For most Engadget readers, telephone booths rank somewhere up there with smoke signals in the annals of communication devices -- old
, and bypassed by newer and better technology. Ah, but wait, what if we used all those cables we have wired into those boxes for something actually helpful? Telekom Austria's trying to do just that with its newly unveiled plan to roll out 30 electric vehicle recharging stations over the rest of this year. Attached to what are admittedly rather swish phone boxes, these stations will juice up one of the 3,782 currently registered electric or hybrid transporters in Austria at remarkably low prices. The testing phase will allow free recharging, and even after that it'd be a single-digit Euro cost to boost your battery back up. Ironically, the fastest way to pay will be via your mobile phone, but let's just get this project off the ground first, then
we can worry about how to save the precious talker boxes from extinction.