Skip links

EVALUATION OF ELECTRIC CHARGING STATION REGULATIONS IN TURKEY IN TERMS OF THE EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL AND COP26

Fatih Aslandağ

Associate

İlayda Su Demir

Legal Intern

Our country aims to take place in the future world in this change and transformation, and in this regard, Turkey’s economic and industrial green transformation, creating inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as maintaining and strengthening its competitiveness in exports to third countries, especially the EU, are considered essential. Measures to be taken in this area are also crucial for improving our integration into our global value chain and increasing our international investment share. Additionally, for this objective, our country has started the initiative to create its own electric vehicle brand, TOGG, which started in 2017. Then, Turkey tried to take the necessary steps for the supportive and complementary elements of the relevant product and sector to be a part of the competitive market in the transportation/automotive sector. The charging service is, of course, an essential point of this matter. Likewise, it was among the targets numbered 6.4 titled “Reducing Fuel Consumption and Emissions” in the 2021 3rd Quarter planning in the “Green Deal Action Plan,” which was put forward by the Ministry of Trade. Therefore, the subject in this article will be tried to be evaluated within the scope of COP26 and the European Green Deal.

On December 25, 2021, the Official Gazette had released Law No. 7346, revising several statutes. With this amendment, important changes were made in the Electricity Market Law regarding electric charging services, and it was regulated that the procedures and principles regarding this will be determined by coming regulations. Then, Regulation, which establishes Procedures and Principles Regarding the Electric Vehicles Charging Station (“Regulation”), entered into force on 02/04/2022. With the Regulation is in effect, it will be seen that it can significantly affect the markets and community, as follows:

  • In order to operate a Charging Station, a “Charging Network Operator License,” which will be issued by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (“EMRA”), must first be obtained.
  • After providing the necessary infrastructure, license holders will be able to establish a charging network to manage their charging stations; furthermore, establish and operate charging stations within the region stated explicitly in their license.
  • License holder operators undertake to provide charging services for all-electric vehicle owners without the need for a contract and within the scope of a loyalty agreement, which will provide certain advantages to electric vehicle owners.
  • In this context, it would be possible for legal entities holding generation and supply licenses to sell electricity through bilateral agreements through charging stations.
  • Charging network operator license holders can also issue certificates to third parties to establish and operate charging stations on behalf of the license holder. However, certificates given to third parties will not remove the license holder’s primary responsibility arising from the law.
  • In addition to all these, natural and legal persons who do not have a license would be up to sell electricity without profit, and with the entry into force of the aforementioned Regulation, operators will be able to demand additional service fees from the consumer other than the charging price.

Similarly, England, one of the most successful electric vehicles implementer, opened a draft to the public, like our Regulation. From July 15 until October 7, 2019, the “Electric Car Smart Charging Consultation” had opened. During this period, the government solicited feedback from businesses and residents on implementing smart charging standards under the Automated and Electric Vehicles (AEV) Act, focusing on critical issues including cyber security and interoperability. The purpose of the public consultation was to outline the government’s approach and objectives for smart charging of electric vehicles (EVs); to solicit feedback on the first phase of regulations; to gather evidence for a second phase for a long-term solution, on which they will consult in 2022; and to collect feedback on how to best use the AEV Act power on the transmission of CP (Chargepoint) data.

The Regulation mentioned above emerged as a reflection of the agreements and summits, which provide that each country is coming together for a more livable and sustainable environment for our future world on a global scale. The underlying matter of all these developments is to make reforms at the international level to ensure economic growth by taking “climate justice” into account and encouraging investors and businesses to act in line with scenarios that limit global warming. At this point, the origin of the relevant Regulation is the electric vehicle policy, which is compatible with the transformation policies that are taking place in the world economy, encouraging green investments and preventing carbon emissions caused by internal combustion vehicles in transportation systems.

Although the climate crisis has become the reality of the world as a significant problem that cannot be prevented with the increase in industrialization, it has also revealed that states should begin to take some actions. Ozone layer depletion has effectively considered the global climate problems that arise globally and are growing day by day by the countries. In this context, states have made various regulations both in domestic and international law, so they occurred a new field of law called Environmental Law. The first Regulation made by countries to solve this problem was the Montreal Protocol, which brought many regulations, protocols, and agreements to the international area. In this regard, with the global climate crisis, the principles regarding protecting the environment have been revealed.

In terms of the European Green Deal

The European Green Deal  has constituted a policy under specific headings, and electric vehicles and charging stations can be evaluated under the concept of sustainable mobility (sustainable transportation vehicles).

Parallel to this, the EU should increase the development and deployment of sustainable alternative transportation fuels. For the 13 million zero- and low-emission cars planned on European roads by 2025, around 1 million public recharging and refueling facilities would be required.

According to another data in the European Green Deal;

Transport is responsible for a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are still increasing. By 2050, transportation emissions must be reduced by 90% to attain climate neutrality. All modes of transportation, including road, rail, aircraft, and maritime transportation, will be required to reduce. To achieve sustainable transportation, people must come first, with more cheap, accessible, healthier, and cleaner options to their present mobility patterns. In 2020, the Commission will propose a sustainable and smart transportation plan that will address this issue and address all sources of emissions.

The Commission will encourage the implementation of public recharging and refueling facilities in places with persistent gaps, particularly for long-distance travel and in less densely inhabited areas. It will issue a new financial request as soon as feasible to support this. These actions will be in addition to those performed at the national level. The Commission will examine legislative measures to increase the production and use of sustainable alternative fuels in various forms of transportation.

At this point, it should be stated that the Agreement considers rapid technological developments for the future and uses two concepts as charging and fuel stations for zero and low emission vehicles. These choices demonstrate that, although electric vehicles are the most apparent vehicles that provide and will provide the zero-emission target in the current period and near future, the Deal concepts and expressions are not limited to electric vehicle policy. In other words, the Deal puts forward technologies that will serve to reduce emissions and climate protection with a comprehensive and long target.

In terms of COP26

Within the scope of the related issue, it is necessary to mention the COP26 summit. COP26 was the first summit after the Paris Agreement, where the developments in the aims targeted by the Agreement were evaluated.

At COP21, where the Paris Agreement was signed, the targets that everyone was obliged to comply with were as follows:

• To reduce greenhouse gases

• Accelerating renewable energy production

• Reducing global warming to below 2°C and limiting it to 1.5°C if possible

• Providing financial aid to non-develop countries to struggle with the effects of climate change

After the targets mentioned above, in addition to the aforementioned main goal, with COP26, the following issues, which are agreed or rather committed, are significant for electric vehicles.

The Transportation Decarbonization Alliance brought together 35 companies, countries, regions, and cities to accelerate the development, planning, and deployment of a comprehensive network of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, allowing for a faster transition to zero-emission transportation. This is crucial in ensuring that communities have faith in their capacity to accept electric transportation options as they become more widely available.

Under the new Global Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (ZE-MHDVs), 15 countries have pledged to collaborate to achieve 100 percent zero-emission new truck and bus sales by 2040. As an interim goal, Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Wales have set a target of 30% zero-emission new vehicle sales by 2030. 

Companies, governments, regions, and towns have pledged to speed the electric car charging infrastructure today, and others have been urged to do the same.

As can be seen, with COP26, along with the steps guiding the use of electric vehicles, agreements have been signed for charging stations that will support this transition.

For electric vehicles, International Energy Agency (IEA) President Dr. Fatih Birol referred to COP26 at the conference and panel titled “Electric Vehicles Outlook in the World and Turkey” organized by Sabancı University Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate (IICEC);

The primary way to solve the climate problem is to clean the energy sector. Necessary steps are being taken in this regard. The most crucial step was taken in Glasgow last month. All countries have committed emissions to zero in the coming years. A new energy system is on the horizon in the world. A new energy system is being established. Renewable energy, hydrogen, electric cars, digitalization, nuclear. Essential steps are taken in all of these.

There is rapid development in electric vehicles in the world. In 2018-2019, two out of every hundred cars sold in the world were electric cars. Today, we see that this is approaching 2 percent to 10 percent. It is clear from my conversations with the US Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Transportation, and all the big CEOs there; that it will come in waves. In my meeting with the CEOs of 20 of the world’s largest car manufacturers a few weeks ago, 18 of them think that electric cars will be the main production area by 2030.”

Additionally, according to UK government reports  on the subject;

In the United Kingdom, the electric vehicle (EV) market is quickly growing. In January 2021, 6,260 new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 6,124 new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) were registered in the United Kingdom, representing a 54 percent and 28 percent increase in sales over the same month the previous year. More than 500,000 plug-in vehicles were on the road at the end of April 2021, and we expect demand to continue to rise rapidly in response to the government’s announcement that new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be phased out by 2030, with all vehicles required to have a significant zero-emission capability (e.g., plug-in and full hybrids) by 2030 and to be zero-emissions entirely by 2035.

Conclusion

International regulations that aim to reduce carbon emissions and create the relevant Regulation have been tried to be briefly summarized in the context of electric vehicles.

Indeed, significant developments for our country for 2021 reflected the approval of the Paris Agreement in the Parliament and the drawing roadmap (Action Plan).

Electric vehicles have a highly resonant technology for today’s world and the near future. The technology they have affects the transportation industry and every aspect of our lives; it plays an innovative role in the ecosystem. While the fuel stations established and currently operating within the scope of the Energy Legislation in Turkey perform a very significant task as the meeting point of oil and LPG with the consumer, they will also offer electric vehicle charging units for consumption in the immediate future. Stations that can provide the necessary electricity and charging infrastructure will be referred to as Energy Stations following the entry into force of the Regulation in question.

To conclude, it can be seen that “Green Politics” is increasing significantly because of public dissent. The more society raises public awareness, the more Government authorities provide convenience for a green future.

References

  1. Green Deal Action Plan 2021
  2. European Green Deal
  3. Paris Agreement
  4. Top of the COP: The end of fossil fuel-powered transport, November 2021
  5. Electric Vehicles Outlook in the World and Turkey by Sabanci University Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate, 2021
  6. The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021, Impact Assessment
  7. Policy paper: COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans, December 2021