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File photo used for representational purpose.
File photo used for representational purpose.

Obsolete telephone booths to be converted to EV chargers in this country

  • Smartphones may have relegated public telephone boxes to the sidelines but electric vehicles offer a chance at redemption.

Once upon a time, public telephone booths on the side of city streets were quite the lifeline for communication purposes. And then came mobile phones and out went the need to find these phone boxes. But many countries still have these as they were even if people have relegated them to being relics.

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In Ireland, it is time for a rebirth of sorts as two companies here are planning to convert these to electric vehicle-charging booths.

Re-incarnation

Telephone booths are hardly used by people in current times, what with almost every person carrying a smartphone in his or her pocket. As such, such booths are either removed and confined to dumpyards, serve as photo op for tourists or stay largely ignored. In Ireland though, these booths will soon get a transformation and serve as points where one can drive an EV to for a recharge. The simple yet ingenious idea is being brought to life by car-charging network provider EasyGo and telecom company Eir. Both have partnered with each other to convert 180 such public telephone booths to quick charge points for EVs.

It's all about convenience

Public telephone booths have traditionally been placed at common locations which tend to see a high footfall. As such, their location will also be one of the bigger advantages in having them as EV-charge points. "We’ve a culture of going into towns and places of convenience. Typically, the locations of the phone boxes are in those types of places. And that’s what we want to do — the make the experience of charging a car easy, comfortable, and safe for people," Gerry Cash, Director at EasyGo, was quoted as saying by this local media report.

And because even rural areas often have scattered telephone booths, those buying an EV in such areas may now not worry much about range and re-charge options.

Small start from humble beginnings

A public telephone booth hardly offers much space for an adult but may be just the right size to pack in DC rapid chargers. EasyGo claims that its units - developed by Australia's Tritium, will be able to power an EV with a range of 100 kms in just 20 minutes. The company further informs that the driving force is that while an EV owner can always charge the vehicle at home, he or she can be assured of a recharge even when away.

With Ireland looking at having a million EVs by 2030, this is one more way of ensuring that people in larger numbers take to battery-operated vehicles without range-related anxieties.

  • First Published Date : 09 Dec 2020, 10:37 AM IST