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How Do I Install My Dash Cam in My Electric & Hybrid Vehicle?

The Best Way to Install a Dash Cam into an Electric Vehicle

Installing a Dash Cam into an Electric or Hybrid Vehicle

With a conventional gas-operated vehicle, the answer is quite simple: to attain parking mode, the camera will need to be hardwired to the fuse box, or to get a dash cam battery pack.

The Power Magic Pro from BlackVue and a hardwiring kit would suffice in most cases, while a dash cam battery pack such as the Cellink NEO or BlackVue B-124 is always recommended. The Power Magic Pro and hardwiring kits enable cut-off voltage to be selected on the dedicated module or within the camera’s internal settings. This means that when the vehicle’s battery voltage drops to the determined voltage cut-off point, power draw from the vehicle’s battery is stopped, and thus allows sufficient charge for the vehicle to be started.

However with electric vehicles (EVs), there is a common misconception: “My car is powered by a large battery which should offer ample power for the dash cam. Using a hardwiring kit should allow for parking mode for as long as this battery has charge”. Unfortunately for EV owners, this is not always the case.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our product experts below. Our team is here to help you with your dash cam installation.

Electric Vehicles Are Not All the Same

Electric vehicles (Teslas are no exception) have a very small 12V accessory battery for powering the electronics upon initially entering the vehicle (this includes and is not limited to door locks, windows, etc.). Because of this, when hardwiring a dash cam to the fuse panel to draw from this battery, the amount of recording our customers have been able to attain is very limited. This is true when using the traditional Power Magic Pro hardwire kit, but it will work without issue if the BlackVue 12V cigarette cable is spliced to an existing constantly-powered connector in the vehicle dome light panel (the latter pertains for the Model S and X only - their constant power gets recharged by the main battery, but still does not work with the Power Magic Pro). For example, our Tesla Model X customers received 4 hours of parking mode recording with his BlackVue DR750S 1-CH. His Power Magic Pro hardwiring kit was set to 12.0V (lowest setting available).

The Tesla Model 3 will not work with the Power Magic Pro or the splicing method above, as there is no fusebox in the vehicle and the latter will cause an error code in the vehicle. For cases like these, we would recommend either installing using a battery pack connected by CLA or installing using an OBD Cable for easy installation.

On the other hand, vehicles such as the Volkswagen E-Golf (based on the video), the fusebox is located in the same interior location as a regular Golf, allowing for hardwiring to be almost identical between a regular hardwire and a battery pack.


Installing a Dash Cam into a Tesla Vehicle

Installation of a dash cam in Tesla vehicles is more difficult than an average vehicle, but certainly still possible. The common misconception, for all electric vehicles, is that: “My car is powered by a large battery which should offer ample power for the dash cam. Using a hardwiring kit should allow for parking mode for as long as this battery has charge”. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. Electric vehicles (Teslas are no exception) have a very small 12V accessory battery for powering the electronics upon initially entering the vehicle (this includes and is not limited to door locks, windows, etc.). Because of this, when hardwiring a dash cam to the fuse panel to draw from this battery, the amount of recording our customers have been able to attain is very limited. For example, our Tesla Model X customers received 4 hours of parking mode recording with his BlackVue DR750S 1-CH. His Power Magic Pro hardwiring kit was set to 12.0V (lowest setting available).

What’s more is that the Tesla Model 3 does not even have a fusebox to hardwire into.

Thus, for all Tesla vehicles, we recommend using a battery pack connected by CLA or connected via hardwire to the cigarette socket.

In Teslas, the ignition-switched power is easy to find as it is located in the cigarette socket of the vehicle. However, there needs to be a constant fuse that is either difficult to locate (Model X and S) or doesn’t exist (Model 3).

For Model X and S vehicles, a constant power supply can come from an existing power source, such as the ones in the headliner behind the microphone panel. For Model 3 vehicles, you would need to use a dash cam battery pack either connected to the vehicle’s cigarette socket using the 12V adapter or just hardwired to this socket. In either case, the dash cam battery pack will only draw power when the vehicle is up and running and shut off when the vehicle is off.

From here, it’s just a matter of tugging in wires in any panels and headlining of the vehicle. For more information on installing a 2-channel dash cam, click here.


Dash Cam Battery Pack Solution via Hardwire

If you are hardwiring using a battery pack, we strongly recommend installing an external battery pack such as the Cellink NEO Battery Pack or BlackVue B-124 Ultra Battery Pack with your dash cam. A battery pack would be wired to an ignition-switched/ACC fuse that activates when your vehicle is “ON”, or to a similarly switched 12V socket in the cabin.

Cellink NEO Battery Pack

Designed For All Dash Cams

BlackVue B-124 Ultra Battery Pack

Designed For BlackVue Dash Cams

While it may seem redundant having to install a battery in an electric car, doing so will prolong the life of your accessory battery as well as increase protection for your vehicle. Having a dedicated dash cam battery pack will not only allow your cameras to record for a longer period of time in parking mode, but you will always be able to operate the starting functions of your vehicle with ease and without worry.


Dash Cam Installation via OBD Cable

If you don't want to hardwire install into your vehicle nor use a battery pack, then an OBD cable may be right for you. The introduction of the OBD cable is great news for customers who are looking for a simpler alternative to the traditional hardwire method. Instead of attaching 3 wires to the vehicle’s fusebox, an OBD cable only needs to connect to the vehicle’s OBD port. Once this is done, your dash cam will be able to receive parking-mode recording (dependent on the dash cam in use) just as if you were to hardwire to the fusebox. Not only is OBD found in all vehicles manufactured from the late ‘90s, but OBD is also a universal plug-and-play fit and is physically located more conveniently than the vehicle’s fusebox.

Image Source: All vehicles manufactured since the mid-1990s will have an OBD port, making your dash cam installation nice and easy for plug-and-play.

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Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.

How Do I Install My Dash Cam in My Electric & Hybrid Vehicle?

Based on 4468 reviews
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I don’t install yet

Less Strain On Car Battery (2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate)

It has been 4 days since the installation of the Cellink NEO Battery, serviced by a fantastic installation team. The NEO gives me an ease of mind knowing that it has added an extra 13-15 hours of running time to my Dual Channel Thinkware U-1000 dash cam system whilst my vehicle is turned off (parking mode). First off, it has been less stressful for me when starting my car because I don't see the "Battery Discharged" warning anymore, knowing that the NEO has put less strain on my car battery. Additionally, with a 40 minute drive-to-charge time frame, it isn't bad at all as my commute to and from work equates to approximately 45 minutes. Therefore, I get a full charge on the NEO that gives me 20-22 hours of run-time on my dash cam. One advice I would give to potential dash-cam buyers in making the jump to buy this battery is: if you haven't gotten a dash cam yet and if you are opting for the installation service, purchase your dash cam and the NEO together and pay for just 1 installation. I made the mistake of having to pay for 2 separate installation services because I decided to buy the battery later on and could have saved $200.

Hi Kevin, thanks for leaving a review. Great advice! Hope you're loving your Cellink NEO. Come back anytime if you have any other questions.
Fits 2020 Rav4 XSE hybrid

I installed this on the small space right hand forward of the spare tire. The thickness of the Cell link Neo is just perfect. It it was a little bit thicker the rear cover will not be flush with the floor. Negative connection was done directly to the vehicle 12V accessory battery as it is mounted at the right rear tail. ACC input was connected to the accessory rear 12V outlet. Cell link Neo powers 2 Garmin dash cam minis.

I wish the Cell link Neo have an option to change the name in the app. I have another Neo battery on another vehicle and it is hard to remember the serial numbers. But overall it works great.

Hi there, thanks for leaving a detailed review. Glad to hear that the Cellink NEO is everything you're looking for :) let us know if you have any questions in the future.
Easy installation

Works as described

Hi Vinh, thanks for leaving a review!

Great service

Thanks for leaving a review, William!
Product and shipping

Shipping and blackboxmycar are great.

Product is expensive and 3m tape will not fit properly. For an expensive product from thinkware i would assume products would come with vehicle specific or general items to install properly. Other options than the 3m tape.

Keep in mind to take measurements for placing the main unit. It may not fit or able to be placed under your seat.

I have spent more money on a front stand and bolted the camera. The rear camera ive made brackets and bolted it.

Hi Blkhze, thanks for leaving a review! Sorry to hear that, but glad to see that you found a solution. If you have any future questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly.
A pricey dash cam

Very pricey, yet not quite the "jump" in video quality I expected for the huge pricetag.
When the vehicle is not in motion, then video quality is very crisp and clear. However, as soon as your vehicle is in motion (driving...) the video becomes extremely "contrasted" almost like it is over-correcting for image quality, and in-turn making it worse. I had a rexing V1 (1080p) for 3 years, and saved me through 2 hit & runs... simple, good quality, cheap. I expected the jump to 4k to be huge... The video is "brighter" at best, but my Rexing V1 was definitely smoother while driving. Hopefully this is something a firmware update can fix. I have messed with the 2K @ 60fps, but the video quality drops noticeably... to worse than my 1080P Rexing V1. (Doesnt add up)
I have had my eyes on this camera since before it came out, but I am still hoping it can pull through...

Hi Kyle, thank you for leaving a review. We will definitely relay this feedback back to Thinkware. They're constantly working on new firmware for their models, especially the U1000, so we do expect it to get even better over time. That said, have you updated your dash cam to the latest firmware? If you need help, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team. We're here to help!
BlackboxMyCar is Excellent!

Incredibly fast service! Excellent price! Perfectly packaged! Thank you.

Hi Theo, thanks for leaving a review. We try our best! ;)
Excellent item

Bought this filter for my sister and my brother in law they both love it

Hi Michael, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to see that your sister and brother-in-law loves it.
Convenient

I purchased a spare ScanDisk SD card for my BlackVue. Not much to say.. Good quality and value.

Hi DJ, thanks for leaving a review!

[$50 OFF] Thinkware U1000 4K UHD Dual-Channel Cloud Dash Cam

Thanks for leaving the review, Pavlo!
Service

The best in customer service and advice.

Thanks for leaving a review, Alan. We try our best ;)
Awesome Product and Support

BackBoxMyCar helped me make figure out which Dash Cam system was best for my 2015 Lexus RX350. Their live chat team is great to work with and they made figuring out the best dash cam for me very easy. After having it installed I am very impressed with the reliability and capability of this product. Also it was shipped out to me in less then 3 business days, which I found really impressive. Going forward I will continue to purchase from BlackBox due to this wonderful experience.

Hi Ben, thanks for leaving a review! We try our best to help our customers, so we're glad to hear that you had a great time with us! Come back anytime.
Excellent Purchase and Service from BlackBoxMyCar

This radar module was a great addition to my Thinkware U1000 dash cam system. The setup was very straight forward and this accessory is a must for passive parking mode. BlackBoxMyCar helped me with decision to make this smart purchase through the help with one of there representatives on live chat. Their customer support team is world class and very helpful.

Hi Ben, thanks for leaving a review! We try our best to help our customers, so we're glad to hear that you had a great time with us! Come back anytime.
Fast shipping and great communication

I found this website after looking at youtube videos with vortexradar after searching for dash cameras. I have a 4 year old a119 that I have tried for hours and hours over the years to update the firmware on with no luck. It also isnt 4k and it doesn't have wifi. I find it a pain in the butt to take the memory card out and have to use the computer to download files. Now I can do it via wifi with my phone. Wifi is working fine for me with their app. I liked the a119 wedge shape and this is essentially the exact shape. The mounts are not compatible but not a big deal. This a129 pro has a much more substantial feel to it but isn't any bigger than the old model. I kind of wish I had ordered the rear camera bundle at the same time but I can always order the rear camera later. Everybody needs a dash camera to avoid the he said/she said bs that happens when there is an accident.

These guys ship fast. I am in Washington and ordered on a Monday. Camera arrived 2 days later on Wednesday. I had several texts and emails during that time keeping me updated on the progress of my order. I was so impressed that I am thinking about buying my next radar detector from them, the 360c. I am not sure if I am getting that one but that is the only one they carry.

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review. We hope you're staying safe out in Washington! We're glad to hear that you're loving your VIOFO and it's everything you need. Do reach out anytime if you have any other questions. One more thing, if you're interested in any other models of radar detectors, do reach out and ask. We may be able to source it for you at a great price. Thanks!

[LOW QUANTITY] VIOFO A119 V3 QHD+ Dash Cam

Hi Larry, thanks for leaving a review!

[$50 OFF] Thinkware U1000 4K UHD Dual-Channel Cloud Dash Cam

Hi Gerald, thanks for leaving a review!
The complete package!

I recently purchased a thinkware F800 front and rear camera combo for my M4. After researching, I heard that BMWs are sensitive to voltage drops when the camera is in parking mode.

I purchased the battery and searched youtube for a camera install video. Ironically the video I watched was a video blackbox my car made specifically for the BMW M4! Great products provided and great tutorials that helped me get it installed, thanks again Blackboxmycar!!

Thanks for leaving a review, and an image as well! We're glad to see that you had a great experience with us, Rob. If you have any questions, come back anytime!
A nice dash cam with GPS capabilities

I am very satisfied with the Viofo A119 V3 camera after using it for a week or so. It takes great video and is simple to operate. With the included GPS base I can select the speed and/or location to be recorded on the video. I just installed the optional wiring harness but have not experimented with the parking mode as of yet. Overall I am very satisfied with the build quality. The menu is easy to maneuver through and the buttons on the front are easy to use even when driving. I would definitely purchase this again!

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that you're loving your VIOFO as much as we do.
Excellent cam

Good rear view cam with great picture. Awesome thank you!

Hi Raymond, thanks for leaving a review!
So far so good.

Good tracking notice. I’ve only had it for a short time so I’m still playing with it to get it figured out. Video is very good quality (I’ve only used it in daylight so I can speak for nighttime). Instructions are minimal but I was able to get it figured out since it is pretty simplistic (I had to search the internet to get the time zone properly set). As it stands now I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good and simple dash cam.

Hi Jeff, thank you for purchasing at BlackboxMyCar, and thank you for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that the VIOFO was everything you were looking for. That said, if you have questions in the future, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support team. We are always here to help!
Viofo 3 Hardwire Kit

Installation seamless and easy. Made for cleaner setup. Highly recommended over using the provided cigarette lighter/USB.

Hi Mark, thanks for leaving a review!
Alex

I wrote one over a week ago didn’t you bother to read it?

Let me know if you lost it!

Hi Jim, we definitely read it and responded to it ;) We have let our Marketing team know to adjust the amount of review requests that get sent out. Thank you for leaving another review regardless!
courteous and prompt communication, item shipped promptly

I ordered dash cams and accessories from blackboxmycar and have been very happy with their services. I had to communicate with them several times regarding my order, including talking to them over the phone and emailing them. Every single time I received very courteous response and satisfactory answers. The items were shipped promptly and I had them professionally installed. Overall, I am very satisfied. Thank you.

Hi Chin, thank you for shopping at BlackboxMyCar, and for visiting our office! Glad that our team was able to help you with everything that you needed.
Easy to install, easy to use!

BlackBoxMyCar sent everything I needed to install my Viofo A119 V3. A quick YouTube search gave me the easy steps for burying the wires and finding my fuse box for my F-150. And I was off and running! Thanks a bunch!

Hi Adam, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that it all worked out for you :)