Potential competition concerns in the EU EV charging market

Regulatory barriers, density effects, and integration between CPOs and other actors are among the key factors that could exacerbate local market power in the EV charging market, according to a new report.
The European Commission has recently published a report that outlines potential concerns regarding competition in the European market for EV Charging. The report highlights several significant factors that could enhance regional market dominance, including regulatory obstacles, density effects, and the integration between CPOs and other entities within the value chain.

According to the report, which offers a taxonomy of possible competition concerns and evaluates whether they are becoming manifest based on a high-level review of results in the EU27 + the UK, local market power may be exacerbated by entry barriers caused by either “natural monopoly” or regulatory barriers. Additionally, market “tipping” with a small number of rival players emerging is possible due to density effects and integration between CPOs and other actors.

The report also raises concerns about exclusionary behavior, such as the potential for dominant integrated CPO/eMSPs to foreclose rival eMSPs by completely restricting access to their CPO network. There are also worries that DSOs who also own CPOs might obstruct the installation of new charging stations or restrict access to the grid for competing CPOs.

The study acknowledges that competition policy continues to play a crucial role in lowering entry barriers in local markets, even while it shows that direct competition interventions focused at resolving positions of local market power may be unlikely to be feasible and could even be detrimental. This can involve making sure local governments take into account competition when granting concessions for CPOs to operate.

The report’s overall conclusion is that the landscape of the European EV charging market is changing quickly due to ongoing new entries and expansion. To ensure a competitive market that benefits consumers, it will be required to continuously monitor and assess the potential for competition concerns to emerge.

Access the report here

Overview showing the density of CPO's in European countries
Source: European comission
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