In this post, I’m going to cover:
1.  Why you need a dash cam
2.  Will the Model 3 (or Model S/X) have a built-in dash cam
3.  How much will it cost to install a 3rd party dash cam

Alright, so let’s start with 1. Why you need a dash cam.

The most compelling reason to have a dash cam is for liability protection.  There are some unscrupulous folks out there and, believe it or not, some try to even fake an accident to get insurance money.

Here’s a video I watched a while back, but makes a good case for why a dash cam is a good idea.  This is a must-watch.

Another scenario is if you’re in an accident and the other party basically lies about it and insists that it was your fault when it wasn’t.  A dash cam is great because you’ll have the video needed to back up your claims.

Some other people justify a dash cam in case of vandalism to their car.  A dash cam would likely be able to record who vandalized your car in case that happened.

Overall though a dash cam is an investment for your piece of mind.  If you’re an accident or falsely blamed, you’ll have additional evidence you can rely on.

2.  Will the Model 3 (or Model S/X) have a built-in dash cam

Last year, Elon mentioned in a tweet that they were working on activating a dash cam feature for the Model 3.  Basically, since the Model 3 (and Model S/X) already has 8 exterior cameras, Tesla could software activate a dash cam feature that would record video and allow that video to be accessed by the owner.  Here’s Elon’s tweet from last year:

The problem with waiting for this feature from Tesla is twofold.  First, Tesla is notoriously late with releasing promised features like this.  One example is Elon said the browser in the Model S/X would be revamped and made considerably faster (currently it’s very choppy) but that feature has been pushed back several times, although it may come one day.

Second, the dash cam feature that Tesla “activates” probably won’t be as comprehensive as some of the 3rd party dash cams.  3rd party dash cams will likely have more storage capacity and probably even better accessibility (ie., via app) than Tesla because their focus is dash cams.

However, if Tesla did enable a dash cam feature I think it would be a great feature.  They probably could even charge a monthly fee for its activation and for video storage (i.e., $10/month).

But I think for those who think they need and want a dash cam, it’s worth looking into 3rd party alternatives.

3.  How much will it cost to install a 3rd party dash cam

Blackvue is the standard of dash cams and the preferred choice for most people.  Their latest model is the Blackvue DR750S-2CH and costs about $400.  Their older model is the Blackvue DR650S-2CH and costs a bit over $300.

Installation will run about $150 to $300.  Here’s a couple examples from southern California installers:
Ace Dashcam comes in at the lower end of installation price $150.
Calibred Customs comes in at the higher end, $300.

The key when looking for a dash cam installer is to make sure that they have experience installing the BlackVue dash cam in your vehicle.  If they don’t have experience with your specific vehicle, it’s probably best to move on and keep searching.



A couple weeks ago I shared about a Custom wireless charging pad for Tesla Model 3 to debut in April.  The price for that is $100.  But now there’s a cheaper way to add wireless phone charging to your Model 3.

Thanks to Greg C who posted in the Facebook TESLA MODEL 3 Owners Club, adding wireless charging is as simple as wording a $20 wireless charger from Amazon.  Greg purchased this Ultra-thin Qi Wireless charger from Amazon.  It’s super thin at 3.49mm.

Then he simply removed the rubber cover from the Tesla charging pad, and connected the Qi wireless charger to the Model 3 usb charging port.

After that, he put back the rubber cover over the charging pad.

And there you have it.  Your own Model 3 wireless charging pad for $20 (or $40 for two chargers).

I think it’s difficult to compare Tesla’s market cap to typical auto makers because typical auto makers have very low margin, have limited growth prospects, and have limited potential to expand into direct sales and service due to their existing franchisee dealer model.

Further, the auto market is ripe for disruption, and ripe for a tech-orientated company to enter and create a revolutionary product, similar to how the iPhone was revolutionary in the phone market.

Just like there are 100s of types of cars on the market now, it reminds me of the 100s of types of phones in the market before the iPhone. It shows to me the lack of a compelling product. A truly compelling product will take majority market share, just like the iPhone did. In that sense, the auto market is similar to the phone market before Apple entered. It’s ripe and it’s a huge market, arguably larger than the phone market.

So, in this sense, Tesla has the potential to truly be a market disruptor and emerge as the Apple of cars, with exceedingly high gross margins, market share and customer loyalty. But Tesla needs to earn this and execute their way to this potential.

Due to this potential, I think Tesla will always have a higher multiple that investors give for its stock compared to other auto markers, especially as other auto markers get increasingly disrupted. In other words, it’s likely the P/E ratio of legacy auto makers shrink as Tesla’s increases.

In my view, I think the smartest and largest long-term investors are typically looking at TSLA with one lens that is about 2-3 years out and another lens that is 10 years out. The 2-3 year lens sees Tesla reaching certain production goals in 2020-2021 and that revenue, margin, growth, etc all factor into their analysis of how much the company is worth. But also, they view Tesla with a 10-year lens and see the potential it has to be a massive disruptor in a trillion+ market, and they do attribute value to that as well. What % value an investor gives to the 2-3 years lens vs the 10 year lens varies according to investor.