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Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: A "Presidential" Cover-Up

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You walk up to your beloved Model S and find her defiled. The splotch of reprehensible matter could be from a tree, a bird or your drunken neighbor-- but it doesn't matter where it came from. The damage has been done. Your paint has had a crime committed against it. A brutalizing application of gravity to excrement or sap and now you're left with just the evidence: a crime scene made of goo where Fremont’s finest finish once gleamed.

Or perhaps your circumstances are even more first-worldly, and your issue isn’t the elements but rather the lack of elements. Your Model S quietly slumbers in a vast garage or warehouse waiting for its turn to play, as the dander of the resident mice combine with traces of asbestos and pollen from a forgotten air filter to form a velvety haze on the paint from frunk to trunk. 1-IMG_3384
Either way, you need a car cover. “Great!” you think, “I’ll just tap over to Elon’s shop and grab up a cover for my spaceship.” But it’s not that easy. Sure, Tesla has two covers on offer, but each is intended for EITHER the inside or the outside elements—and both are expensive. The Tesla indoor cover is $350 for silky stretch satin, completely worthless outside; the outdoor cover is $400, but not lined.

EVAnnex has combined the best of both the Tesla indoor and outdoor covers into a single product-- and you won’t believe the value. They’re selling it for $189. There are really only two significant differences between the EVAnnex cover and Tesla’s combined covers: No logos and slightly shorter. But it’s only $189, compared to $750. So… They’re definitely not crooks. But are they making something good enough for that other famous “not a crook?" 1-IMG_6077 (2)
As any presidential historian would happily remind you—especially in an election year rife with material: It's not the crime, it's the cover up. Therefore a car cover needs to be all the things that a bad conspirator isn't. Easy to work with. Trustworthy. NOT PRONE TO LEAKS. Doesn't fold under pressure. Won’t take off when you most need it. Bottom line, is this the kind of car cover that President Nixon would buy?

EVAnnex’s cover arrives in its own storage bag. In addition to looking good and making storage easy, the bag is critical for protecting your paint. You want the cover’s lining to be as free of “dirty tricks” as possible so you don’t scratch your paint with debris getting between the car and the cover. The bag is also generously sized. No worries about never getting it back in the bag—Whew!
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The cover is made of a water-resistant material and lined with a soft cotton. The fit is closely tailored to the shape of the Model S and even though the stitching pattern is different from Tesla’s offerings, I think the EVAnnex cover’s lines are more complementary to the shape. All seams are double-stitched and when bagged, the cover weighs about 10 ½ pounds. It isn’t thick enough to provide dent protection (neither are Tesla’s) but will shrug off abrasions and scuffs.
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Deploying the cover takes only a few minutes. The first time I installed the cover it was folded outside-out, which is not how the cover needs to be oriented for easy installation. In fact, if you watch EVAnnex’s own installation video, the cover is clearly folded inside-out in their demonstration; Nixon would agree, the tape always catches up with you. I don't want to make a federal case about it, but they really should ship the covers already folded this way. I’m an experienced camper so my skills at deciphering weirdly folded tents helped me break this conspiracy. Note also that if you stored the cover inside-out but NOT in a bag, you’d end up with a very dirty lining on your paint. Score another point for that nice storage bag.
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Provided it has been properly stored, putting the cover on is very fast and easy.  You just plunk the blob on your hatch glass. All the mesh patches and the charge port cover will keep you oriented if you get confused.
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 Unroll the cottony mass until it reaches the frunk. 1-IMG_3537
 Then you find the side rearview mirror pockets. These will be your primary positioning landmarks. Tuck the mirrors into the pockets, which will also partially drape each side. 1-IMG_3538
 Flip the rest of each side down while you’re already there.  Then stretch the elasticized nose and trunk sections down and under each end.
  1-IMG_3402 1-IMG_3386 The cover might take a slight tug here or there, but generally I’ve found it settles on by itself most of the time—and faster than it takes to read this. The tailoring is really well done and fits the car snugly. 1-IMG_3406 1-IMG_3407 1-IMG_3408
 I don’t have my mirrors set to auto-fold, but I wanted to see what the cover’s fit would be like if I did. I also wanted to verify the door handles had room to operate. While the cover clings to the metal curves of the S, there is still ample extra fabric in these critical places to allow the parts to move unobstructed. EVAnnex also points out that cars with spoilers or even the new refreshed fascia are not a problem for this cover.
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Like the factory covers, the EVAnnex cover has mesh panels to accommodate the airflow necessary when charging from the fans deep in the throat of the Model S’ nose. 1-IMG_3395 1-IMG_3396 1-IMG_3397
 There is also a Velcro flap that provides access to the charge port itself. When closed, the charge port flap has a modest EVAnnex logo on it.
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The cover is otherwise unadorned--great if you’re an undercover spy--whereas Tesla’s covers have prominent logos and lettering. Depending on the circumstances you plan to use the cover in, advertising what’s underneath it may or may not be a desirable feature.
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 The cover gives my Serena a little shorter hemline than the Tesla cover offers, but it is definitely secure on the vehicle. If you’re really concerned about parking in high winds, there are grommets mounted to the cover’s bottom near the B-pillar.  These can be used to tie the two sides together underneath the car, eliminating troublesome loose ends. 1-IMG_3389
 Worth noting, the cotton lining does have the possibility of getting wet. Water is unlikely to penetrate the top of the cover, but vulnerable areas near the mesh panels and charge port flap could become your own personal Watergate in a prolonged or severe storm. That risk is quite small, however. 1-IMG_3543 1-IMG_3542
 I wanted to see if the interior of the car stayed any cooler with the cover on, but schedules kept me from getting hard data. It certainly appears as though the car would end up much cooler inside with the cover on, but don’t take my word for it.
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Removing the cover is as scandalously easy and fast as putting it on, just reversed.
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 Pop the ends, flip the sides and roll it from the front of the car. Take the lump and jam it as elegantly as you’re able into the storage bag.
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 No presidential pardon is needed for EVAnnex. Their cover undercuts Tesla significantly in price while adding features with no real downsides. Mr. Nixon would pleasantly agree that it stands up to whatever opposition comes its way and won’t abandon you when things get rough. In short, you can trust it—no “hush money” required. If you need a cover, it’s with great conviction that I can say the EVAnnex people really pulled it off this time. (So to speak.)

This review originally appeared (less presidentially) on Teslarati.com

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 Please note: We are not specifically authorized, sponsored by, or otherwise directly associated with Tesla Motors and make no claims to be so.