electric charging Prius plug-in hybrid close up

The UK’s competition watchdog is investigating the electric vehicle charging market to ensure it works well for UK drivers.

Following the government’s decision to bring forward the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030, making the switch to electric vehicles more imminent for UK drivers, the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is carrying out a market study of the electric vehicle charging sector.

The CMA will be considering how to ensure the sector, which will be crucial to the roll-out of electric vehicles, works well for consumers now and in the future, in order to build trust in the service and address any competition issues.

The CMA’s work will centre on two broad themes:

  • how to develop a competitive sector while also attracting private investment to help the sector grow;
  • how to ensure people using electric vehicle chargepoints have confidence that they can get the best out of the service.

The CMA intends to conclude its market study well within the 12-month deadline, so that it can help shape competition and boost consumer confidence in this developing sector.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “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 chargepoints will provide a similarly straight-forward service.

“By getting involved early as electric vehicles and chargepoints are still developing, the CMA can make sure consumers are treated fairly now and in the future.”

Market studies can make recommendations to government or other bodies, and issue guidance to businesses and consumers as needed, among other options.

The CMA is offering an opportunity to put forward views on any of the issues raised in its invitation to comment by 5 January 2021.