The Energy Market Regulatory Authority of Turkiye (“EMRA”) recently introduced the framework of charging networks and charging stations for electric vehicles with the Regulation on Charging Services (“Regulation”), which entered into force on 2 April 2022.
The Regulation introduces concepts of charging networks and charging network operators. Charging network operators are licenced entities entitled to operate charging station networks. Charging network operators (“Network Operators”) must instal charging stations in at least five districts (ilçe), which must consist of at least fifty charging units in total within six months upon the issuance of their license. The Network Operators can either establish and operate charging stations themselves and/or issue certificates for other entities to instal and operate charging stations under the umbrella of their charging station network. In any case, the charging stations will remain under the control and supervision of the Network Operators and they will be liable for due operation of the charging stations.
The Regulation also sets out the regulatory framework for charging units installed by entities for their own consumption as well as charging stations set up with no commercial purpose. The charging units and charging stations installed by consumers for this purpose are not obliged to connect to a charging network unlike commercial charging stations.
The Regulation provides a four months transition period for the existing charging stations and it obliges them to comply with the requirements provided under the Regulation until 2 August 2022.
Operation Licenses, Requirements, Fees
Operation license applicants:
I. must either be a joint stock company or a limited liability company;
II. must have a minimum share capital of TRY 4,500,000.00;
III. can only issue registered shares provided that the applicant is not a publicly held joint stock company;
IV. cannot be entities, which are subject to tariff regulations, holding licenses and operating in the electricity market.
Operation licenses are issued to the eligible applicants by the decision of the Board of EMRA within 30 days from the application. Licenses are issued for maximum 49 years.
The changes in the shareholding structure or management structure of the license holders are not subject to EMRA approval, but a notification shall be made to the EMRA within 6 months upon such change.
Charging networks consist of charging stations either operated by the Network Operators and/or by third parties under the control and supervision of the relevant Network Operator. Charging stations may be available to the general public on a 7 days 24 hours basis, or with limited access, e.g.stations in shopping malls, hotels or parking lots serving to certain type of customers within certain hours.
Network Operators can provide charging services without any territorial restrictions by establishing charging stations or issuing certificates for third parties on the same. On the other hand, such operators are under the obligations of providing continuous charging services (i) with good quality; (ii) by observing the equal treatment principle without any discrimination between the customers; and (iii) by installing chargers suitable for every type of electrical vehicle. There are also certain technical requirements related to the power of charging units and types of charging sockets.
The Network Operators can add new stations or decrease the numbers of stations from their network by a notification to the EMRA.
The charging stations are considered as consumption facilities connected to the transmission and distribution lines under the electricity market laws and subject to rules applicable to consumption facilities. Additionally, the activity of supplying electricity to the end users through the charging stations is not considered as the activity of electricity supply under the electricity market laws.
Charging stations are connected to the electricity transmission and distribution systems as per the Regulation on System Connection and Usage in the Electricity Market. They are also subject to project approval processes regulated under the Regulation on Electrical Power Plant Projects and acceptance procedures regulated under the Regulation on Acceptance of Electrical Power Plants. The charging stations must also obtain workplace opening and operation permits prior to commencing their operations.
Charging station operators can establish unlicensed renewable electricity generation facilities for their internal consumption as per the Regulation on Unlicensed Electricity Generation in the Electricity Market. They can also establish electricity storage facilities adjacent to the station for storage purposes as per the Regulation on Storage Activities in the Electricity Market.
Charging Stations Operated by Third Parties
A Network Operator can assign third parties to operate charging stations within its charging network through issuance of certificates. Such certificates provide the terms and conditions for the legal relationship between the Network Operator and the charging station operator, and cannot be issued for a term longer than the license of the Network Operator.
Several charging stations can be established with a single certificate under the network of the certificate issuing Network Operator. However, each charging station must be connected to a single charging network under the control of a single Network Operator. Therefore, in cases where a charging station operator wants to operate in the network of another Network Operator, existing certificate must be terminated.
Pricing of Charging Services
Only charging service fees are payable for charging services. The Network Operators or charging stations cannot charge any other fees whatsoever.
Charging service fees are determined separately by each charging network and applied by the charging stations connected to the relevant charging network. Charging networks can determine their fees freely in TRY/kWh by taking the investment and operation costs, electricity supply costs, taxes and depreciation, etc. into consideration. Different fees may be determined for charging units with different power and types. Charging stations are under the obligation to apply the fees determined by their Network Operators without making any changes in such fees.
The Network Operators can also charge reservation fees, however, such fees must be reimbursed once the customer receives charging services.
The Regulation sets out loyalty agreements, which are executed by and between the customer and the Network Operators. Under a loyalty agreement scheme, the Network Operators can charge fees in rates other than charging service fees published by the relevant Network Operators. However, the fees cannot be discounted more than 25% from the published charging fees.
In any case, the Network Operators can only charge charging fees under loyalty agreements and cannot charge any other fees whatsoever.
Publication of the Fees
Network Operators are obliged to publish the applicable charging fees on their websites, digital platforms and make them available for access through the charging stations as well. They are also obliged to inform the EMRA of the method of determination and updates of the fees.
The charging service fees determined and/or updated by the Network Operators must be notified to the EMRA prior to their implementation. The notified fees become effective as of 00:00 following the notification provided that they are notified to EMRA until 17:00.
EMRA’s Authorities and Intervention Powers
EMRA as the regulatory and supervisory authority has been furnished with some obligations and intervention powers to ensure the healthy development of the charging system and widespread use of electric vehicles.
EMRA has the authority to oblige the Network Operators on establishing charging stations at locations indicated by EMRA in order to reach the targets set in its projections. The Network Operators can benefit from expropriation procedures regulated under the Electricity Market Law numbered 6446 for charging station instalment.
The Regulation also sets out several mechanisms enabling EMRA to intervene with the charging market and charging service fees. Accordingly, EMRA is authorised to:
I. determine the minimum and maximum charging fees and take other necessary precautions, in each case for three months, in case of restrictive competition practices among the market players;
II. take precautions including fee interventions, in case of diversion from the targets set for widespread use of electric vehicles.
In addition to the intervention rights of EMRA detailed above, EMRA has an obligation to establish and operate a publicly available free access platform containing the locations of each public charging station, number of charging units, powers and types of sockets, payment methods and charging service fees.
For further information please contact:
Zeynel Tunç | Partner
Bengü Coşkun | Senior Associate