Gridserve has announced a legally binding agreement with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that will see it pull out of exclusivity deals for motorway charge points.
The agreement means Gridserve will hold no exclusivity rights over Extra, MOTO and Roadchef service areas, which account for over 50% of service areas.
Gridserve has held exclusive rights at these service areas for a number of years, but the rollout of charging stations has not met demand. Opening up the charging network will help to accelerate the rollout of motorway charging stations.
The CMA opened an investigation into Gridserve’s Electric Highway network in 2021 over concerns that exclusivity deals were having a long-term impact on charging infrastructure, finding that the deals were harming competition.
Here’s what the CMA had to say on the announcement:
Today’s commitments strike the right balance. Gridserve will continue to invest in the much-needed roll-out of charge points across the country but the exclusivity linked to its investment won’t be an undue barrier to others competing in the near future.”Ann Pope, CMA’s senior director of antitrust.
And here’s Gridserve’s take:
We immediately understood why concerns had been raised, as upgrading the EV charging infrastructure at motorway locations is an essential part of the public charging mix and of particular importance to providing the confidence for new motorists to make the transition to electric vehicles.In order to retain our focus on delivering the necessary charging infrastructure, Gridserve pursued a path towards settlement with the CMA at a very early stage in proceedings. The settlement was reached without any decision or admission of breach-of-competition rules.Gridserve.
The legally binding agreement is good news for drivers, who have been underserved by Gridserve’s Electric Highway to date.