CMA to explore EV charging to ensure drivers are treated fairly
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a market study into electric vehicle charging to help shape competition and build driver trust in the run-up to 2030.
The work – which includes an Invitation to Comment open until 5 January 2021 to all in the industry – is expected to be completed in a year and will cover two themes, including how to develop a competitive sector while also attracting private investment to help the sector grow, and how to ensure people using electric vehicle charge points have confidence that they can get the best out of the service.
The market study can then be used to make recommendations to government or other bodies, and issue guidance to businesses and consumers as needed; among other options.
Currently, the UK currently has almost 20,000 charge points, up from around 1,500 in 2011 – although more will be needed in the future, particularly due to the PM’s newly announced ban from 2030 on new diesel and petrol cars and vans.
But the CMA said ‘range anxiety’ is still a key concern for many drivers looking to make the switch to EVs and the market study will look at charging in a range of different settings including home and off-street parking, on-street parking, workplace, hub and destination, and en-route charging.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, commented: “Making the switch to electric vehicles is key to helping the UK become greener, which is why it’s so important that everyone has the confidence to get behind the move. Being able to easily stop off at a petrol station is a standard part of a journey and consumers must trust that electric charge points will provide a similarly straight-forward service.
“By getting involved early as electric vehicles and charge points are still developing, the CMA can make sure consumers are treated fairly now and in the future.”
Views are welcomed on any of the issues raised in the Invitation to Comment by 5 January 2021. This includes from interested parties such as charge point providers, industry bodies, regulators, local authorities and consumer groups.
The work has been applauded by renewable energy provider Good Energy. CEO and founder Juliet Davenport said: “This is a timely study which will strengthen the UK’s EV charging network. Electrification of transport is crucial for the UK to achieve its climate goals. Regulators and policy makers will play a crucial role both in setting the tone in these fast-growing markets and to ensure structural issues do not inhibit this transformative opportunity.”