Moves by Renault to install a battery with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging have been slammed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The new Renault Zoe comes with a “feature” which locks the owner into a contract with a battery maker which is enforced by a DRM within the car’s computer.
This also lets Renault use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to stop people tinkering with the car software so they can install a battery of their choice. All this means, you will not be allowed to fix your car without permission and only with official parts. You cannot jailbreak the car.
In a statement, the EFF said that DRM has led to users losing altogether the ability to watch, listen to, read, or play media that can’t be “authenticated.” Video games with online components now routinely reach an end-of-life period where the company providing the authentication decides it’s no longer worth it to operate the servers.
This could mean that Renault decides that it’s not cost-effective anymore to verify new batteries and leaving car owners without a car. This is assuming that the DRM works and does not cause some failure further down the line.