South Korean utility company Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) plans to roll-out a low-cost network of electric vehicle rechargers across the country.

The South Korea market for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles has been expanding rapidly in recent years, with sales in the first four months of the year alone having reached 15,000 units.

The company is currently developing rechargers that can be installed on the country’s existing network of telephone poles. It estimates that there are around 30,000 telephone poles located near parking lots, while the total number nationwide is estimated at around 9m.

The idea to use telephone poles came from an employee competition. The system uses an electrical connector, recharger system, a measuring system and an LED light, all contained in a black box.

The system offers three types of charging – a full-charge six hour charge, a half-charge which takes two hours plus a quick 30 minute top-up.