Australian ZS EV MG i-SMART app guide: annual fee, SIM network and over the air updates?

The MG Australia & NZ i-SMART app (iPhone, Android) for their 2022 model ZS EV electric cars is quite handy.

I used the app quite often during my recent two week car loan for media review purposes, to run diagnostics eg: checking tire pressure, vehicle lock/unlock status, current charging speed and charging rate etc. You can also use it to lock/unlock your car from the app and remotely locate it.

In a separate article I have pointed out how to connect the MG i-SMART app to your car. Please note the MG i-Smart app will only work with Australian/NZ ZS EV 2022 models, not the Mark 1 2021 model.

I have just spoken with my media contact at MG Australia and confirmed the following:

Which Mobile Network does MG i-SMART app use in Australia?

He advised that the MG iSmart app communicates with the car via a Vodafone 4G sim in the car.

$50 Annual Fee

He confirmed that after the first free year of MG i-SMART app access, ZS EV owners have to pay $50/year to cover the cost of data transfers, app development & maintenance.

“If a customer doesn’t renew the iSMART service after the free (1st year) period expires, the iSMART service will no longer be available. This includes all functions available through the respective phone app”

“The good news is that the iSMART service can be reactivated at any time after it has been left to expire: i.e., if the first owner lets it lapse and new owner wants it back, all they have to do is visit their closest MG dealer to complete the service renewal process.”

This is reasonable because obviously having an active mobile SIM card in the car costs MG money and if you’re paying for the app that means there’s money to cover it’s costs and keep it running.

Can the Australian ZS EV 2022 get over the air updates to software via the SIM card data?

Unfortunately my contact says this is not possible for technical reasons but there is good news for Australian purchasers of yet unreleased models of MG electric cars.

“Varying price points in electric vehicles will determine their features, as is the case with petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles. We are proud that our ZS EV is still currently the most affordable and best value electric vehicle on sale in the Australian market.

“While our future product offering will have over the air updates, our current telematics box in the new ZS EV is a method of monitoring and supporting the web based applications such as on-board diagnostics and not for vehicle updating (over the air updates).”

Will custom charging limits be added?

The response was:

“We are always looking at ways to improve the overall MG mobile experience. At this time, there are no immediate plans to integrate custom charging limits in the mobile app. Our global and local teams are always taking on customer feedback and looking at ways to integrate new feature requests into the iSmart app.”

How to use the MG i-SMART app features in detail

Thanks to Jerry Pan an MG dealer in New Zealand for making the video below which explains all the features. Checkout Jerry’s Youtube channel for lots more useful ZS EV videos that will help you decide whether to buy the car and best use it if you have bought it.

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