CMA publishes report on charging infrastructure

The Competition and Markets Authority has published a report having reviewed whether industry could deliver a comprehensive UK charging network that works competitively and can be trusted.

In its report, the CMA concluded that while some parts of this sector are developing well such as home, workplace, and destination charging, it found that other areas are facing problems which will hinder the roll-out of EV charging.  

Concerns have been raised about the choice and availability of charge points at motorway service stations where competition is limited, and the roll-out of on-street charging by local authorities which is too slow.  

It also found that concerns about the reliability of charge points, and difficulties in comparing prices and paying for charging, can risk reducing people’s confidence and trust in this new sector. 

The CMA’s package of recommendations to unlock greater investment, promote competition and build people’s trust in the EV charging sector include: 

  • UK Government sets out an ambitious National Strategy for rolling out EV charging between now and 2030. This must sit alongside strategies from the Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland Governments, building on the work already being undertaken by all governments. Energy regulators should also ensure that it’s quicker and cheaper to connect new charge points.  

  • Governments support local authorities (LAs) to boost roll-out of on-street charging – including defining a clear role for LAs to manage the roll-out in their area and providing funding for the expertise needed for this to happen.  

  • UK Government attaches conditions to its £950m Rapid Charging Fund – which it is planning to use for grid upgrades at motorway service stations – to open up competition so that drivers have a choice of charging provider at each service station. It has also launched a competition law investigation into long-term exclusivity arrangements along the motorway following concerns that these may be restricting competition.   

  • UK Government creates an EV charging sector that people can trust and have confidence in, including tasking a public body with monitoring the sector as it develops to ensure charging is as simple as filling up at a petrol station.