05/11/2019

SMS Plc will be Liberty Global's lead delivery partner on the Virgin Media Park & Charge Project.


Liberty Global – the owner of UK broadband provider Virgin Media – has launched a new project which aims to revolutionise on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging.

Virgin Media Park & Charge (VPACH) plans to install 1,200 electric vehicle chargers across the UK over the next 18 months as part of a new consortium, which includes the independent energy services company SMS Plc and a number of local authorities.

Leveraging Virgin Media’s 40,000 powered street cabinets and 170,000 km of ducts, the project has been created in partnership with Innovate UK, the UK government’s research and innovation department, following a successful demonstration phase.

By building a fully-scalable electric vehicle charging network, VPACH aims to help local authorities find a solution to limited on-street electric car charging points, thereby encouraging more people to use EVs and contributing to the UK government’s goal of reducing net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

As one the UK’s leading utility connections management providers, SMS Plc – with its history of delivering complex energy infrastructure projects – has been appointed Liberty Global’s lead delivery partner for the project. SMS will call on its extensive knowledge of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) process as well its project management expertise to ensure the project is a success.

The consortium also includes delivery partner Vattenfall 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, commented: 

“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.”

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