If you ask a Tesla owner what they value most about their user experience, chances are they’ll mention OTA updates: simple, smooth, automatic. But, when we turn to the Peugeot e-208, despite its status as the best-selling electric car in France in 2022, the experience seems from another age.
Carlos Tavares, head of car giant Stellantis, has never hidden his skepticism about the outcome of electric technology. Its position, to say the least clear-cut, is it the reflection of one of the greatest challenges of Peugeot, or rather a conservative vision. But this is not Peugeot’s only challenge.
When we think about updating in 2023, we expect a smooth process, maybe we won’t even notice that it is in progress. But for owners of the e-208, it’s a completely different scenario.
By directly quoting the account of the Automobile Propre journalist, we see the absurdity of the process.
Peugeot e-208 and the OTA update odyssey
At startup, a simple notification: an update of the OS of the car is available. Nothing alarming, thinks the owner. Except that instead of a quick update, as you might expect, it’s the start of an arduous quest.
Ok so when you install the updates at @PeugeotFR you’ve been taken hostage in your car. You can’t run the update in your garage and do something else while you wait. Do it while driving? You still need to have planned a long enough trip. I hope they are aware of this nonsense. pic.twitter.com/KQqrDnJeFR
— Regis Jehl (@regisjehl) August 17, 2023
No need to go to the dealership, of course, but the steps required are akin to a treasure hunt: make several 20-minute trips, wait, then hit the road again for 15 minutes while keeping the data sharing of his phone activated, despite the presence of a 4G chip in the vehicle. The absurdity does not end there. After all this journey, you have to wait sometimes up to 24 hours and undertake other mysterious journeys of at least 15 minutes to receive feedback from the update. A real obstacle course.
For those who would like to try the manual method, things do not improve much. Between the creation of a partition on a USB key and the fact of turning on the engine during the update – with all the security constraints that this implies – one really wonders what Peugeot was thinking by creating such an anachronistic manipulation.
The competition has taken the turn, why not Peugeot?
Criticism here is not gratuitous. When we see the simplicity of updates at Tesla, or even at Renault and Volvo with the integration of Google Automotive, we can only wonder about Peugeot’s technological choices. Certainly, the car is beautiful, powerful, but the infotainment is a key element of the modern user experience.
In short, if you are considering buying a Peugeot e-208 for its infotainment, think twice. Other brands, without necessarily being Tesla, have been able to adapt their services to the needs and expectations of users in 2023. Peugeot, it’s time to review your copy!
It is essential to emphasize that the technological challenge is not confined to Peugeot. In reality, the entire Stellantis conglomerate is in the same boat, whether it’s Jeep, Fiat, Citroën, DS, or even Alfa Romeo. All these brands, under the aegis of the automotive giant, share a common technology. What might seem like an advantage in terms of uniformity and economies of scale also turns out to be an Achilles heel. If a technological problem arises within one of the brands, it is likely to reverberate throughout the group.
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