Tesla is suing Tank & Rast, a large gas station operator in Germany, for the right to install charging stations along the Autobahn. Tank & Rast is in a near monopoly position as it holds the concession for almost all Autobahn rest stops in Germany and their filling stations.
It used to be a state-owned company before it was privatised in 1998, and it retained a close relationship with the government, resulting in its near monopoly. Now the company has claimed that its near monopoly on gas stations along the Autobahn extends to charging stations for electric vehicles.
It has deployed some, but it retains complete control on the locations and deployment. It has also control over which companies can deploy charging stations at its rest stops, and so far, it has only allowed EnBW, MER, Ionity, and Eon-Innogy to operate charging stations on its properties.
Tesla, along with Netherlands-based charging station company Fastned, has decided to sue in order to challenge this monopoly and be able to deploy stations along the German Autobahn.
Tesla and Fastned argue there’s no reason for Tank & Rast’s monopoly on gas stations to extend to charging stations as they are completely different business. Fastned also noted that it gives the company too much power as they get to decide where and if a specific location along the highways will get a charging station.