The Must Have Accessories for your new Tesla Model S

Out of the showroom, the car is pretty much ready to go but here are a few things that many Tesla owners buy straight after or just before collecting.

Full list (click for details):

The Must Have products:

Optional but useful for many people:

Not necessary but a nice touch:

An emergency car kit (separate article)

The Must Have products:

A home charger

plug-tesla
Waking up with 250 miles in the ‘tank’ every morning is one of the best benefits of an electric car, no mad rush to the petrol pump. Tesla now sell a home charger which is superior to my current Rolec unit (pictured above), although the Rolec (& other companies , PodPoint etc) can all be installed under the OLEV grant which heavily reduces the cost down.

  • Tesla Home Charger (2.5M £398 or 7.5M £438)tesla-chargerThe best-looking charger in my opinion, it doesn’t come under the Government OLEV scheme so you have to pay full price + installation (must arrange yourself £200-£500). Most UK Tesla owners don’t have one of these as it’s a fairly new device. If you can afford it then grab one of these instead of any of the ones below. If money is tight or you don’t care about the looks then grab one of the ones below, if you have money to burn then grab both and then try and justify it by saying it’s great if another EV visits or it’s ideal for JustPark etc). Button on this opens the chargeport (unlike the others below).

 

  • ABL
    abl
    Smart looking units, made in Germany. Highly recommended by owners, haven’t seen many negatives with these. Only IP54 weather rated so splashed water only, so needs to be under a cover or in an area without direct rain although lots of owners have them outside and appear to have had little to no problems. Available with Government OLEV grant. Buy

 

  • PodPointpod-pointA decent all rounder, prettier than some of the other units with a 3 year warranty. Available with Government OLEV grant. Buy

 

  • Rolec 32AMProlec2UPDATE: I now do not recommend the Rolec units as many of them have been tripping, Rolec are working on a fix. One of most popular charger for owners as it comes under the OLEV grant scheme and is 32amp, most others are 30amp, they’re cost £149 (untethered) or £199 (tethered) fully installed due to the Government OLEV grant. A good amount of people have had problems with the internal breaker. If you don’t like the green and white they do other colours (£30 extra) see here for details. IP65 Category 1 weather proof rating (fine outside or exposed to rain etc). Buy

 

 

  • Chargemastercharge-masterGood unit, not as quick as Rolec, sometimes poor customer service from Chargemaster means I personally wouldn’t buy one but there are other owners with multiples of these and they appear to work well. Available with Government OLEV grant. Buy

 

 

  • 32a Commando Socket
    umcNormally the cheapest option (also ideal for second homes/parents house etc) just get an electrician to install (£80-£200) and then use your UMC (comes ‘free’ with the car) to plug in. Using this solution every day isn’t ideal as the UMC shouldn’t be left outside in case it gets submerged in water and having the UMC in your boot is a must for any emergency trips in my opinion, so if you were to forget it you might be screwed! If you get a commando installed then you can always upgrade this to a Tesla Home Charger in the future.

 

Should I go tethered or untethered?

Tethered = A cable permanently attached to the charge box, so there is no need to pull your cable out of your boot/trunk each time you arrive home. Type 2 only, so any other non type 2 cars can’t charge (e.g a Nissan Leaf couldn’t use it).

Untethered = A socket that you plug a Type 2 cable into, allows for more charging options but does mean you have to physically plug in the cable every time you want to charge as you technically shouldn’t leave a charge cable permanently plugged in as it may allow water to enter (over time). Fine in the summer but can be a right pain in the wet, snow or cold weather when you’re trying to man handle a dirty cable into your boot. You will also need to buy a type 2 cable as the Teslas now don’t come with one.

We have a Nissan Leaf so have both a Tethered Type 2 and an Untethered Type 2 so the best of both worlds but personally I would go for a tethered cable everytime if I just had the Tesla, this is also the general concensus on the forums.

Who should I get to install it?

It often will depend on your location and which charger you plan to get installed, most of the manufacturers will recommend a local installer for you, it’s worth searching social media to check their reviews though as some are much better than others. I’ve never heard a bad word about The Phoenix Works.

What is the Government OLEV Grant?

Basically. the Government will pay a subsisdy for you to install a charger at home (if you’ve purchased an EV).
More info on Gov.uk

CHAdeMO adapter

chademoThe most popular accessory, buy it from Tesla Parts and make sure you buy it WELL IN ADVANCE, as often they run out of stock and forget to store ones for customer car collections. If you have a long trip planned just after collecting ensure you get this ordered and double checked by your DS before the day!

This is used for Motorway service rapid chargers and many other non-Tesla chargers and is often an essential for many owners, however, saying that you might not need it if you only travel certain routes that are already covered with Supercharger/Destination chargers/home or office chargers, best to check Zap-Maps and do some route planning. You must get the Firmware updated from time-to-time or normally done automatically when the car is being serviced.

Important Note: If you’re buying a Facelift Model S, ensure your CHAdeMO adaptor is a revision D (or greater), any older devices (A, B or C) may not work 100% with your vehicle. In other words, be careful when buying an old/secondhand CHAdeMO. Tesla should supply revision D or newer with all new orders.

A decent car cleaning kit (or just show your butler / get a local valet company to clean)

two-buckerThe basics: Two bucket technique (possibly cheaper via Amazon) or just buy two cheap buckets locally + Wash mitt (or this one)

The car shampoo etc that you will use will vary depending on if you’ve got the car paint protected or not. If it is just the bare paintwork then you will want one that leaves a slight wax finish, if you have paint protection you probably want no-wax/films etc left on the paint, see my recommendations on this guide. I recommend you research paint protection further, it is best done when you first get the car.

Never use a sponge – they’re flat surfaces and if when dirt gets attached they can leave awful looking swirls, get a stone caught and you’ve just ruined your paint. Use a wash mitt instead.

Learn more about cleaning your Tesla Model S

A snow foam lance

snow-foam

Even if you’re not serious about cleaning cars, using one of these is extremely fun but actually it will give a superior clean because the more dirt you remove before you clean the car by hand the less likely you’re to scratch or mark your paint. So grab a Pressure Washer + Snowfoam Lance (make sure it has the correct fitment for your pressure washer) + the actual snow foam (or this brand), spray and then leave for 10 minutes, then pressure wash off and continue to wash the car using the Two Bucket Technique.

Learn more about cleaning your Tesla Model S

Tyre Pump

Just buy one of these, chuck it in the frunk or garage and check the tyres every month or so, it will save you energy (increase in distance) + reduce tyre wear.

Tesla also sell a tyre repair kit which you might find useful, however often this will completely ruin the tyre, meaning a simple fix isn’t possible.

A phone holder

broditThe Tesla built in system is rather poor in my opinion, you can’t access the screen easily so grab one of these if you want to use Waze Maps etc (in order of popularity of UK Tesla Owners)

A front and rear camera

camera1Install and forget it is there, one day it might save you a massive insurance hassle. The beauty of the Tesla is you can have this recording 24/7!

Most members have BlackVue 650’s installed in their Teslas – You can install yourself or do what most Tesla owners do and get Simon to install.

You might want to grab a decent MicroSD card as well, the 16GB included one is fine but a 32GB-64GB is always better


Optional but useful for many people

tesla-cables

A type 2 cable

Tesla used to supply these as standard with all Model S, now it’s an optional extra. Buying the cable direct from Tesla appears to be the best idea as the price is fair, the cable is a thick Mennekes branded 7M 3 phase cable (pictured above). Failing that consider EVConnectorsEVCables or a BMW i3/i8 cable (similar build quality to Mennekes but cheaper).

It will really depend on where you live and where you plan to charge, for instance, I use mine probably 15-20 times a year but it’s nice to have as it opens you up to thousands more chargers across the country.

A DECENT extension cable + Dribox 330drib0x

This will depend on your requirements but I’ve had to use an extension cable around 10 times this year.

It is ideal for weekend trips away, AirBnb trips or charging at family/friends overnight where the standard Tesla cable won’t reach (common issue).

Lots of UK members (including myself) buy cables from Industrial Extension Leads, remember you MUST always unwind all cables when charging.  I personally own the Double Socket 20M 2.5mm 13amp Heavy Duty Cable (pictured above) and would highly recommend it. Ensure you buy one with at least a 2.5mm thick cable (like the one above) and remember anything over 20M should be 4mm minimum to reduce voltage drop.

Don’t use a standard extension lead unless you’re desperate as they can & will overheat (potentially causing a fire etc), if you have no option ensure you unwind completely, reduce the amps down to 5amps and check the plug for excess heat often, if you NEED the speed then slowly increase the amps up whilst checking for excess heat often.

A Dribox 330 (pictured above)

To place your UMC / extension cable in whilst charging to ensure they don’t get soaked, the UMC is water resistant but can’t be submerged in water. Buy from Amazon (+ fits in rear dropped trunk so ideal for storage as well)

Tesla Remote S app by Rego apps (mixed reviews from owners)

applDownload from iOS Apple app store. Quicker to load than the Tesla app, more functions (e.g. open sunroof more than vent, Apple watch, Breadcrumb tracking, Camp Mode, Vampire Drain, Trip Statistics, Website to control your car etc). Worth the money in my opinion all the UX is a bit fiddly.

Get the paint protected

tesla-paint-protectionSee my guide on my paint protection

Alloygators or RimProTec (Alloy Wheel Protection)

wheels-rim-pro
Alloygators
– Around £60 DIY or £110 installed (you have to have a suitable 3 ton jack + the ability to deflate and inflate all 4 tyres + a rubber mallet. On 21″ wheels, you must check your fitting is secure every few hundred miles or every time you wash the car, a few people have had theirs come loose and damage paintwork. After around 5000 miles mine needed to be hammed back in, I actually left them until 7000+ and they were fine.

RimPro-Tec – Easier to apply but not as resistant to scraps in my opinion. The forums are equally unsure which is better but the advantage of Rim Pro Tecs is the inner part is replaceable if it is damaged. They’re cheaper and do not interfere with the tyre.  Go for whichever you prefer the look of. They both come in a selection of colours.


Not necessary but a nice touch

Trunk mat kit

tesla-all-weather-matsSee my full guide on mats

Brighter lighting in the puddle lights

lights-tesla
You can upgrade the existing puddle lights with ones from Abstract Ocean (around £35 delivered to UK), alternatively consider replacings these with custom Puddle Lights (See below)

Brighter LEDs in the rear boot

boot-lights
You can upgrade the existing LEDs in the boot with ones from Abstract Ocean (around £35 delivered to UK) – The photo above shows before and after upgrading the LEDS.

Extra LED panels in the boot

lights1Alternatively, install some extra lighting in the rear boot, Simon Holbon charges £50 if you’re having a dash camera installed at the same time, it made a massive difference in my car.

Custom Puddle lights

puddleDo not drill any holes into the door, it will invalidate your warranty! The Tesla already has holes ready for these, although it’s not officially for this. Car Door Ground Shadow set from eBay – Photo thanks to Sam Elsokari

Boot Liner

rhino-teslaI have a Boot liner made by Rhino UK, around £80-£140 depending on options but saves repairing expensive seats!

Coat hooks

evhooksAnyone moving from pretty much any other car will notice the lack of coat hooks in the Model S, you can 3D print some or buy from Evannex (USA) or EVHooks (Aluminum and pictured)

Spare CR2032 battery

You may never use it, but it might be useful if you don’t get your car serviced every year. 2 pack for £1.60

A spare tyre/wheel + Torque Wrench

tyre-spare

Torque Wrench

129 lb. ft (175 Nm) is the correct setting and mine were nowhere near that, make sure this is checked when the car goes in for service/tyre change etc or do what I just did & do it yourself by purchasing:

– a 21mm Draper Expert Hi-Torq® Wheel Nut Socket for £14 from local store, however, in hindsight I should have purchased this set for £19 > http://amzn.to/2a38Eqt

– a Halfords Professional Torque Wrench 60-300Nm (with lifetime warranty) for £89.99 > http://10ws.co/2a38tLL
Remember 10% off everything at Halfords for Cycling membership (anyone can get this for reference from https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership for £21)
They also do a smaller version (40-200Nm) for £10 less > http://10ws.co/2a395RJ

Replacement tyres for Model S can be difficult to find sometimes, so having one stored at your local tyre depot is a good idea, failing that buy one and put in the garage.

Read my guide on spare/replacement tyres and Wheels

Spare Wheel

Learn how to replace a wheel and consider carrying a spare space saver (thanks to Steve) or Read my guide on spare/replacement tyres and Wheels

Locking wheel nuts (depending on your location)

vinyl-locking-wheel

If you get them, spray with silicon as they often go rusty!

Sleeping bag

For the inevitable charging at 2am at a supercharger in Norway or for other road trips where you want to lay under the stars. Use the Remote S app

Add your own personal touch

tesla-customFrom the outside many Teslas look identical. Try something different like wheel stickers etc. http://www.rpmtesla.com/ with discount code 15%OFFMP should get you all of these.

You might find these useful:

A big thank you to everyone who helped supply photographs, I’ve contacted everyone for permission.

Note: I might make a few quid on some links if you click and then buy, this doesn’t change the price you pay (in fact some of the links will save you money) but this automatically helps to pay for equipment to produce better videos on YouTube etc. So for that I thank you, if you do buy something please let me know in the comments.