Last Updated on May 28, 2021
Right around 2 years ago, Matthew got a ticket in his Model 3 for not having a front license plate. Not wanting to use the factory adhesive mount, we designed a removable mount that was eventually refined into the SnapPlates that we sell today for the Model S, 3, X, and Y with plate mounts for many different countries.
We’ve made dozens of incremental improvements over the last couple years that have made it better and better while maintaining the modern and minimal design. It’s still the best-looking option available in our admittedly-biased opinion at least. 😉
Height-Adjustable Plate Mounts
As of June 2021, all SnapPlates come with a new feature! You now have the option to position your plate in multiple positions. We put an extra set of holes at center of the plate mount so you can mount it high, in the center, or flip it over to mount it low. Our default and recommended position is high to keep it from obstructing airflow through the grille, but we understand that some prefer the look of it lower, and now you have that option.
This change was partially inspired by requests we’ve gotten from owners who’ve wanted to mount their plates lower in front of the grille, so we’re making it backwards compatible with all SnapPlates purchased to date. Whether you bought your SnapPlate nearly two years ago or yesterday, this new plate mount is compatible.
Optional Breakaway Feature
This new design also gives us the ability to make a change we’ve long debated. One of our core design features was making SnapPlates grille-safe after we saw reports on the forums where other plate mounts have damaged grilles in car washes and minor fender benders.
So, we accomplished that in two ways.
First, the latches that hold onto the grille are designed to break away if someone backs into it. We’ve gotten quite a few emails with photos of it doing just that and, so far, we’ve not had a single damaged grille, so it’s working well.
Second, we made the plate mounts break away if you pull hard enough on them because we didn’t want someone to take it into a car wash and have it damage the paint on the bumper by slamming the license plate into it.
Our first plate mount design was admittedly conservative, so we doubled the strength in late 2020 and it has been performing well. Still, when Spring rolled around and the snow melted, people starting heading into car washes and we heard from more customers with broken plate mounts than we’d like. There are definitely a number of us who value this feature, but for the average owner, they seem to just want something that won’t break.
So, we’re changing things up here. Since we’ve separated the joint from the plate mount, that makes it easy to offer both options. We’ll ship with the solid joint as the standard with SnapPlates and offer the breakaway joint as a $2 optional add-on. If you decide to go with the breakaway joint and it does its job, you can just replace that part now for $2 instead of the plate mount for $10.
If you have either of the older plate mount designs and you want to upgrade, they’re available on our website under parts.
More to Come
2021 has been a big year for us already and we’re only halfway done. We’ve changed our production over to a US filament supplier, our SnapPlate patent was issued, we have employees earning US wages, and we’re expanding our 3D-printer farm even more since we have big plans for Tesla to sell more vehicles and for us to expand to other manufacturers too.
But that’s it for now. Thanks for your time and for supporting our small business!
P.S. If you have a vehicle in mind that needs a SnapPlate, send us a request!