Spark Plugs could be a simple solution to your ‘range anxiety’. Spark Ventures has converted some selected phone booths near Auckland into EV charging stations and is allowing drivers to top-up their car battery.
Spark Ventures CEO, Rod Snodgrass, says,“Using our lovely phone boxes as top-up charging stations is an incredibly innovative and modest idea, and yet another way to breathe new life into the humble phone box which has a reputation of being a bit out of date”. He also added,“More than a thousand of them are now WiFi hotspots too, which was another Australasian first, so they’re quickly becoming a kind of ‘digital Swiss army knife’.”
Out of the Five phone boxes near Auckland, which have been considered for the pilot project, three were already converted and brought into operation. The rest two too will be operational soon.
The network of these charging stations will be put to display at Plugshare, a crowdsourcing app that plots all phone boxes with Spark plug across the world.
Spark Ventures is planning to continue the pilot project till the end of April 2016 and is looking to expand the network if the project succeeds. Snodgrass says, “This piece of Kiwi ingenuity is another part of Spark’s commitment to New Zealand. As the number of electric vehicles rises we imagine the possibility of a network of EV chargers all around the country, connected to thousands of public phone boxes, helping unleash the incredible potential of the electric vehicle community”. “We are proud to be playing a small part in the growing electric vehicle movement in New Zealand – every little bit makes a difference to our future. Electric vehicle drivers justifiably feel good about doing their bit for the environment, and we want to help that feeling last a little longer.”
A thick network of such phone boxes would wash off the fear of dead/low batteries, encourages to plan long distance trips, and thus facilitates the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.