Battery Powered vs. Wired Digital License Plates: What’s the Difference?

February 2, 2024

It’s a big moment for vehicle technology. Why? Because the one piece of your car that has stayed the same for 100 years — the license plate — is finally ready to evolve. The introduction of the digital license plate, the RPLATE, provides a new way to add extra tech functionality to cars, and these devices themselves are evolving quickly.

One of the latest changes to the digital license plate is the introduction of different power delivery modes. Now, you can use a battery-powered plate. This battery-powered RPLATE is ready to install yourself and provides many advantages corporate fleet owners receive from their wired plates. You can decide on the perfect plate for you by weighing the similarities and differences.

What’s New in Digital License Plate Technology?

When speaking about new, customer-facing battery-powered digital license plate technology, it’s helpful to first run down where this plate differs from the commercial, wired version and what’s the same.

The industry-pacing RPLATE from Reviver is available in both varieties and the two share numerous features. It’s also worth noting that each plate type will expand its capabilities over the next few years via wireless firmware updates.

Shared features of wired and battery RPLATE models:

  • Personalization: With a digital license plate, you can express your personality through custom messages, light/dark modes, and other visual tweaks.
  • Smart registration renewal: Renewing your registration with an RPLATE can be as simple as a few taps on an app.
  • Tamper-proof/anti-theft mounting: The sturdy mounting for the RPLATE defends against tampering or attempts to remove the plate.
  • Secure cloud communication: Data is encrypted and secure when passing between the placate and cloud servers.
  • LTE connectivity: RPLATE devices can connect to servers through wireless networks to ensure reliable uptime.
  • Wide operating temperature range: RPLATEs are built to work between -40 and 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Corrosion resistance: The mounting bracket for the RPLATE is designed to last longer by resisting corrosion.
  • FCC/Class-A/IP66 compliance: The RPLATE has been designed closely with standards bodies to ensure it meets and exceeds requirements.
  • Chemically strengthened lens: The lens on an RPLATE is five times stronger than a pane of glass.
  • Compliance with AAMVA requirements: Both RPLATE types conform with license plate visibility and form factor standards.
  • Included display and bracket: The mounting bracket for the RPLATE is included as part of the wired or battery-powered package.

Differences between wired and battery versions of the RPLATE:

  • Installation style: The wired RPLATE is installed by professional technicians, whereas the battery version includes instructions for easy self-installation.
  • Display lighting: The wired version of the RPLATE is front-lit.
  • Replaceable battery: Batteries for the battery-powered RPLATE are designed to last five years, after which they are replaceable.
  • Connection to a vehicle power source: The wired RPLATE takes power from your vehicle’s battery through a connection set up during installation.
  • Bluetooth connectivity: The battery-powered RPLATE is a fully-featured Bluetooth device.
  • GPS service: The wired RPLATE contains onboard GPS and telematics systems.
  • Mileage tracking, vehicle locator, and park/valet mode: Wired RPLATEs can use their telematics to track mileage, find a lost vehicle, or enter a valet mode for parking.

The RPLATE models are more similar than they are different, and no matter which one you choose, you’ll add exciting new features that will enhance your overall driving experience.

Side By Side: Battery Powered and Wired Plates

Determining what kind of RPLATE best suits your needs will come down to critical factors. What functionality do you plan to rely on once the plate is installed? What kind of installation experience are you looking for?

  • Battery-powered RPLATE: This is a newer model of digital license plate meant for the consumer space and equipped with Bluetooth functionality alongside nationwide 5G connectivity. The plate supports at-home installation and has everything you need to mount on your car. The battery is replaceable and designed to last for five years.
  • Wired RPLATE: This is the original model of RPLATE, perfect for fleet use. It contains onboard GPS and telematics, as well as nationwide LTE connectivity. Because it connects to the vehicle’s power supply, a wired plate requires professional installation. While there is a standard fee for this installation, it’s worth noting that some non-standard vehicles may cost extra.

Get Started with Digital License Plates

Whether buying one battery-powered RPLATE for your personal car or dozens of wired RPLATEs for a fleet, it pays to work with the leading provider in the space.

From the beginning, Reviver has been on the cutting edge of digital license plate development, working closely with departments of motor vehicles, legislators, and original equipment manufacturers to increase these tools’ adoption and technological sophistication.

Currently, RPLATE is available for purchase and installation by individual drivers in three states — with more pending. Commercial owners in Texas are also able to use these devices. Ford lists RPLATE as an official accessory in its vehicle catalog, showing that manufacturers are ready to embrace the digital license plate era.

Which Digital License Plate Type is Right for You?

When buying a digital license plate for your own car, you’ll find that the battery-powered RPLATE is designed for you. You don’t have to schedule or pay for professional installation. You can just pull it out of the box and get started with features such as easy registration and eye-catching customization.

If you’re buying these RPLATEs for use on commercial vehicles, you have numerous advantages when the wired RPLATE hardware is combined with the RFleet software. From quick, remote registration for dozens of vehicles to the ability to set up geofencing, there are plenty of reasons to invest in these wired, GPS-equipped RPLATEs for business use.
Whether you need a battery-powered or a wired RPLATE, now’s the perfect time to upgrade your driving technology. With constant new firmware updates, there’s no danger of adopting too early — your plate will evolve with you in the future. Learn more!

Hit the road today.

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