Virgin Park and Charge (VPACH)

Lead Participant: Sms Energy Services Limited


"The VPACH project will assess the feasibility and then demonstrate the opportunity to build a fully integrated, scaleable and timely EV charging network for onstreet residential parking using the existing and widespread power and communications network assets of Virgin Media as a foundation. This innovative business model would re-purpose and evolve existing infrastructure assets to meet EV Charging market needs, minimise new street furniture and benefit from access to a high-speed data communications network.

Virgin Media, which has one of the largest powered communication networks in the UK, has actively been looking at how it can use this street-based infrastructure in innovative ways to support smart city applications such as Electric Vehicle charging, IoT communications networks and a variety of monitoring applications.

Onstreet residential parking is seen as a challenging market segment to address for charging operators due to high costs and time of deploying infrastructure, complexities of installation and significant amount of up front capital required. However, exploitation of Virgin Media's deep network of street based residential network assets would provide a significant stepping stone to establishing an EV charging network cost effectively and in a timely manner. Virgin Media cabinets are connected to the grid and also often contain battery backup. This project, led by Virgin Media's metering and grid connection partner, SMS Energy Services, will assess the ability to deliver kerb side EV charging connectivity that is also hardware agnostic.

The project consortium contains partners from across the value chain to ensure that the feasibility prepares the ground for a technically, commercially and regulatory viable demonstrator project. The consortium includes Virgin Media, SMS plc, eMotorWerks, Cenex, Loughborough University Transport Studies Group, Oxfordshire County Council and Transport for West Midlands."


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