Competition and Markets Authority examines electric vehicle charging sector


Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into electric vehicle charging to make sure this new sector works well for UK drivers.

The UK currently has almost 20,000 charge points, up from around 1,500 in 2011 – although more will be needed in the future as this is the only way to power electric vehicles.

The CMA is therefore 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.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, commented on the announcement: “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 charge points will provide a similarly straight-forward service.

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

Research shows that “range anxiety”, which means not being able to recharge while out and about, is a key concern for many consumers, so it is essential that drivers can access a charge point when they need one.

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 charge points have confidence that they can get the best out of the service

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

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

Views are welcomed on any of the issues raised in the Invitation to Comment by 5 January 2021 on the government website.