Virgin Media owner Liberty Global is building a new network of residential on-street electric vehicle (EV) chargers as part of a joint venture with Zouk Capital.
Liberty Charge will be financed through the Government’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), which is managed by Zouk.
The partnership will make use of Virgin Media’s existing underground infrastructure and deployment capabilities, to provide the necessary power and communications links.
It will provide charge point operators and local authorities with so-called ‘plug and play’ on-street charging facilities in large cities and towns where many residents don’t have access to off-street parking.
Jason Simpson, vice president global energy and utilities for Liberty Global, said: “This investment from Zouk re-enforces our belief that there is significant value in leveraging Virgin Media’s wide ranging infrastructure and connectivity capabilities into new and fast growing sectors such as eMobility and Energy. Zouk Capital is the perfect partner in this venture thanks to their sector expertise and focus on sustainability. We look forward to working with them to help drive electric vehicle adoption in the UK.”
Liberty Global has access to 40,000 powered street cabinets and 105,000 miles of underground cable ducts in the UK via Virgin Media
Massimo Resta, partner at Zouk Capital, added: “CIIF’s central objective is to scale open-access, public EV charging networks for the UK consumer and this is exactly what Liberty Charge will achieve for the thousands of car owners, who do not have access to off street parking. Liberty Global’s infrastructure deployment capabilities and Virgin Media’s extensive connectivity network make it perfectly positioned to rapidly deploy on-street residential charging in UK towns and cities, and we are excited to be partnering with them on this opportunity.”
According to research, more than 40% of urban vehicle owners don’t have access to a driveway they could use to charge an electric vehicle.
The partnership supports the Virgin Media Park and Charge (VPACH) project, which aims to deploy 1,200 charging sockets in towns and cities across the country by early 2021.