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Original Nissan Leaf owners “dumped” after remote app features terminated

The shutdown of the UK’s 2G networks means owners will no longer be able to control their cars via their smartphone

Nissan Leaf

Early adopters of one of the first mass-market electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, have branded the Japanese firm as one that “dump[s] its pioneers” following the announcement that its remote services app would soon stop working with older vehicles.

Nissan says its ‘NissanConnect EV’ app, which is available for both Android and Apple devices will, from 1 April, no longer connect to Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 vehicles manufactured before 2016.

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According to Nissan, the reasoning for this is the shutdown of the UK’s 2G mobile network; the UK government is asking network providers to shut off their 2G and 3G networks in order to support faster 4G and 5G services. Given older Leaf and e-NV200 models feature 2G control units, this means that customers will no longer be able to remotely access their car via the app.

However, many providers are still planning to offer 2G and 3G support until the end of the decade. This means that Nissan could, in theory, keep some of these services alive, yet with the end date already set, we doubt this will be the case.

In response to the backlash, with several owners telling BBC News that they were “surprised” by the announcement, Nissan says that owners will “still be able to use key features such as Climate Control Timer and Charging Timer directly from their car's Navigation System”.

One thing worth noting is that this shutdown won’t affect newer Leaf and e-NV200 examples, nor the Nissan Ariya SUV, which makes use of more modern 4G technology. That said, the UK is planning to expand its 5G network throughout the next half a decade, with 6G technology also in the works. With that in mind, all EVs’ connected services – not just Nissan’s – will inevitably have a limited shelf life.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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