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Debunking Myths & Misconceptions

Dash Cams and Electric Vehicles

Myths & Misconceptions with Dash Cams & EVs

While electric vehicles are designed to be advanced and eco-friendly compared to conventional vehicles, that does not exempt them from road accidents and theft. In fact, these head turners tend to be more appealing to burglars, making the need for car surveillance devices - such as dash cams - a must-have.

However, while some electric vehicles like Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes have their own car surveillance systems built-in, many people are wondering… or doubting if they can install a dash cam themselves into their EVs, especially with the complex electric system and wiring on their car. In this article, we'll debunk these fallacies and shine a light on the facts about dash cams and electric vehicles.

Myth 1: Dash Cams Will Drain My EV Battery

We’re putting this on top because this is one of the most prominent fears that we hear – that dash cams would drain electric vehicle batteries. This concern, however, is mainly unjustified. Modern dash cameras are designed to use as little power as possible, in fact, often less than that required by other onboard devices. Dash cams use around the same amount of electricity as smartphone charging or satellite navigation systems.

Moreover, many dash cams like BlackVue and Thinkware have advanced capabilities that allow them to enter low-power voltage modes during parking mode. These settings ensure that the dash cam continues to provide surveillance, without dramatically reducing the battery life of the EV, cutting off power well before that point. So yes, even having a dash cam installed, your EV's battery will remain healthy.

Myth 2: Dash Cams Will Complicate My EV Wiring

Another myth we wish to debunk is that dash cams complicate the electric vehicle wiring. Tell you what, installing a dash cam in an EV isn't as difficult as people may believe! There are plug-and-play solutions available, which allow you to connect the dash cam straight to your vehicle's power source without the need for complex cabling.

Now, here’s the thing. What about hardwiring for parking mode? While electric vehicles have 12V cigarette lighters which you can use for plug-and-play dash cam driving mode, some models don’t have a fuse box or a power source. Some electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model 3, lack a traditional fusebox, making hardwiring a dash cam for parking mode nearly impossible. Meaning, that not all EVs will enable you to hardwire your dash cam and enable parking mode by normal means.

However, if your EV does have a fuse box, it typically contains a small 12V auxiliary battery that powers the vehicle's electronic components. But, when hardwiring a dash cam to this extra battery via the fuse box, the quantity of recording time is extremely limited. Therefore, it is recommended to have another source of power such as external dash cam battery packs.

The good news is many car shops and stores offer installation services for customers who prefer expert installation, or are concerned about handling wiring alone. If you happen to be near Richmond, BC, you are very welcome to book a schedule and have your dash cam professionally installed by our experts here.

Myth 3: Dash Cams Aren't Compatible with EV Electronics

Contrary to popular assumption, dash cameras are designed to interface effortlessly with a wide range of car components. Many dash cams can be attached to the standardized OBD-II cable found in most modern automobiles, including electric vehicles. This enables a stable data connection without interfering with the electronics in your vehicle.

An OBD cable simply has to be connected to the vehicle's OBD port rather than the fuse box. After completing this, your dash camera will be able to record in parking mode just like if you had hardwired.

OBD is not only a standard plug-and-play fit and present in all automobiles made after the late 1990s, but is also physically more convenient to access than the vehicle's fuse box. While some OBD cables work fine for both gas powered and electric vehicles, some are EV specific, so make sure you are getting the right version. You can find our IROAD OBD-II Electric version here.

Myth 4: Dash Cams Void EV Warranties

It's another common myth that installing a dash cam can void your electric vehicle's warranty. However, this is not always the case.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act safeguards consumers' rights to install aftermarket components without voiding warranties, so long as the installation process does not directly cause vehicle damage.

We also made a few calls to several local car dealers, and the answers we received were pretty much the same: installing a dash cam will not void your car's warranty. Technically, per dealership policies, yes, they could and would void the warranty, but only if they can prove that the dash cam directly causes the need for repairs.

Now, to alleviate any concerns, we recommend you to look into your EV's manufacturer's warranty terms and speak with dealership staff. This way, you can make an informed decision while still protecting your vehicle's warranty.

Myth 5: Dash Cams Interfere with EV Sensors and Autonomy

Lastly, another common misconception is that dash cams can obstruct EV sensors or interfere with the vehicle's autonomous features. Most dash cams are purposefully placed to prevent interfering with sensors or cameras used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving technologies.

Some dash cam models even have mechanisms that ensure they don't impede these sensors. Electric vehicles are equipped with advanced sensor technology that can handle a variety of environmental conditions, including the presence of a dash cam.


Yes, we’ve protected a lot of EVs too!

Some of our customers who own an EV have experienced the benefits of dash cams firsthand, of course, with the help of our professional installers. Here are some of our EV installations in our Richmond office:

In conclusion, the myths surrounding dash cam compatibility with electric vehicles are largely unfounded. Dash cams are designed to be efficient, easy to install, and compatible with various vehicle electronics, and more importantly, these devices can be installed without voiding warranties or interfering with EV sensors and autonomy.

Don’t worry, your EVs are safe with dash cams. But if you wish to learn more in-depth about dash cams and EVs, check out our EV buyer’s guide here.