Jaguar I-Pace owners angry as smart charging ability removed

17 jaguar i pace sport 400 rt 2023 alternative tracking performance

Manufacturer says limiting third-party access to cars is to “keep clients’ data as safe as possible”

Jaguar I-Pace owners are angry at JLR for abruptly pulling third-party access to its cars, ending the EV’s ability to work with smart charging technology. 

This means owners will now, in essence, see their energy bills soar, because they will no longer be able to remotely charge their EVs to preset amounts at the most economical times.

Smart energy tariffs such as Intelligent Octopus Go – which can achieve rates equivalent to 2.4p per mile by remotely regulating the car’s charge – are no longer compatible with the I-Pace.

Apps for popular chargers such as the PodPoint Solo and Ohme Home Pro, which can also regulate charging times themselves, are also now redundant. 

However, JLR said that those who use its recommended Octopus Go tariff are unaffected, as it requires no data access. This differs to Intelligent Octopus Go as it has set times for cheaper pricing and owners are required to set their own charging schedules.

JLR’s own InControl Remote app can also be used to preset a charging time, the company said.

I-Pace owner Ailsa Chandler – who has now been moved by Octopus from the Intelligent to the standard Go tariff – told Autocar that this creates a new inconvenience and added cost pressures.

“I, like many others, have a 7kW charger,” she said. “On this new tariff, you now need a good charging window in order to benefit from the reduced rates. I measured mine the other night: on the four-hour tariffs that Octopus are now offering, this would top up just 30% charge.

“Before [on the Intelligent tariff] I would set the percentage and a leaving time and Octopus would meet that without me having to do anything, and in the cheapest way possible.

“Now this reduced amount of charge means I either use public chargers to top this up or I have to pay full tariff pricing – something I wasn’t doing before and which will cost me a lot more money.

“I just don’t know why they’ve done it. It’s like we’re moving backwards.”

Her views are echoed by hundrds of owners writing on online forums. One wrote that their “jaw dropped” and they “still can’t get [their] head around it”. Another, who had only picked up their I-Pace last week, said “the lack of flexibility is a killer”. One simply said they were “furious”.

Asked why the change was being made, JLR said the move is part of an effort to “continue keeping our clients’ data as safe as possible” among the “ever-growing list of third-party applications”. 

“As a result, some smart charging tariffs are affected,” the company said, adding that it was “working with energy companies to keep our mutual clients informed of their options”.

Jaguar I-Pace

JLR added that this closing off of third-party access to I-Paces was because there was a chance that vehicle data could “be obtained through unofficial apps”.

The move also solidifies owners’ warranty rights “against any loss or damage suffered as a result of using unofficial apps”, it said.

It comes as part of JLR’s push to beef up its all-round car security, resulting from criticism that its Range Rover models were too easy to steal by thieves using high-tech devices.

However, one of Chandler’s biggest gripes is with how the move was communicated to owners: she claims to have only been notified hours before the access was due to be cut, echoing similar stories from fellow owners across multiple forums.

What was worse, she said, was that the communication came from Octopus, not JLR.

“I feel undervalued,” she said. “It’s a smack in the face.

“Why would an organisation the size and prestige of Jaguar allow a main communication to go out through a utility provider? You’ve got no control over the message.”

Autocar has asked JLR why it did not contact customers directly.

Asked if she would buy her I-Pace today, Chandler said: “No, I wouldn’t. I would probably be saying I want to renew at least for a new car that isn’t a Jaguar, because I really feel badly now about the organisation.”

She added: “This is such a shame, as I love the car: it’s so beautiful to drive. [I tried] a lot of really nice cars, but in terms of the drive, this is my favourite.”

Chandler believes JLR could have handled the situation differently: “They could have said: ‘We recognise the inconvenience. We also recognise that you’re driving our flagship EV. So we’re going to set up a customer panel so owners can share views on this change with us’. It would have built a huge amount of loyalty. They would have got people who really care about their cars and care about EVs.”

Source: Autocar

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