Smart Transport

German competition regulator launches electric vehicle charging industry investigation

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s market competition regulator, has launched a sector inquiry into public electric vehicle charging infrastructure following complaints on prices and reliability.

Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt, said he wants the investigation to identify if there are any structural competition problems that may hinder further expansion of a successful national public EV charging infrastructure.

Mundt said: “The establishment of a nationwide e-charging infrastructure is a prerequisite for the success of electromobility in Germany.

“The conditions and prices for charging in public spaces are of central importance for the decision of consumers to switch to electric mobility.

“The market is still emerging, of course. But we are already receiving more and more complaints about the prices and conditions on the charging stations. ”

The German government is planning a nationwide charging infrastructure to be in place by 2030, but currently, the construction and operation of charging stations is not subject to Germany’s “comprehensive regulations that apply to power grids”.

The investigation will also examine the different approaches of cities and municipalities in the provision of suitable locations and their effects on the competition between the operators of charging stations.

The Bundeskartellamt will also consider the framework conditions for the competitive structure of charging stations on the federal motorways.

To carry out the sector inquiry, the Bundeskartellamt will question the relevant industry stakeholders in two investigation phases.

In the first phase, the status of the construction of the public charging infrastructure and the current practice of cities, municipalities and other stakeholders in planning and providing suitable locations are to be determined.

Building on this, in-depth investigations are planned in the second phase, which in particular also cover questions regarding the access of mobility service providers and charging customers to the charging stations.

The Bundeskartellamt said the results of the investigation and a the competitive conclusions will be presented to the public in a report that will be released at an as yet unconfirmed date.

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