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Jaguar I-Pace owners angry as firm cuts smart charging access

Surprise new security measures mean smart chargers can no longer talk to JLR cars, making smart tariffs untenable

Jaguar I-Pace - front cornering

The Jaguar I-Pace forum is buzzing with owners angered by the manufacturer’s decision to arbitrarily cut off their smart home-charging option, with little or no advance warning.

Customers previously benefiting from the Intelligent Octopus Go tariff using a PodPoint Solo charger which Jaguar itself promoted, are among those now unable to access intelligent charging because that charger - along with certain other popular devices - is now incompatible.

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JLR told Auto Express it has changed how data from its connected vehicles can be accessed as “in some cases, personal and vehicle data can be obtained through unofficial apps”. It says it has ended the ability for apps to gain “unauthorised access”, claiming the change also protects warranty rights against loss or damage that might result from using an unofficial app with one of its vehicles.

From now on, the firm says, the only apps that are compatible with JLR vehicles are the InControl Remote and Alexa Skills apps. As a result, many owners using smart electricity tariffs to charge their cars in the most economical way will be forced to adopt more expensive charging regimes.

"To continue keeping our clients’ data as safe as possible, we have updated how our electrified vehicles interact with the ever-growing list of third-party applications,” a JLR spokesman told Auto Express. “As a result, some smart charging tariffs are affected. We are working with energy companies to keep our mutual clients informed of their options."

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That’s not good enough for some Jaguar I-Pace owners, who are venting their anger on an owner’s forum “Not notifying customers of this change is the worst part,” says one. “It shows how unfocused on customers they are as an organisation at the moment.”

“Beginning to regret getting a JLR now,” says another. “It really is very, very poor to pull the plug on the users who trusted in them and left them high and dry with quadrupled charging costs.”

Another aggrieved owner says he’s only just bought his I-Pace and “I probably would have bought another car if I knew they would do this. Charging costs will increase by circa 27 per cent. Outrageous.”

Fellow I-Pace owner Mark Godson, who alerted Auto Express to the problem, commented: “I completely understand that technical vehicle security and safety is critical, however, I'm dismayed that JLR have acted in such a non-customer friendly way and without warning.” Godson, along with others, is questioning why JLR was not able to pre-identify reputable third parties such as energy firms, and work to create a solution to any security threat. He also says he’s “deeply suspicious” that JLR is looking to monetise access to their future warranted apps.

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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