Virgin Media street cabinets are to be fitted with electric car chargers. Small-scale trials will begin this week – with the first such one going live in London.
According to the Financial Times, the UK subsidiary of Liberty Global will use its cable ducts to install kerbside charging points for electric vehicles. Last March Deutsche Telekom said it would turn some 12,000 street cabinets into charging stations for electric vehicles.
Virgin Media will run a pilot with a few sites to test how well the ducts, cabinets (which already have power supplies) and other infrastructure elements are suited to this additional role in residential areas.
Jason Simpson, head of Liberty Global’s global energy and utilities business, said of the charging infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles, “It’s like an iceberg. Most of it has to go underground” The charging points could also be used as information hubs: eventually data generated by autonomous vehicles is expected to be magnitudes more than that generated now smartphones.
Liberty Global invests in electric vehicles via a stake in Formula E car racing and is looking to move into energy markets. Virgin Media benefited from funds from the agency backed by the British government, Innovate UK, to develop the charging system as it strives to reduce emissions.