Austen Shakespeare

Major electric chargepoint operator legally assures CMA to open up to competition

A chargepoint operator in Great Britain has offered legally binding assurances to the CMA to increase competition and more choice for electric vehicle charging.

Gridserve, owner of the Electric Highway, will not enforce exclusive rights in contracts with Extra, MOTO or Roadchef, after 2026, covering around two-thirds of motorway service stations.

In doing so, Gridserve has committed to reducing the length of the exclusive rights in the current contracts with MOTO by around 2 years and Roadchef by around 4 years (the contract with the third operator, Extra, is due to end in 2026).

In addition Gridserve will not enforce exclusive rights at any Extra, MOTO or Roadchef sites that have been granted funding under the UK government’s Rapid Charging Fund (RCF).

This means that, where funding has been granted, competitor chargepoint operators will be able to install chargepoints regardless of the exclusive element of the Electric Highway’s contracts.

Each of the motorway service station operators – Extra, MOTO and Roadchef – and Gridserve have also offered commitments not to take any action that would undermine the above commitments.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive, said: “One of the biggest stumbling blocks to getting people to switch to electric cars is the fear that they won’t be able to travel from A to B without running out of charge.

“Millions of people make a pitstop for fuel at motorway service stations every day, so it’s crucial that people can trust that electric chargepoints will do the same job. Healthy competition is key to ensuring that drivers have a greater choice of chargepoints where they need them, and for a fair price.

“We believe that opening up competition on motorways, while ensuring the sector has greater investment, is the right direction of travel – and good news for current drivers of electric cars and for people thinking of buying one.”

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