Based on the aim of compliance with the objectives of the European Green Deal, Turkey’s e-mobility sector has been experiencing a significant development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and to accelerate the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable mobility. Therefore, Turkey has recently introduced new regulations and various incentive schemes relating to e-mobility.
In this context, an amendment of the Electricity Market Law Nr. 6446 entered into force on 21 December 2021 that regulates the procedures and principles on e-mobility activities as well as the rights and obligations of the market participants. Furthermore, new regulations on operation licences for electric vehicle charging stations and on installment of charging points in parking areas have been introduced. In addition, regulations that provide the legal framework for the e-scooter sector as a significant part of micro-mobility entered into force. The Turkish government has also adopted incentives for investments in electric vehicle charging stations. As a result of these regulations, it is expected that the number of electric vehicles and the electric vehicle charging stations will significantly increase in Turkey within the following years.
A. New Regulations on the Charging Services for Electric Vehicles
1. Definition of new terms relating to e-mobility
The Act Nr. 7346 on the Amendment of Certain Laws was published in the Official Gazette on 21 December 2021 and changed the provisions of the Electricity Market Law Nr. 6446 (Law) by introducing new legal terms regarding the electro mobility industry. Besides, the ‘Charging Service Regulation’ (Regulation) that was published in the Official Gazette on 2 April 2022 contains further provisions on the procedures and requirements regarding the establishment of charging stations.
In this context, the Regulation defines ‘electric vehicles’ as motorised road vehicles that use electric motors for their movement and are externally recharged with electric energy. ‘Charging service’ is defined as a wired or wireless transfer of energy for commercial purposes in return for a fee to fill the accumulators, batteries, capacitors, and similar energy-storing equipment of electric vehicles. The system designed to provide charging services to electric vehicles at charging stations and managed by a charging network operator is called ‘charging Network’. ‘Charging network operators’ are licensed legal entities that provide charging services to electric vehicle users by enabling access to the charging network and operate the charging network. Pursuant to the Regulation, ‘charging station operators’ are real persons or legal entities that manage on-site charging stations and provide charging services to third parties in accordance with the certificate obtained from the charging network operator. In this regard, ‘certificate’ is the necessary authorisation granted by charging network operators to a real person or a legal entity within the framework of the procedures and principles determined by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority for the purpose of establishing or operating charging stations within a charging network on behalf of the charging network operator.
2. The role of the charging network operators on the charging activity
Pursuant to the provisions of the Electricity Market Law, charging service is subject to an operating licence and is to be carried out in accordance with the regulations on the basis of this Act. Legal entities holding ‘charging network operator licences’ are allowed to establish and operate charging stations within the limits of the licence granted by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority. In addition, the charging network operators are able to set up their own ‘charging networks’ and to authorise charging station operators by issuing a certificate for the establishment and operation of a charging station connected to their own charging networks. However, the primary responsibility for charging services remains with the charging network operators. The charging station operator performs the respective charging services under the supervision and control of a charging network operator. Therefore, the provision of the charging service by a certified charging station operator does not exempt the charging network operator from its obligations and responsibilities pursuant to the above-mentioned laws and regulations. In this context, the operator of the charging network and the certified station operator of the charging station will be mutually responsible.
3. The role of the charging station operator on the charging activity
The easing of requirements for the establishment of electric vehicle charging stations will lead to a significant increase in the number of electric charging points and to the widespread use of electric cars in Turkey. In this context, new regulation has been adopted regarding the licensing of charging stations.
The electric charging station will be operated by a natural or legal entity that received the necessary certificate from a charging network operator. Article 23 of the Charging Service Regulation stipulates that the charging station must have a business licence in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation on Workplace Opening and Operating Licences.
4. Rights and obligations of the charging network operator
Electricity Market Law stipulates in Additional Article 5 the rights and obligations of charging network operators. In this context, the holder of a charging network operator licence is entitled to:
- establish or operate a charging station connected to the charging network in the respective region or throughout the country specified in its licence granted by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority
- have a charging station established or operated within the scope of the granted certificates
- conclude loyalty agreement with electric vehicle users.
Loyalty agreements are concluded between the users of the electric vehicle and the licensee of the charging network operator to obtain charging services with certain advantages. In other words, users that concluded a loyalty agreement will be able to benefit from the discounted charging services.
In addition, Article 5 para 2 of the Law stipulates the following obligations of charging network operators:
- providing continuous, uninterrupted and high-quality charging services at the charging stations connected to its charging network, except in case of force majeure or in case of exception stipulated by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority
- making the charging service accessible to all electric vehicles
- determining and implementing charging service prices and access conditions for electric vehicles in accordance with the procedures and principles published by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority
In addition to these obligations, Article 15 of the Charging Services Regulation requires charging network operators to establish a charging network consisting of at least 50 charging units and charging stations in at least five different districts within the first six months of the effective date of the licence.
5. Procedure for determining the price of charging services
Pursuant to the Electricity Market Law and the Charging Service Regulation, the price of the service shall be freely determined by the charging network operators within the procedures stipulated by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority. However, in this context, it is required that the price of the charging service must not restrict competition or disrupt charging services. In that context, the following principles should be taken into consideration when determining the price of charging services:
- investment and operating costs for the establishment of a charging station and a charging network
- energy purchase costs and other related costs
- taxes, funds and other costs as well as reasonable profit.
Besides, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority is entitled to interfere in the pricing process to determine minimum and maximum prices at the regional or national level.
6. Application for charging network operator licence
Pursuant to the Electricity Market Law, the charging network will be operated through a licence granted by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority. Article 6 of the Charging Service Regulation stipulates that the legal entity applying for a licence:
- must be established in the form of a joint-stock company or a limited liability company and its minimum paid capital must not be less than the amount determined in accordance with the procedures and principles issued by the Energy Market Regulatory Board
- in case of incorporation in form of a joint stock company, its shares, except those traded on the stock exchange, must be issued with a registered share certificate.
As mentioned above, the legal entity authorised by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority, as a charging network operator, is entitled to have a charging station installed and/or operated by issuing a certificate to charging station operators.
B. Incentives for the Installation of Electric Charging Stations
Pursuant to the ‘Regulation Amending the Regulation on the Technological Product Investment Support Program’ published in the Official Gazette of 22 March 2022, new regulation has been introduced to support investments in the establishment of fast charging stations for electric vehicles. This regulation stipulates that investments in the establishment of fast charging stations benefit from grant support up to 75 % of the respective project costs (limited to TRY 20 million). These incentives will contribute to the increase in the number of electric charging stations throughout Turkey.
With the Electricity Market Law Nr. 6446 and the regulations issued by the competent authorities, Turkey has taken essential steps to set standards and licensing requirements for charging stations in addition to the legal framework of the electro mobility industry in accordance with energy efficiency goals. The establishment of the legal basis for the evolution of e-mobility in Turkey will accelerate the investments in this sector and strengthen the confidence of international operating companies that aim to enter into the Turkish market.