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A recharging network for electric vehicles cannot become a monopoly

The Estonian Competition Authority points out in its letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Justice, and Elektrilevi OÜ that in case of a recharging network for electric vehicles it is important to prevent creation of a monopoly.

Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on common rules for the internal market for electricity that entered into force in 2019 (hereinafter - “the Directive”) stipulates that distribution system operators shall not own, develop, manage or operate recharging points for electric vehicles, except where distribution system operators own private recharging points solely for their own use. In Estonia the largest distribution system operator Elektrilevi OÜ owns the nationwide electric vehicles recharging network (168 charging points) called Enefit VOLT. After the Directive is introduced to national law (by the beginning of 2021), the obligation arises for Elektrilevi OÜ to sell the electric vehicles recharging network via public procurement. As Elektrilevi OÜ is part of the Eesti Energia Group which therefore owns the largest distribution network in Estonia in addition to various other fields of activity, following this principle is also important throughout the Group.

A company which in addition to a recharging network owns a distribution network, possesses within the borders of its distribution network a strong competitive advantage over other developers, as it has information regarding free capacities available in the network, regarding applications for connection of other companies, and so on. According the Directive, the distribution system operator must not own recharging points for electric vehicles. 

“Taking developments in the energy and transport policy into account, we can assume that in the future recharging points will be comparable to petrol filling stations. It is difficult to imagine that there would be only one main network of filling stations operating in the retail market of fuel, and respectively the state must promote good competition situation also in the market of recharging networks,” said Director General of the Estonian Competition Authority Märt Ots.
In order to ensure a good competitive situation, the Competition Authority recommends selling the Enefit Volt network belonging to Elektrilevi in parts. This would create conditions for free competition between different service providers, resulting in promotion of development of an Estonia-wide recharging network and assurance of provision of high-quality services to the end consumer.

Letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Justice, and Elektrilevi OÜ (in Estonian):

Elektriautode laadimistaristu tulevik ja konkurentsi tagamine turul » (PDF)

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