THE COMPETITION COUNCIL AIMS TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE COMPETITION ISSUES IN THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING SECTOR
Considering the rapid development of electric vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure in Lithuania, the Competition Council has decided to monitor whether there are any barriers to competition in this sector.
In recent years, the number of electric cars and plug-in hybrids on Lithuanian roads has increased. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, as of January 1, 2020, the number of EVs in the country increased by more than 4 times, and since January 1, 2021, it has more than doubled. In 2022, the number of EVs in the country increased by an average of 360 units per month, and in 2023, the average was 500 units per month. As of January 1, 2024, a total of 19,435 EVs were registered in Lithuania, 11,900 of which were pure EVs, and the remaining were externally chargeable hybrids.
With the increasing number of electric vehicles, the demand for more EV charging points is also growing. Currently, the operators of EV charging points, either independently or with state assistance, are actively creating and expanding the infrastructure network alongside national roads and in local municipalities. It is planned that by 2030, Lithuania should have 60,000 EV charging points, 6,000 of which will be public and semi-public.
The rapid expansion of the EV charging infrastructure network may lead to restrictions of competition. This risk is confirmed by the practice of other European competition authorities, for example, the competition agencies in Austria and the UK having analysed the situation in the EV charging sector, identified potential problems and made suggestions on how to address them in order to ensure effective competition. The European Commission's analysis also identified several possible competition restrictions in the EV charging sector.
Considering the expected rapid expansion of the charging station infrastructure network and the necessity to ensure in a timely manner that this sector remains competitive, the Competition Council has decided to conduct monitoring of the EV charging sector. During this process, it is envisaged to conduct surveys of market participants and other stakeholders, gather additional information, which, upon analysis, will help determine whether there are any barriers to competition in this sector.
After gathering the necessary information and identifying potential issues, the institution will, within its competence, suggest effective measures to preserve competition.
The Competition Council invites all interested parties to provide their observations and insights regarding the charging station network and potential competition issues in this sector via email Egle.Malonyte@kt.gov.lt.