Tesla, along with Netherlands-based charging operator Fastned, is suing Tank & Rast over the right to install EV chargers along Germany’s famous Autobahn.
Currently, a handful of EV charging networks – EnBW, MER, Ionity, and Eon-Innogy – have been allowed to install charging stalls at Autobahn rest stops, and that’s for one simple reason: Tank & Rast holds a near-monopoly on Germany’s Autobahn parking lots and their filling stations.
Now, the company, which used to be a state-owned entity that went private in 1998, claims that its control over the Autobahn gas stations extends to EV charging stations, and Tesla isn’t too happy about it.
German publication Focus writes regarding the case:
Starting Thursday, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court will be hearing whether the federal government will extend the Tank & Rast monopoly at motorway service stations to include fast charging.
Ahead of yesterday’s court date, a Fastned representative said that the two charging operators should be granted the opportunity to place chargers at Tank & Rast locations, specifically because EV charging is fundamentally different from fueling, which the German company previously received a permit for.
“It’s not just about this case, but about the competition in general,” said the Fastned representative. “Charging at service areas should become fairer, more open, and cheaper.”
Until recently, Tank & Rast had little to no interest in EV chargers being placed at its Autobahn locations, with a few stalls from partners scattered around the country. But with most German automakers announcing they’re going electric-only in the near future, it makes sense that it’s trying to protect its business.
With this being said, it’s expected that the legal battle between the three entities will be a long one, with appeals and numerous comments coming from EV and ICE car enthusiasts alike from Europe’s largest car market.
A ruling is not expected to be reached anytime soon, but maybe negotiations will lead to some sort of agreement that benefits both the companies and EV owners who will have more options for charging on Germany’s popular high-speed road network.
As always, we’d like to know what you think about this, so head over to the comments section below to give us your thoughts.