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Telekom to turn 12,000 German distribution cabinets into EV chargers

Deutschen Telekom

Deutsche Telekom aims to have the first batch of EV chargers working by the end of this year

European telecoms Deutsche Telekom will be upgrading 12,000 distribution cabinets in Germany over the coming years in order to repurpose them as EV charging stations.

According to a report from Germany’s Automobilwoche, the plan will see several hundred of its 380,000-strong network upgraded and ready for usage by the end of the year. The cabinets already contain a power supply and back up infrastructure, meaning the process is relatively straightforward – much more so that installing on-street chargers from scratch.

Telekom is currently in discussions with local governing bodies to resolve issues such as street usage and parking spaces around the stations, in order to improve accessibility for EV users. According to the company, work will begin on upgrading the cabinets during the summer.

These distribution boxes, once upgraded, will add considerably more resources to Germany’s current EV charging infrastructure. 500 of the 12,000 points will be made up of 100-kW fast-charging stations with the remaining 11,500 being Level 2 charging points rated for up to 22kW – ideal for short-stay parking or overnight charging.

This is one of the many initiatives launched recently with the aim of rapidly building out Germany’s charging infrastructure. Alongside automakers and dedicated charging providers, it is also important to note the entrance of new participants, such as Telekom, who see the importance of improvement of access to chargers and evidently new business opportunities. In Germany, E.ON and Tank & Rast are working together to bring 90 rapid charging motorway stations to the country, while pan-European partnerships like IONITY and the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility program are expanding provision across the bloc.

However, Telekom’s plans priorities the needs of more urban environments, making EV charging stations accessible to everyday users. Upgrading existing infrastructure for the usage of EV charging is becoming more and more common, with London recently seeing plans to convert lamp posts into EV charging points.

What is impressive about Telekom’s plan is the sheer scale of the project and the impact it will have on Germany’s current charging infrastructure. The country currently has just under 11,000 public charging points, so this scheme alone would double the current charging infrastructure.

The initiative also illustrates that there is already immense potential to improve access to charging using existing infrastructure, via relatively straightforward, safe and low-cost modifications – an encouraging sign as local planners look at ways of expanding their networks.


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