CMA to open EV charging competition on motorways
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to open up a competition for electric vehicle charging on motorways.
Citing the necessity for drivers to have “a greater choice of chargepoints where they need them”, the CMA has set established for competing firms to offer legally-binding assurances, also known as commitments.
For its part, Electric Highway’s owner Gridserve agreed not to enforce exclusive rights contracts with the other UK motorway service operators – Extra, MOTO and Roadchef – after 2026, keeping away from enforcing rights at any of the operators’ sites.
Extra, MOTO and Roadchef have, on their side, agreed not to take any action that could undermine these commitments.
“We believe that opening up competition on motorways, while ensuring the sector has greater investment, is the right direction of travel – and good news for current drivers of electric cars and for people thinking of buying one,” CMA’s chief executive Andrea Coscelli said.
“We’d now like to hear from businesses and drivers themselves on these proposed commitments.”
The CMA has set 2 December as the deadline for operators to submit views on the proposed commitments, as it’s the regulator views that the rules will open up competition ahead of the 2030 ban on selling new petrol and diesel vehicles.
The CMA’s decision to launch the competition comes amid an investigation carried out by the regulator into Electric Highway’s contracts with the other operators.
The CMA was particularly concerned about Electric Highway preventing competitor from operating at motorway areas, resulting in less reliable charging points for drivers.
Responding to the investigation’s findings, Gridserve said: “Our focus is to find a path forward that addresses the concerns raised by the CMA, enabling us to retain momentum and continue to swiftly deliver the net zero charging infrastructure plans and investment we have worked so hard to put in place, that supports the successful uptake and transition to electric vehicles, in-line with the government’s clearly stated objectives.”