Reduce, Reuse: Madrid Puts Phone Booths To Work For EVs

September 14, 2009

When was the last time you used a pay phone? Like the collect-call industry that fed off them, pay phones have become increasingly irrelevant in recent years, thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones among both rich and poor. However, pay phones still dot city streets, and even in places where the phones themselves been removed, the booths that housed them often remain. So what to do with all that junk? The Spanish government thinks it has the answer: convert former phone booths to charging stations for electric vehicles.

In many ways, it's a brilliant plan -- reminiscent of Coulomb Technologies' system of tapping into light poles for the same purpose. Phone booths are already wired for electricity, and they're typically located right on the curb, making them a perfect place for cars to pull up and re-charge. And at the very least, phone booth conversion gives the EV infrastructure a headstart by minimizing the expense of wiring and installing charge points.

Spain is planning to test its idea on the streets of Madrid by converting 30 phone booths into EV charging stations. Of course, that isn't nearly enough outlets to amp up the massive numbers of electric vehicles Spain hopes to see on the roadways in the future -- which may explain why the Spanish government is doling out the equivalent of $2.2 million to install an additional 516 charging stations across Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. Still, in These Economic Times -- or any other, for that matter -- why not recycle what you can?

[AutoblogGreen via FastCompany]

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