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Believe it or not, there was once a time when no one had tiny wireless communications devices in their pockets all the time. In those days – way back in the 1980s and earlier – when someone needed to make a call when they were out and about, they had to locate a pay telephone. These were often found in phone booths (or boxes as they were called in Europe).
Most phone booths have been decommissioned in the past decade as their use has fallen off. Telekom Austria now has an idea for re-using these roadside boxes. The phone company wants to turn its 13,500 phone booths around the country into electric vehicle charging stations.

The plan is logical since the phone booths already have wiring infrastructure which could be updated with high voltage wiring for charging. The first converted booth was recently unveiled at Telekom Austria's headquarters. We think Superman will enjoy changing in these booths even more than the telephone boxes of old.

[Source: Just-Auto | Image: C.P. Storm - C.C. License 2.0]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's pretty cool is that this will also enable smart grid and remote control applications, just use the existing phone line for internet access.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bravo! Great idea-this is fantastic to see people thinking again with regards to transportation. The biggest no-brainer thought about all-electrically-driven transportation is the thought that man has known about and built all-electrical rigs for over 100 years!
      • 4 Years Ago
      David Martin will like this, they are making a charging station out of a Tardis.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Austria already has 240V and if there was an electrical "upgrade" it would be just minor. Some more info in German: http://unternehmen.telekom.at/Content.Node/media/news_neu/0405-stromtankstellen.php
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cool. Teens are going to have a fun time running from booth to booth unplugging everyones car. Kind of like modern day cow tipping.
        • 4 Years Ago
        sadly, i thought the same thing!
        • 4 Years Ago
        As has been pointed out several times here, both IEC 62196-2-X and SAE J1772 will signal that the connector has been removed and the charging station will immediately cut charging power. A car with decent telematics will notify its owner's smartphone app. Kids will learn this and unless they know you're far away they may think twice about interrupting your charging. Unthinking kids could also deflate your tires, remove your aerial and your wheels, scratch your paint, and generally be jerks long before BEVs came along.

        The connector doesn't and shouldn''t lock, Think about emergencies and towing the car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Since the car knows when it is disconnected, why not just have your car alarm programmed to go off if disconnected when armed. When the driver returns, they can disarm and disconnect.
        • 4 Years Ago
        All joking aside, I think whatever plug receptacle becomes the standard will definitely need a locking mechanism to prevent tampering.

        I would not feel comfortable leaving my car plugged in and unattended.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm just amused seeing the phrase "modern day" and "cow tipping" in the same sentence.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds like a pretty slick idea - the charger and cable could be wrapped up inside, being somewhat protected by the weather as well as making the charging location visible to drivers. No signs would be needed, either, in order to preserve the aesthetic - make a big announcement in all the newspapers and TV news stations and online, and everyone will know that's where you go for a quick charge instead of a phone call.

      It could be a credit-card operated system like self-service gas pumps are in the US. Swipe your card, and if it's accepted, the door will unlock, and then after you charge, you have to close the door to complete the sale and get your receipt.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a great idea. Charging stations for EV's can be deployed so cheaply when there is already some infrastructure in place and they can still make money off the cost they've spent over previous years to build it all out.
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