price transparency at charging points

The AFIR regulation: heading towards price transparency for public charging points

On 13 April this year, the AFIR regulation came into force. This text from the European Parliament and Council covers the deployment of public charging points. It applies to both hydrogen-powered vehicles and electric cars, and sets binding targets for EU countries, particularly in terms of charging. What impact will these new regulations have on your charging experience? Let’s find out.


Mitigating the lack of interoperability and transparency of public charging points

The AFIR regulation, which stands for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, is part of the ‘Fit for 55’ European climate policy launched by the European Commission in 2021. The aim is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

Like the gradual ban on internal combustion engine cars, decided on 23 March 2023, this regulation encourages the purchase of very low-emission cars, whether hydrogen-powered or electric.

As a result, the European Commission aims to install user-friendly and easily accessible charging infrastructure, which are currently non-existent. There is no standardisation of prices and little transparency on the terms and conditions applicable to each charging point, whether at a national or a European level. Each manufacturer sets its own terms and conditions, which makes it difficult to understand what is on offer

Aware of these difficulties, Chargemap is already offering you solutions to quickly find a public charging point, avoid abusive pricing and save money on charging your electric car!

The AFIR regulation: what does it change in practice?

Through the AFIR regulation, the European Parliament is setting binding targets that apply to all vehicles using alternative fuels, such as road vehicles, trains, ships and aircraft. In the case of electric cars, the measures focus primarily on increasing the number of public charging points available and offering a simple and affordable service.

The development of charging infrastructure in Europe

To make charging stations accessible, Member States are obliged to install as many charging points as necessary to cover users’ needs. This figure is intended to be proportional to the number of light electric vehicles in circulation in the country. 

In addition to this first commitment, the text provides for: 

  • the installation of fast charging stations of at least 150kW every 60km along the TEN-T network (Trans-European Transport Network) by 2025;
  • the installation of charging stations of at least 350kW, suitable for heavy-duty vehicles, every 60 km by 2030.

A high-quality, user-friendly service

As regards the quality of service, the regulations emphasise that every user must be able to access a public charging point quickly. As a result, it calls on: 

  • Charging stations to ensure adequate opening hours;
  • Operators to open up their charging stations to competition; 
  • Operators to improve the interoperability of charging points via intelligent systems;
  • Operators to be more transparent by providing full information on the availability of charging points, waiting times and prices.

And to make charging your electric car even simpler, try out the charging functionality on the Chargemap mobile app. This practical feature allows you to conduct a 100%-dematerialised charging session using the Chargemap Pass (at charging points on networks, which are compatible with mobile charging).

Transparent pricing for public charging points

As previously mentioned, operators must be more transparent about prices. This measure is part of a real desire to bring clarity to the current offering. 

As a result, they are also being asked to: 

  • Charge reasonable, non-discriminatory prices;
  • To offer payment facilities, via bank card or QR code;
  • Set up a clear system, which enables to easily check whether the type of fuel available is compatible with your vehicle; 
  • Clearly display prices, in the same way as traditional petrol stations;
  • Express prices per kWh of electricity delivered;

The introduction of these measures will make public charging station prices more easily accessible and comparable. At present, prices are quoted by the minute or by kWh, depending on the operator. 

Chargemap has already taken up this particular challenge with its improved search filter system. Not only does this allow you to set your minimum rate, but it also allows you to find stations with special offers or that are even totally free.

Points to bear in mind

There are many developments to come thanks to the deployment of the AFIR regulation. Here are the most important points:

  • The installation of new charging stations throughout the European road network;
  • Improved interoperability between charging stations;
  • Fair and transparent pricing;
  • Clearly displayed prices, all based on the same model, notably pricing per kWh. 

The AFIR regulation marks an important turning point in the transition to more sustainable mobility. By imposing ambitious targets for the deployment of charging infrastructure and promoting price transparency, the regulation aims to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles by as many people as possible and to simplify their charging experience.

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