Virgin Media's Green Broadband Cabinets Could Become EV Charging Points

By Tom Pritchard on at

When it can take anything between 30 and 60 minutes to fast charge an electric car battery, it's fair to say we there's no such thing as too many charging points. The only issue is getting them installed quickly and efficiently in places where people can access them. Well Virgin Media may have a solution, and has decided to test the possibility of adding EV charging stations to its green broadband cabinets.

Most people don't even notice broadband cabinets on the street, but obviously there are a lot of them dotted around the country connecting people's houses to the wild world of the internet. The idea isn't particularly new, since Deutsche Telekom has already added EV charging stations to around 12,000 cabinets in Germany, and since Virgin Media has 40,000 cabinets dotted around the place there's a lot of room for growth. That does, of course, assume those cabinets are in places where cars can easily park without incurring the wrath of the local council and/or parking attendants.

Six test sites are due to be set up before this Easter, with the first opening up this week in Southwark in partnership with Connected Kerb. While future plans are reliant on the success of the testing and (presumably) whatever legal red tape is imposed by local authorities, Virgin does have some backing from the government. According to the Financial Times Virgin has had some public funding from the government's Innovate UK programme, part of which is working towards reducing car emissions.

Obviously Virgin Media doesn't have the same sort of geographical coverage as some other ISPs, which use BT and Openreach infrastructure, but that doesn't make this a bad idea. After all if it can manage to turn half of those 40,000 cabinets into EV chargers, then that will more than double the number of publicly-accessible charging ports (at the time of writing anyway). [FT via ISPReview]