from the You-don't-own-what-you-own dept.
Zero Motorcycles announced their groundbreaking new battery "technology", in which they sell you a large capacity battery in a motorcycle with powerful motors and advanced traction control systems, and then lock all that away behind a software paywall that you can unlock (for a fee) in their app.
Zero is not the first vehicle company to do this sort of thing. Notably, Tesla sells vehicles with capabilities that can be unlocked via software "upgrades". This strategy is also common in the CNC machine tool industry; it's long frustrated machinists that they can buy a machine with all the hardware, but then have a sizable portion of memory, advanced motion smoothing, and other functions locked behind activation keys, which often cost several thousand dollars. In that industry at least, if you know the right people and have a machine with a common control, you can get what you need to unlock it through other sources.
I anticipate a similar approach in the vehicle market, which has long sold "tuner" chips and has a great deal of modding enthusiasts.