Bundeskartellamt calls for more competition in charging current

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Bundeskartellamt calls for more competition in charging current-competition

The Bundeskartellamt has published a status report on its ongoing sector inquiry into charging station infrastructure (“Sector inquiry into the provision and marketing of publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electric vehicles”). The preliminary results of the investigation show that the instrument of public tendering of land has so far been underused, particularly at the municipal level. In some cases, these areas are completely or predominantly assigned to one and the same operator, e.g.B. the municipal utility, the office criticizes. A legal requirement for the non-discriminatory allocation of these areas, for example in the context of a tender, could help to improve the conditions for the emergence of competitive market structures in the area of public e-charging infrastructure.

“Functioning competition for charging stations will promote nationwide supply, reasonable prices and options for charging customers. To ensure that, we must already ensure open and discriminatory market access in the current phase of the construction of the infrastructure for an open and discriminatory market access. With the allocation of suitable public areas and financial subsidies, the state itself has the key to promoting competition for charging stations.– Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal Cartel Office

For open market access and equal rights for all, the allocation of state subsidies must be non-discriminatory as a matter of principle. Against this background, it is to be welcomed that the federal government is resorting to the instrument of public tendering when awarding funds for the so-called “Germany network” of fast charging stations. However, the specific tender conditions should also take sufficient account of the competitive objectives.

Last but not least, the selected lot size and the lot cut are of central importance for the emergence of competitive structures. The determination of price limits for the loading rates, as intended for the nationwide “Germany network” of fast load columns, is not responsible according to the Bundeskartellamt. Such regulation-like requirements distort competition and could crowd out existing or planned private offers and thus stand in the way of rapid expansion.

Access conditions to the charging stations and regional structures

The progress report also explains the existing cartel law starting points for ensuring competitive structures and the review of potentially anti-competitive behavior of providers. In principle, antitrust law provides a suitable set of tools to support and secure the competitive operation of the public charging infrastructure. In addition to merger control, the instruments of abuse control are also available for this purpose. These were in the course of the 10th. GWB amendment in the area of protection of dependent companies expanded again.

“In our opinion, a regulated transmission model such as that used in the power grids is not the right approach,” says Mundt. “As long as open and non-discriminatory market access is ensured, complex and error-prone regulation, especially in the market ramp-up phase, can and should be avoided.”

Of course, high prices are always a nuisance for all customers. However, the previous investigations by the Federal Cartel Office have not produced any evidence that charging electricity prices in Germany are systematically and across the board excessive. If, in individual cases, prices are abusively excessive, the existing antitrust instruments could be used to counteract this. As the infrastructure expands and competition in this market increases, the Office expects prices to fall as well.

User-friendliness of charging stations and lack of transparency about charging tariffs

“The transparency with regard to prices and the user-friendliness at the charging stations can be improved,” warns office head Mundt: In addition to intensive competition, targeted regulatory requirements could bring about necessary improvements here. However, the market and competitive conditions in the area of public charging infrastructure are currently still fundamentally different from those at classic filling stations. “That’s why I’m also skeptical as to whether the expansion of the market transparency office for fuels to charging electricity tariffs would be expedient here. In our opinion, this needs to be examined more closely first,” says Mundt.

This status report (here as a complete PDF) summarizes the Bundeskartellamt‘s preliminary findings on structural obstacles to competition in the area of the construction and marketing of publicly accessible charging infrastructure. The final results and recommendations for action will be presented in a final report after a complete evaluation of the comprehensive data and information collected as part of the study.

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1 thought on “Bundeskartellamt calls for more competition in charging current”

  1. Sounds good, but only if you have an abundance of ENERGY and can trade with it.
    Unfortunately, even with that, the fat years are over. Die-hards haven’t even noticed that until now. SAVE ENERGY. That WOULD always have been THE IDEA,
    https://www.t-online.de/nachrichten/ausland/eu/id_90982656/eu-commissioner-warns-millions-of-citizens-suffer-from-energy-poverty.html . With SPECIFICATION, the CAR drives very badly, it heats up badly in lean times and nice what outdated “recipes” you have. The good times are now coming to an end. Even in e-mobility. Who would have thought that? Save below 500 KW? Impossible! And now these Chios are also becoming scarce?
    https://www.t-online.de/nachrichten/ausland/usa/id_90941664/taiwan-conflict-between-china-and-usa-fear-of-escalation.html. A horse doesn’t need any of that. What?


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