Virgin Media owner Liberty Global has received Treasury backing for a joint venture to roll out on-street EV charge points for drivers who don’t have driveways.
Liberty Global has set up a 50:50 venture with Zouk Capital, which manages the Treasury-backed Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) established to develop public charging infrastructure throughout the UK.
By leveraging Virgin Media’s connectivity network, infrastructure deployment capabilities and trusted relationships with local authorities, Liberty Charge will focus on providing the under-the-pavement power and communications infrastructure for electric vehicle charging in residential areas.
According to research, more than 40% of urban vehicle owners don’t have access to a driveway they could use to charge an electric vehicle. Liberty Charge will provide charge point operators and local authorities with ‘plug and play’ on-street charging facilities in large cities and towns where many residents don’t have access to off-street parking.
The partnership builds on its Virgin Media Park and Charge (VPACH) project, which aims to deploy 1,200 charging sockets in towns and cities across the country by early 2021.
Neil Isaacson, who has been leading Liberty Charge’s market development activities, is CEO of the new venture.
Jason Simpson, Vice President Global Energy and Utilities for Liberty Global, comments: “This investment from Zouk re-enforces our belief that there is significant value in leveraging Virgin Media’s wide ranging infrastructure and connectivity capabilities into new and fast growing sectors such as eMobility and Energy.”
Massimo Resta, Partner at Zouk Capital said: “CIIF’s central objective is to scale open-access, public EV charging networks for the UK consumer and this is exactly what Liberty Charge will achieve for the thousands of car owners, who do not have access to off street parking.
“Liberty Global’s infrastructure deployment capabilities and Virgin Media’s extensive connectivity network make it perfectly positioned to rapidly deploy on-street residential charging in UK towns and cities, and we are excited to be partnering with them on this opportunity.”