Landscape of EV Recharging in Select European Countries

Charles Rivers Associates recently released a report on the electric vehicle recharging market in the EU27 + UK, with a particular emphasis on the competitive landscape in Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, and Italy. These four countries were chosen to provide in-depth insights into the European market dynamics, considering factors such as market maturity, geographical diversity, and infrastructure development.The report presents several key findings, which are as follows:
Accelerated Infrastructure Deployment: Over the past year, there has been a significant uptick in EV recharging infrastructure rollouts in all four countries and across the EU27 + the UK as a whole. This indicates a positive response to the growing adoption of EVs and highlights the need for CPOs to adapt to the increasing demand.

Market Maturity & Unique Market Structures: Each country presented a distinct picture in terms of market maturity, structure, and concentration levels. Factors such as GDP, demand characteristics, and geographical features played a role in shaping market development. Belgium showcased a competitive market without DSO or local authorities acting as CPOs, while Croatia demonstrated a strong competitive environment eroding first-mover advantages.

Concerns of Market Tipping: Ireland and Italy, despite evolving markets, still exhibited high concentration levels, particularly at the regional level or around strategic locations. While no formal complaints have been reported, monitoring is essential to ensure fair competition and prevent potential market tipping. Regional and local authorities play a crucial role in fostering competition and removing barriers to local entry.

Vertical Integration & Exclusionary Concerns: Markets with integrated CPOs and eMSPs, such as Italy and Ireland, raised concerns about leveraging power in the CPO segment to exclude rivals in the eMSP segment. Even in markets with lower CPO concentration, vertical integration with dominant DSOs or exclusive partnerships with leading ICE fuel stations networks may pose foreclosure concerns. Monitoring and oversight are crucial to maintain fair market practices.

Public Support & State Aid: Each country displayed varying levels of public support and state aid associated with sector maturity. Valuable lessons can be learned from the success of pro-competitive policies in Flanders. Careful allocation of future public support is essential to avoid crowding out risks and preserve competitive market conditions.

Source: Competition analysis of the electric vehicle recharging market across the EU27 + the UK | European Commission

Source: Competition analysis of the electric vehicle recharging market across the EU27 + the UK | European Commission

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