In a move that has left owners of pre-2016 Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 electric vehicles feeling abandoned, the automaker has announced the discontinuation of its NissanConnect EV app. This app, which enables remote control functionalities such as heating, is set to cease operations on 1 April 2024, due to the UK’s 2G network being phased out.

Approximately 3,000 Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 cars manufactured before 2016 are impacted by this decision, as these older models are equipped with 2G control units that communicate with the app. Despite Nissan’s explanation attributing the move to the upcoming sunset of 2G technology, disgruntled customers argue that they were caught off guard by the abrupt withdrawal.

Nissan clarified its stance, stating, “The NissanConnect EV app currently linked to Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 vehicles produced up until 2016 will shut down from 1 April 2024 in preparation of the 2G technology sunset.” The company assured users that certain essential features, such as the Climate Control Timer and Charging Timer, can still be accessed directly from the vehicle’s Navigation System.

The backlash from affected drivers has been palpable, with many expressing disappointment and frustration. One such owner, Max Siegieda from Manchester, who purchased a 2013 Nissan Leaf in 2022, voiced his surprise at the sudden decision. “I would have expected at least six months, 12 months, something like that to arrange alternatives. This is a key feature of the car that’s going away,” Siegieda lamented.

The app’s remote capabilities, allowing users to control features like pre-heating the car or scheduling charging during off-peak times, were touted as significant selling points for the Nissan Leaf. Siegieda, who was already considering an upgrade, now finds himself hesitant to stick with the brand due to what he perceives as a lack of notice regarding the app shutdown.

As the electric vehicle market continues to expand, industry experts anticipate similar issues affecting more EVs as technology evolves, urging manufacturers to consider the long-term support for their early adopters. Mobile network operators in the UK are not expected to phase out 2G until the end of the decade, further fuelling the frustration among Nissan Leaf owners who feel left in the lurch.