Telekom Austria turns phone boxes into car recharging stations

May 4, 2010
A pictured taken on January 2010 in Paris, shows public phone boxes. Telekom Austria has decided to turn its public telephone boxes -- which are in danger of becoming obsolete anyway thanks to mobile phones -- into battery recharging stations for electric cars.

If you've run out of juice for your environmentally friendly electric car, a recharge may be only a phone call away, literally, under a new scheme unveiled by Telekom Austria here Tuesday.

The has decided to turn its public telephone boxes -- which are in danger of becoming obsolete anyway thanks to mobile phones -- into battery recharging stations for .

Admittedly, the scheme is still in its infancy: there are just 223 electric cars currently registered in Austria at the moment, plus 3,559 , from a total 4.36 million cars on Austrian roads.

But the Austrian motor vehicle association VOeC is predicting that the number will rise to 405,000 by 2020.

In a bid to find new uses for its 13,500 phone boxes around the country, Telekom Austria has therefore come up with the idea of turning them into recharging stations for : cars, scooters and bicycles.

Telekom Austria chief Hannes Ametsreiter unveiled the first such phone box in front of the company's headquarters in Vienna on Tuesday.

And the aim is to convert 29 more phone boxes by the end of this year, Ametsreiter told journalists.

"In the longer run, we'll have to sound out the market to see exactly how many phone boxes will be converted," the telecom chief said.

In the initial trial period, recharging will cost nothing. An electric car needs around 6.5 hours to be recharged, an electric scooter 80 minutes and an electric bike 20 minutes.

But in future, payment, which is expected to cost a single-digit euro sum, will be via mobile phone, Ametsreiter said.

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not rated yet May 04, 2010
great idea to keep your obsolete infrastructure making money. However, I don't know how many people will just sit by a phone booth for 6 hours to charge their car. Maybe if it is right outside your apartment on the street or if you need a quick charge while in a restaurant.
1 / 5 (1) May 05, 2010
6 hrs is an exxageration, Think already has prototypes going 0 -> 80% in 15 min.
not rated yet May 06, 2010
15 min is ridiculous. Do you know how much current you'd have to push to charge one of these in 15 min? They have 15m min quick chargers for AA, but not for the 16kWh batteries needed to push a car 40 miles.

No, the reason it doesn't matter that it takes 6 hrs to charge is because people won't be pulling up to these on a dead battery. They'll park it there while they go to work or out to eat. If you only have 10 miles into work, that's only a 1/4 depletion... Now it's under 2 hours to top off...
not rated yet May 06, 2010
The Think uses 28.3Kwh batteries. To completely charge such a battery in 15 minutes at the typically available 220volts, you would need a cable that can handle ~128 amps. This is assuming that the charging is linear, which is actually isn't. In truth, the majority of the charge would happen faster, thus the peak amps would likely be quite a bit higher. At 220 volts, the cable would be so thick and heavy that it wouldn't be practical.

If higher voltage were used, like say 660 volts, then the cable would only need to handle ~43 amps, but 660 volts would require thick, durable insulation to prevent electrocution. It's probably doable, but I would hate to have a crack develop in that insulation on a rainy day.
not rated yet May 09, 2010

got the info from this link.

it's prototype stage but i still th!nk this is awesome news

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