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Sector inquiry into EV charging infrastructure: AFCA launches comprehensive market inquiry

As part of the sector inquiry into EV charging infrastructure, which the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) got under way in November 2021 (see also AFCA’s press release of 16 November 2021), a comprehensive survey of more than 250 market participants will now be carried out to assess the market from a competition perspective. Numerous talks have already been held with stakeholders, and publicly available data has been analysed.

The market participants surveyed are companies that are included as charge point operators in E-Control’s relevant register. Together, they run all of Austria’s 12,480 public charge points.

Some of the companies surveyed also operate at other e-mobility market levels such as the provision of charging current to wholesalers or the sale of charging cards to consumers. These companies were included in the inquiry as the market for EV charging infrastructure is relatively complex and can only be fully understood if all of the relevant market levels form part of the analysis.

The questions in the AFCA survey not only cover the provision of EV charging infrastructure by charging station operators but also focus on the provision of charging current by energy utilities and the sale of charging cards by e-mobility providers, as well as e-roaming.

“The e-mobility market is growing more and more important. Competition authorities need to look into and highlight any structural competition problems early on. This is why we are collecting extensive data and information with this market inquiry to be able to deliver results,” explained Acting Director General Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch.

AFCA sector inquiry

The AFCA is responsible for conducting competition sector inquiries in Austria. It may launch a sector inquiry if it suspects that competition in a specific sector of the economy is being restricted or distorted. The AFCA is entitled to request information from companies during such a sector inquiry. These companies are then required to provide accurate and complete information.