New project seeks to ‘revolutionise’ EV charging

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New project that taps into telecom infrastructure in order to ‘revolutionise’ charging of electric cars has been unveiled by TV and broadband giant Liberty Global.

Using Virgin Media’s 40,000 powered street cabinets and 170,000 km of ducts, the project’s aim is to deploy and operate 1,200 charging sockets across the country over the next 18 months.

“Leveraging street cabinets allows Liberty Global to look beyond traditional uses of telecom infrastructure and make a positive impact on the environment and in communities throughout the UK”, Jason Simpson, Vice President Global Energy and Utilities for Liberty Global, commented.

“By bringing more electric vehicle chargers and associated connectivity to Britain’s streets, we are making a significant contribution to Innovate UK’s ambition to encourage more people to buy electric cars. We’re excited to be working with a wide array of partners who each bring their own areas of expertise to this exciting and innovative project.”

In addition to utilising Virgin Media’s, which is a UK subsidiary of Liberty Global, powered network infrastructure, the project uses the UK operator’s construction and deployment capabilities and its relationships with local authority partners.

The roll-out of charging stations using Virgin Media’s connectivity will build ‘a fully scalable electric vehicle charging network, helping the UK government move closer to its net zero goal.’

Liberty Global is taking part in the project as part of a 19-strong consortium working under the project name Virgin Media Park & Charge.

The consortium includes delivery partners Vattenfall and SMS plc and specialist technology partners Cenex, Ginger Town, Fully Charged, Connected Kerb, DETA and Loughborough University.

This is in addition to several local authorities, including the West Midlands Combined Authority as well as Councils in Oxfordshire, Liverpool, Southend on Sea, Worcestershire, Wandsworth, Croydon, Northamptonshire,  Hammersmith & Fulham and Belfast.