The impact of state-sponsored CPOs on EV markets

The rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) has sparked various discussions surrounding the role of state-sponsored Charging Point Operators (CPOs) in shaping EV markets. While the presence of a state-sponsored CPO can have both positive and negative implications, several examples demonstrate how private operators can expand and foster competition within a market previously dominated by a major state-sponsored CPO. This article examines the relationship between state-sponsored CPOs, market competitiveness, and the maturity of EV markets, shedding light on different countries' approaches and outcomes.

State-Sponsored CPOs and Market Dynamics

In countries such as Austria and France, where major state-sponsored CPOs initially dominated the market, the entry of private competitors has eroded their market share. This shift indicates a transition toward a more competitive landscape, encouraging the growth of EV adoption. Germany and the United Kingdom, on the other hand, have achieved a relatively developed EV market without the presence of a state-owned CPO. These examples highlight that a state-operated CPO is not a prerequisite for market maturity.

Public Support and CPO Concentration

The correlation between public support and CPO concentration is worth exploring. Countries like Croatia, Portugal, Ireland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, which receive high levels of EU support, are still in the early stages of EV market development. However, it is important to note that the cumulative levels of EU public support, even in nascent markets, may not distort the long-term market dynamics as it progresses towards maturity.

Country Examples

  1. The Netherlands: The Netherlands boasts a dense network of EV recharging points without a state-owned CPO. With a penetration rate of over 2% for EVs, it surpasses the EU’s target for EVs per recharging point. This achievement demonstrates that private operators, in combination with EU and national support, can drive market development successfully.
  2. Austria: Despite having a state-controlled CPO, Austria has experienced the erosion of its market share by private competitors. Through a blend of EU and national public support, Austria has fostered a mature EV market with a dense network of recharging points.
  3. France: Similarly, France’s state-owned CPO has witnessed a substantial decline in its market share. The country has relied on national and limited EU support to develop its EV market.
  4. Belgium, Finland, and Sweden: These countries exhibit medium levels of CPO concentration. Belgium has achieved market development through a mixture of national public support and moderate overall EU support. Finland and Sweden have utilized their state-owned CPOs and a combination of national and limited EU public support.
  5. Denmark and Luxembourg: Denmark’s market does not rely on a state-owned CPO, instead deploying national support and moderate levels of EU assistance. In contrast, Luxembourg operates a state-owned CPO and utilizes a mix of national support and a high level of CEF grants.
  6. Emerging Markets: Countries such as Bulgaria, Czechia, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Malta showcase high CPO concentration but low EV market maturity. These countries are still in the early stages of development, with some utilizing minimal public support. As these markets progress, the impact of CPO concentration may diminish.


The presence of a state-sponsored CPO in the EV market can have varying outcomes. While some countries have transitioned to a more competitive environment as private operators flourish, others have achieved market maturity without the need for a state-owned CPO. The relationship between public support, CPO concentration, and market development requires careful consideration. As EV markets continue to evolve, it is important to monitor the interplay between state-sponsored CPOs, private operators, and the effectiveness of public support in driving


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

A table displaying state-affiliated CPOs per member state. Columns are for country, publicly owned CPO, players, and CPO concentration. Countries listed include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, and others. CPO concentration varies from low to high for each state.
Source: Competition analysis of the electric vehicle recharging market across the EU27 + the UK | European Commission
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