Federal cartel office examines prices at charging stations for electric cars

Federal Cartel Office examines prices at charging stations for electric cars

The charging infrastructure for electric cars is only just being set up in germany – but the federal cartel office is already receiving an increasing number of complaints about prices and conditions.

That’s why the competition authority now wants to take a closer look at the provision and marketing of publicly accessible charging stations in a sector inquiry, as it announced in bonn.

"The conditions and prices for charging in public areas are of central importance for the decision of consumers to switch to electromobility," explained cartel office president andreas mundt.

The authority therefore wants to identify potential structural competition problems at an early stage of the market. "The market is of course still developing. But we are already receiving an increasing number of complaints about the prices and conditions at the charging stations," reported mundt.

According to the federal government’s plans, germany is to have a nationwide e-infrastructure by 2030, including in particular publicly accessible charging facilities. The construction and operation of charging stations is not, however, subject to the comprehensive regulation applicable to electricity networks. However, possible competition problems in this area could be addressed with the help of antitrust law, mundt emphasized.

In addition to non-discriminatory access to suitable locations for charging stations, the concrete conditions of use at the charging stations are of decisive importance for ensuring functional competition, according to the authority. The investigation will also look at the various approaches taken by cities and municipalities to provide suitable sites and their impact on competition between charging station operators.

The framework conditions for the construction of loading columns on the freeways are also to be examined. The office will inform about the results of the sector inquiry as well as competitive conclusions after the conclusion of the procedure.

The results may particularly affect people in southern germany. Electric cars are more popular there than in the rest of germany. At the beginning of the year, bavaria had 30.571 all-electric cars registered, followed by north rhine-westphalia (25.647) and baden-wurttemberg (24.863), as the energy company eon revealed in a regional analysis of the federal statistical office’s data.

In bavaria and baden-wurttemberg alone, more than 55.000 out of 136 nationwide.000 e-cars registered, a share of 40 percent. Hybrid vehicles are not included in the analysis.

The company has not put the figures in relation to population figures, but there are almost five million more people living in north rhine-westphalia, with its approximately 18 million inhabitants, than in bavaria. In terms of municipalities, female-blue is also in the lead: in munich, 5695 electric cars were on the road at the beginning of the year, followed by berlin (4886) and hamburg (3395).

The VW city of wolfsburg also stands out, with 2,000 e-cars registered. That’s fifth in the nationwide ranking, although wolfsburg is in the top three at 124.000 inhabitants is not even among the top fifty cities in germany.

However, e-car drivers in both bavaria and baden-wurttemberg have a slightly harder time than the national average finding a free spot at a charging station – although both states are also in the top three in terms of their numbers. In baden-wurttemberg, there are on average 9.4 electric cars per charging station, in bavaria 8, in north rhine-westphalia 7.7. The situation in mecklenburg-vorpommern is comfortable: there, 1003 electric cars share 377 charging points, i.E. On average less than three per car.