Liberty Charge plugs into Virgin Media's network and new capital to power electric vehicles

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Liberty Global, Virgin Media’s parent company, and Zouk Capital form venture to accelerate roll-out of electric vehicle charging points across the UK.

That venture, Liberty Charge, will make use of Virgin Media’s cable infrastructure, such as ducts and street cabinets, and continue to work with local authorities to provide ‘under the pavement power’ in residential areas.

Zouk Capital manages the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), a UK government-backed initiative. The partners claim the venture will help achieve the UK’s national sustainability goals by driving demand for electric cars.

Their argument is that currently 40% of urban vehicle owners don’t have access to a drive that could host a charging point. It is hoped building out public ones on residential streets will overcome this inhibitor to the popularity of electric cars.

Scaling public access

“CIIF’s central objective is to scale open-access, public [electric vehicle] 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,” said Massimo Resta, partner at Zouk Capital.”

“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,” added Jason Simpson, Head of Global Energy and Utilities at Liberty Global.

Leveraging assets

Earlier this month Liberty Global agreed a £31 billion merger of Virgin Media with Telefonica’s O2 UK mobile operator, which is yet to be approved by various authorities but the two hope the deal will be concluded by mid-2021. The joint venture aims to rival BT and Sky in providing fixed and mobile connectivity, and content. Liberty Charge is designed to provide Liberty Global with yet another source of revenue from its assets.