When you searching for the best dash cam for an electric car you have to make sure it’s one that going to be compatible with your electric car in the long-term.
When Buying a Dashcam for an Electric Car that has 2 Channels – It Will Use the Auxiliary Battery while Parked
The difficulty with battery drain is now more apparent because most dash cams that could work with an electric car drain slowly the auxiliary battery when not in use because of a second recording channel.
This second channel records around the vehicle when it not running. It is more like a surveillance camera called the parking mode for dashcams.
Purchase Concern for Electric Car Dashcams: Level of 12 v Battery Drain Due to a 2 Channel Dashcam
I did some research to find out how much drain it could possibly happen to the auxiliary battery while in the parking mode.
The drainage is actually quite low, but it is something that’s going to psychologically bother people if they have their dashcam on in the surveillance mode in your electric car. They require only 5 to 10 watts in 1 hour, which is only .01 kilowatts per hour.
How to Pick a Dashcam that Will Not Lower the Range in Your Electric Car
Another concern that purchasers of a dashcam have is how much of the range will be affected if the dashcam is running while the car is in operation.
This is not something that you need to be concerned about because based on my calculations it should only affect or reduce the range by about a hundred fifty ft over one hour of driving.
Why You Might Not Be Able to Buy a 2 Channel Dashcam for your EV
You will notice when you’re trying to purchase a 2 channel dash cam that might not be available in your country. That is because some countries have outlawed the use of the second channel on the dashcam which records around the vehicle when the vehicle is turned off. For instance, in Sweden, it’s against the law to use such a function.
In some countries, you need a permit to record surveillance video even though you are recording from your vehicle. I guess it’s just the way of guarding someone’s privacy especially if your parking in an area that’s going to report record activity around private property.
I certainly would not like it if I sensed that my neighbor was recording everything that was transpiring outside of my front door just by parking at the side of the street
You should not have much of a problem in the states if you wish to have a second channel on your dashcam.
Pick a Dashcam that Allows High Memory Storage When in the Parked Recording Mode
Now that you have determined whether or not you can have a second channel on your dashcam legally, I will explain the importance of having large enough memory. High definition video takes up a lot of space.
It’s best to purchase a dashcam for your EV that records if there’s some sort of movement or noise around your vehicle. Otherwise, it’s going to write over the video that has been previously recorded.
However, if you’re just stepping away from your vehicle for a few hours, then probably will not be a huge concern as long as you have at least 64 gigabytes of memory on your memory available on your USB key.
I suggest that you purchase a larger memory USB just based on the fact that you have invested a lot of money in your high-tech dash cam that record surveillance video.
At least 256 GB would be sufficient. I wasn’t able to find one that with 1tb that would work with most dashcams.
If You Desire to Record While your Ev is Off, Pick a Dashcam that will Work with an External Power Supply
The installation is a little bit different in an electric car for a dashcam because there’s no fuse box or ignition. You cannot use the fusebox Hot-wiring method that is highlighted in numerous youtube videos.
Nevertheless, there are companies that have developed a method to charge the dashcam while it is recording in the parking mode, such as Blackvue. This is a great option because you can buy your own power supply so there is no drain on the 12-volt battery in your electric car while it is recording surveillance video.
Blackvue (link to Amazon) has come up with a method that uses a port that most electric cars already have. This is not the traditional method that is commonly used to power a dashcam but it seems to work fine.
This method is the use of an OBD cable (link to Amazon) which is an onboard diagnostics cable that most cars that were built after the 1990s have currently. It is usually located on the driver side close to the steering wheel.
You will need to plug in the OBD cable to your dashcam along with the electric car’s OBD port to keep the dashcam powered when the vehicle is not running.
I will now highlight the best options for electric cars for dashcams that will allow you to record surveillance video in a second channel since that is an option that’s quite appealing to most EV clients.
When I was reading the details on the best dash cams for an electric car, I decided that I should add to this article a kit that included all of the items that you would need an order to make your dashcam for an electric car work properly without draining your auxiliary battery.
I find the Dashcam Kit by Blackvue to be very intriguing. Here’s a link to Amazon so that you can view the 2-channel dashcam, model dr900s: click here:
This dashcam kit comes with the Power Magic Pro Hardware so that it’ll have its own power source which eliminates the need for it to take power from the axillary battery in your electric car.
The only aspect of the kit that I didn’t like was the fact that the memory card is small. The one that’s included is only 16GB. Since this kit will allow you to tape in 4K video quality with the front cam, you going to need at least 256 gigabytes to have a satisfactory memory card.
Here’s a list of the positive aspects of the Blackvue dashcam kit for electric vehicles:
High Definition Back Camera with Night Vision
it has full high-definition recording for the back camera so that you will have a clear view of what is happening while you backup and while you park. You might think that this isn’t really necessary to have high definition video for parking, but when it’s dark, it’s going to be helpful. Also, it has a CMOS sensor that acts like night vision similar to military equipment.
Second Channel for Surveillance Video
The cool aspect of this kit is that it has the second channel so that you can record surveillance video around your vehicle in the front while the vehicle is turned off.
As I had mentioned, the camera is going to use the juice from the power source that comes with the kit instead of using the power from your vehicle.
The front camera actually records in 4K resolution which is amazing You are going to really appreciate 4K resolution once you put the video onto your large screen television so that you can watch surveillance video.
This Blackvue Dashcam Works in Hot Climates
If you live in Las Vegas, you are not going to have to worry about your camera turning off due to the high temperature in the desert.
The DR900S is WIFI Ready
It has s built-in Wi-Fi adapter so if you are parked close enough to your home so that you can use your home Wi-Fi, you can actually back up the videos easily on to a cloud. Or you can actually download the videos to your iPhone onto your Android cell phone.
Comes with a Memory Card Reader
Even though a card reader is not terribly expensive, it is included with the kits so you don’t have to worry about buying one online and paying to ship it.
The tiny reader can just be added to a keychain so that you can easily connect to a computer USB port.
Is the Tesla built-in webcam better than the Blackvue?
If you have a Tesla, you might be wondering if you should get a separate dashcam that’s going to operate in a better fashion than the one that’s included with a Tesla.
The dashcam camera operates well in a Tesla, although I did notice that people on forums we’re not pleased about it because they had to do some extra formatting to the video files.
The dashcam records in a video forum that some media programs do not recognize. To watch the video, you have to use a codec to get your video program to read the video file since it is one that was designed by Tesla.
Here is a link to the codec: click to download the codec.
The Tesla dashcam Has Two Channels Like the above Blackvue Model
The Tesla dashcam has a Sentry mode which is just different name for a parking mode for a dashcam. This is great again for surveillance purposes, however, it does cause your memory card to fill up quickly. Nevertheless, there is a toggle switch for the sentry mode.
You can use a larger memory card although you going to have to format it before you can use it with your Tesla. If you some technical knowledge, this is not a hard task to perform.
Nissan Leaf – Adding the B1W dashcam
You have to wire the B1W to your fusebox which is on the passenger side of a Nissan Leaf. In other words, it is going to constantly use the power from the auxiliary battery.
Nevertheless, dashcams typically do not use a lot of power even in the parking mode. As long as you are not plugging in 24 hours a day, you should be fine.
photo by Dave Herholz