Liberty Global and Virgin Media are to start using their cable ducts to install electric vehicle charging points on UK kerbsides.

By leveraging the current network of ducts and street cabinets with power and cable connectivity, it will enable electric vehicle charging units to be deployed in on-street environments.

The concept will be launched in partnership with Connected Kerb in Southwark later this week, with approximately four to six different trials running before Easter.

The initiative and others like it could solve an issue for the electric vehicle market – which is how owners can charge their cars if they don’t have a dedicated driveway.

As more electric cars take to the road, there is a large market for on-street residential charging solutions to be developed. Exploitation of Virgin Media’s 40,000 street cabinets would provide a significant stepping stone to establishing an electric vehicle charging network in a cost effective and timely manner. The cabinets are already powered and could be used to roll out thousands of charging points across the country.

The initiative places Liberty Global and its subsidiaries at the heart of smart city development as everything – from cars and traffic lights to rubbish bins – become more connected and autonomous in future. It also means the telecoms providers are making the most of their existing assets – from cabinets, ducting and fibre – to the optimization of the large amount of energy that powers the network.

Liberty Global is already a proven advocate of electric vehicles with its investment and stake in electric car racing championship Formula E – the closest, most intense racing series in the world.

Virgin Media has received some funding from the government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to pioneer the charging system as part of an emissions reduction plan.