Liberty Global has unveiled details of a new project that utilizes the network infrastructure of its UK subsidiary, Virgin Media, to help revolutionize on-street electric car charging.
Leveraging Virgin Media’s 40,000 powered street cabinets and 170,000 km of ducts, Liberty Global’s project has been created 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 car charging points and thereby encourage more people to use electric vehicles.
In addition to tapping Virgin Media’s powered network infrastructure, the project utilizes the UK operator’s construction and deployment capabilities and its trusted relationships with local authority partners.
Over the next 18 months, Liberty Global aims to deploy and operate 1,200 charging sockets across the country through the project. The rollout of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations using Virgin Media’s connectivity will build a fully scalable electric vehicle charging network, helping the UK government move closer to its goal of reducing net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
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.
Jason Simpson, Vice President Global Energy and Utilities for Liberty Global, comments, “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. 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.”
Liberty Global is already a proven advocate of electric vehicles as the largest investor in electric car racing championship Formula E. Liberty Global has also been recognized for its leadership in ethical and sustainable practices, having recently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the seventh consecutive year. It is also the first cable operator to set ambitious science-based targets to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions.