Fastned has won a higher court case in which the Dutch fast-charging company challenged the exclusive granting of permits for charging points as an additional service to freeway restaurants and petrol stations.
The case had already been decided in Fastned’s favour by the North Holland District Court. Now the Council of State, the highest administrative authority in the Netherlands, has also upheld the ruling.
This means that the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management may no longer reserve permits for charging points as an additional service exclusively for gas stations and restaurants along freeways but instead has to offer an open tender process. The case concerned a freeway restaurant next to a Shell gas station. The minister had granted the restaurant permission to install six charging points at the Den Ruygen Hoek-Oost service station along the A4 near Schiphol Airport as an addition to their fast food service.
Fastned took issue with this as the company had already obtained permits in 2012 in a public tender for the construction and operation of rapid charging stations as a basic (and new) service along the freeways in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management continued to grant permits for fast-charging stations as an additional service at filling stations and freeway restaurants and to the owners of these. Fastned objected to these permits on the grounds that they create an unequal competitive environment. You may also think of it as an environment that sees the oil industry increasingly buying into the charging market and so they would bring their freeway stations with them.
The Council of State has now proved Fastned right. “We are very pleased that the Council of State has followed our reasoning in this case. The verdict offers a more solid basis for investments and creates a level and competitive playing field that will accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure. That is good for the transition to electric mobility,” comments Michiel Langezaal, Managing Director of Fastned, on the verdict.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.