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Germany: Sector inquiry on publicly accessible charging for electric vehicles

Christian Fernsby |
The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a sector inquiry on the provision and marketing of publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

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Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “In this early market phase we want to identify [break]

tion problems in the supply of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in an effort to contribute to the successful expansion of e-mobility.

The development of a nationwide charging infrastructure is a precondition for the successful implementation of e-mobility in Germany.

"Conditions and prices at publicly accessible charging facilities are a key factor for consumers when deciding on whether or not to switch to electric vehicles. The market is of course still emerging. However, we have already received complaints about prices and conditions at the charging stations.”

According to the plans of the German federal government a nationwide charging infrastructure in Germany is to be established by 2030, which in particular also includes publicly accessible charging facilities. The process of setting up and operating charging stations is not subject to the comprehensive regulation of electricity networks.

Potential competition problems occurring in this sector can, however, be addressed by competition law. To ensure effective competition, non-discriminatory access to potential locations for charging stations as well as the specific terms and conditions applying at the charging stations are of key importance.

The investigation is intended to also cover the various approaches of cities and municipalities to providing suitable locations and the effects of these approaches on competition between the operators of charging stations.

The Bundeskartellamt will also look at the competitive framework conditions for installing charging stations on motorways.

In the course of its inquiry the Bundeskartellamt will consult with and interview the main market participants in two subsequent phases.

The first phase will primarily look at the current status of publicly accessible charging infrastructure and the way in which cities, municipalities and other players plan and provide suitable locations.

The second phase will involve more detailed investigations in particular regarding conditions for access to charging stations for mobility service providers and final consumers.

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