I had a great session and got a lot of interesting insight. It was not possible to get all questions answered but I was more than happy with what I got. I cant hope to write it all down here but I'll try to cover most of it.
TLDR: A lot of cool stuff is happening on the engineering side. They are extremely passionate about the car and they are working really hard to improve the vehicle in terms of efficiency and performance. I deeply respect the amount of effort and thought that went into engineering the I-Pace and pretty much every aspect I could think of had a logical answer. Infotainment is a bit of a sore spot. Don't expect miracles.
Here are my key takeaways.
Infotainment is, as we already knew, not developed in house at all. My understanding is that going forward the infotainment system will continue to be supported but we're talking bug fixes only. System performance, is, as we already suspected, compromised by the fact that the hardware is underpowered now that it has to power a lot more than the single screen infotainment systems seen in older JLR vehicles (bar the Velar). They are aware of most of the bugs but the infotainment team was not represented so specific bugs were kinda tricky to get into. One of the main challenges for JLR in terms of testing and QA is the fact that the fleet out there is running on a very fragmented combination of different software versions for different components. Some dealers are doing a great job with updating everything with the latest software while others only update the very minimum. JLR really want to use the SOTA program to improve the situation which will in turn make it easier for them to test and do QA in a way that is most representative for a large portion of the vehicle fleet. Infotainment is not developed in house, which is well known. If I was to give my interpretation, it would be as follows. Tesla does their infotainment development entirely in house. This allows them to easily decide to add new features, bring larger overhauls and improvements as they see fit. Other manufactures write a spec and find a vendor to develop the system for them. Once delivered, the vendor's obligation is to support the product (probably for a finite period of time) with bug fixes and minor tweaks. Then the manufacturer repeats the process for the next generation infotainment.
One thing they made very clear was to stop worrying about the max soc. Charge the battery to 100% as much as you want. Charging to 80% makes no measurable difference. To the extent it was ever an issue with EVs it's been pretty much eliminated with the advancements in battery composition. Charging to 50% can theoretically be beneficial but discharging it down below 10% is not so just charge it up all the way and enjoy the car. Frequent fast charging (50kw is not considered fast charging by the way) can also degrade the battery so, as we all know, use fast charging when needed but don't rely on it for daily charging. So, stop worrying and enjoy the car.
And help spread the knowledge to all those worried about charging up the battery.
One thing to note. If you find yourself only doing short trips, always charging to 100% and never going below the 90's, it might be a good idea to do a deeper discharge every now and then in order to rebalance cells.
Improvements to charging is coming. 100+kw for more sustained periods is exactly what's being worked on.
The focus moving forward seems to be to keep improving efficiency and charging. They've learned a lot about their EV platform and keep figuring out ways to improve things. Also, we will be seeing some exciting engineering related news soon. Unfortunately, it will require a trip to the dealer but give it a month or two and I'm sure we'll receive official information. i won't spoil it here but some of it has been alluded to here previously several times.
Perhaps surprisingly, there seems to be confusion internally about the state of the SOTA rollout so I wont go out on a limb and speculate too much. However, my understanding is that SOTA currently covers infotainment only. Not for long though.
Finally, they are genuinely surprised and fascinated by the technical interest shown by customers. They realize we are frustrated by the lack of clear communication and they seem to be working on ways to improve the situation.