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Dutch court rules on the EV station rights allocated to Fastned

The Netherlands, The Hague: A Dutch appeal court ruled on the exclusive EV charging rights attributed to Fastned B.V.

The appeal court ruling confirmed that the EV charging rights bestowed on Fastned are not exclusive.

Many commentators interpreted this ruling as both controversial and ground-breaking at the same time. It is generally welcomed as a ruling that could substantially stimulate the EV infrastructure rollout plan within the Netherlands. It is also expected to ensure further impetus to the EU zero emission strategy. The controversy lies in the fact that the court had to rule on the very essence of the definition of a service provider and the activities allowed in terms thereof in its attempt to resolve the dispute. It was furthermore also called upon to address the principle of market access and free competition.

Fastned B.V. formally known as MisterGreen Fast Charging Network based in Amsterdam had previously acquired what was believed the exclusive rights to develop, maintain and operate electrical vehicle charging stations throughout the Netherlands.

The Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Affairs in a subsequent process awarded similar rights to oil and gas companies and concession holders even though Fastned secured these EV charging rights through public tender. Fastned appealed the Ministerial decision arguing that the Dutch decision contravened Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and European Council.

In terms of the appeal court ruling the court distinguished between the rights bestowed to basic service and auxiliary service providers. In terms of the basic service rights definition oil and gas companies and concession holders have the right to develop, maintain and operate not only a fuelling points and restaurants but also electrical vehicle charging points. The services rights bestowed on Fastned are deemed and classified as auxiliary services and subservient to the rights bestowed to basic service concession holders.

The ruling ensures a green light for BP, Shell, Tamoil and NRG Value to extend their current basic services and operations to include the installation, maintenance and operation of electrical vehicle charging points at existing fuel stations. The time frame in which these concession holders will proceed with these rights at this point in time is unclear.

 

Author: Chris Gerber

*The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Transformers Magazine and Merit Media Int.

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