually just rebadged Weathertech, they sure look like it.
  7. Card key holder. I’m not quite sure what to do with the backup key. So this is a cheap plastic thing that let’s you put it on a keyring.
  8. Qi Wireless charging pads. it is actually quite sad what they include in the Model 3, but the Jeda’s seem to warp and the front USB are only 5V/1A, so they won’t charge very fast, so the Nomad with an included battery (the USB charges the battery and then it boosts into the phone at 9W). The Nomad is now out and people are liking it. The main issue now is that if you want a dash cam, then you cannot use both of the front USB. One has to be used for the flash drive (I wish that they would just build a Qi Charger). It is currently $129 on pre-order.
  9. Car cover. Hey this is a nice car, if you ever park it outside, a cover is pretty mandatory. The Tesla outdoor one is $350 direct from them, but doesn’t seem to be available yet.
  10. Bumper guard. So when you have those big loads, you don’t damage the painted bumper or when you are in New York City and people are nudging you.

Then there are generic things that you should get for any car:

  1. Flashlight. Don’t skimp on this and make sure the batteries do work. The Thorlo is expensive at $26, but is amazingly bright.
  2. Emergency Roadside Beacon. So that people can see you if you break down, this is a collection of three very bring reflectors. You do need to have batteries for it, but very bright and better than flares or a reflector.
  3. Adventure Medical First aid kit. Pray you never need it. The paranoid will have a trauma bag with sucking chest wound bandages etc.
  4. Fire Extinguisher. Plenty of room for one but make sure it is accessible. We put ours in the side compartment
  5. Tool kit. Got to have the basics
  6. Duct tape. You can never have too much of that.
  7. Emergency Mylar blanket. Ok, it can get cold when your battery runs low and in the hot summers not stupid to carry some water.
  8. Seat belt cutter and Glass breaker. Leave somewhere in the front, also something you should never need, but will break the side window in an emergency
  9. Air pump. Actually this is pretty important, efficiency means having the tires well inflated. We find keeping at 44 psi vs 42 psi does help a little. But comfort is way better at 39 psi.
  10. Slime kit. I got some slime, but the inflator is definitely not heavy duty. I ran for four tires to add a few pounds and the thing died, but useful if you have a small leak and want to keep going.
  11. Jump starter. Right now these tiny Lithium batteries will help if the 12V in the car dies (one of the ironies of EVs is that they still need a 12V to bootstrap them).

Now what if you are really worried about having to change and repair your own tire, well then you need:

  1. Plug inserter is better in those cases where Tesla or AAA are too far away.
  2. Car jack. There is no jack in the car though, so you need one of these.
  3. Tire iron. You need to be able to get the screws off so you can fix your tire.

The other thing I’ve been curious about is what efficiency are people really getting with the Model 3 LR, Model 3 Dual Motor, Model 3 Performance and Model 3 Performance Plus Performance. Here’s what the threads are saying. The first thing to note is that the sticker on the back says that the model 3 gets 290 Wh/mile, so that’s the benchmark

  • 210-230 Wh/Mile. Model 3 LR. This is with the aero wheels which add about 10%
  • 240-250 Wh/Mile. Model 3 Dual Motor with the Aero wheels.
  • 267-294 Wh/Mile. Model 3 Performance with 20″ performance wheels. The slang is a P3D+. So the Aero wheels are pretty ugly but way better than the 20″. Might be worth it to use the 20″ wheels just on the track, but the problem is the big brakes on the P3D+ cannot use the 18″ Aero wheels.

So there is really a significant difference in efficiency between these cars. For me, when we first got the car, we got 340 Wh/mile which was scary bad, then it has been dropping so now that 200 miles, we are more like 250 Wh/mile, so this theory about the first 1,000 miles are needed to get the stiffness out of the tires seems true.
 

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