Analysis
14 Jan 20

Broadband companies adapt street cabinets to charge EVs

Major broadband companies in two of Europe’s largest markets are involved in projects to adapt their roadside cabinets to provide on-street electric car charging facilities.

The projects will help drivers who have no opportunity to install a domestic electric car charger switch to zero emission power.

1,200 new charge points in UK

In the UK, Virgin Media’s parent company, Liberty Global, plans to create and operate 1,200 new charging sockets over the next 18 months as part of a project called Virgin Media Park & Charge. Liberty Global believes Virgin Media has the capability to build a fully scalable electric vehicle charging network via its 40,000 street cabinets and 170,000km of ducts that could take power cables.

Liberty Global is part of a consortium of 19 companies, including Innovate UK, the British government’s research and innovation department, and Vattenfall, which is building the inCharge electric vehicle recharging network across Northern Europe.

Jason Simpson, Vice President Global Energy and Utilities for Liberty Global, said: “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. 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.”

Deutsche Telekom converts cabinets for EV charging

In Germany, Deutsche Telekom has already commissioned its first public electric car charging stations in Bonn and Darmstadt as it aims to build a nationwide network by upgrading parts of its existing telecommunications infrastructure to become charging stations.

Deutsche Telekom’s roadside cabinets will get separate power supplies and digital metering points. Each of its charging stations can supply two vehicles with 11 kW each through type-2 charging plugs. This is sufficient to supply enough power in one hour for a range of 50-75 kilometres, depending on the vehicle.

The telecoms giant is also planning to install 500 fast charging stations over the next couple of years, capable of 150kW recharging.

 

Authored by: Jonathan Manning