The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into the electric vehicle charging market.

Market studies are usually undertaken where the CMA seeks to understand whether or not particular markets are working well for consumers. The CMA has stated that it is taking a close look at the electric vehicle charging sector as part of its commitment on climate change and is considering how to ensure the sector works well for people now and in the future, which will help to build trust in the service and address any competition issues. Its work will sit alongside work carried out under other government initiatives, such as the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030.

The CMA will be looking at electric vehicle charging infrastructure, noting research showing that consumers have 'range anxiety'. The study will cover the supply of charge points for plug-in hybrid and all-electric ‘passenger’ electric vehicles, comprising cars and light vans. It will also 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.

The CMA’s work will be split into two key themes:

  1. how to develop a competitive sector for electric vehicle charging so that more users can be served and encouraging investment in the market. The CMA will look at factors that affect competition in this market.
  2. how consumers interact with this market, so that consumers can easily access services and trust providers. For example, is there sufficient information available about the sector for consumers to make informed decisions.

The CMA has stated that it intends to conclude its market study well within the usual 12-month deadline, so that it can help shape competition in this developing sector. Possible outcomes from market studies include a clean bill of health and no action being taken; encouraging businesses to self-regulate, sector-specific guidance or making recommendations to Government to regulate the sector; accepting undertakings from businesses in lieu of a more detailed market investigation; or a more detailed market investigation following which the CMA can impose remedies.

The CMA is inviting comments on the terms of the study by 5 January 2021. Please contact Chris Worrall or Shachi Nathdwarawala if you have any queries in relation the CMA’s market study.