Remember pay phones? This fading technology of a past era has mostly been replaced by cell phones around the world. Some pay phone booths, especially in Europe, still exist though and now Austrian telecom company Telekom Austria Group has come up with a novel idea on how to make use of these physical structures – turn them into charging stations for electric vehicles.
Telekom Austria Group, according to AFP, sought a way to find new use for its roughly 13,500 phone boxes around the country. The company said around 700 of these boxes, described as multimedia stations, will be utilized in a first phase rollout as charging stations for electric cars. These stations will make use of “existing infrastructure and offer convenient payment possibilities via SMS, paybox and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips.”
It is said plans exist to have 30 of these stations up and running around Austria by the end of the year. The company said these stations will be capable of charging more than one vehicle at a time and that it will “use renewable energy to operate its charging station network in line with its best-practice standards applied in the company’s headquarters, where electric power is generated from a small-scale hydro-power system.” How this renewable energy deployment will occur is not mentioned – solar panels on the roofs of the charging stations perhaps?
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