A consortium of businesses have come together to use Virgin Media’s existing telecoms infrastructure to add 1,200 on-street electric vehicle charging points in the UK.
The consortium is made up of Virgin Media, energy and charging specialist Vattenfall, communications company Liberty Global, Cenex, Ginger Town, Fully Charged, Connected Kerb, Deta and Loughborough University.
The “Virgin Media Park & Charge” project will use Virgin Media’s network of 40,000 powered street cabinets and 170,000 km of ducts in partnership with Innovate UK, the UK government’s research and innovation department, to help local authorities find a solution to limited on-street electric vehicle charging points and thereby encourage more people to use electric vehicles.
In addition to tapping Virgin Media’s powered network infrastructure, the project uses the UK operator’s construction and deployment capabilities and its existing relationships with local authority partners.
The consortium said the rollout of EV charging stations using Virgin Media’s connectivity will happen over the next 18 months and will build "a fully scalable network", helping the UK government move closer to its goal of reducing net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
Several local authorities are also working on the Park & Charge project, including the West Midlands Combined Authority as well as councils in Oxfordshire, Liverpool, Southend on Sea, Worcestershire, Wandsworth, Croydon, Northamptonshire, Hammersmith & Fulham and Belfast.
Jason Simpson, vice president of global energy and utilities for Liberty Global, said: “Leveraging street cabinets allow Liberty Global to look beyond traditional uses of telecom infrastructure.
“By bringing more EV 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.”