BT Group to transform broadband cabinets into EV chargers

BT Group trials retrofitting green street cabinets for EV charging in the UK. The project has the potential to more than double the country's existing number of charging points.
BT Group to transform broadband cabinets into EV chargers

In a move to help solve the UK’s EV charging infrastructure, BT Group’s incubation hub Etc. has today announced that it will begin trials of retrofitting green street cabinets traditionally used for broadband and phone cabling storage for use as EV charging units.

The first charger will go live in East Lothian, Scotland in the coming weeks with further pilots planned to roll out across the UK in due course.

Barriers to entry

With the UK reporting only 53,000 public charge points countrywide, according to BT Group research, almost two-thirds (60 percent) of those surveyed indicated that the country’s EV charging infrastructure isn’t up to par. 

When petrol and diesel drivers were queried about obstacles preventing them from switching to electric, 78 percent cited the lack of convenient charging options.

While the UK Government has pushed back its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035, the goal of 300,000 charge points remains in effect.

According to BT, the retrofitting of copper broadband services cabinets, thanks in part to an ongoing nationwide full fibre rollout, has the potential to add as many as 60,000 new EV charging points, a figure that would more than double today’s number.

Challenges ahead

The initiative is still in early days, as Etc. says that there are several technical, commercial, and operational factors at play in bringing this EV charge point network up to full capacity.

“Our new charging solution is a huge step in bringing EV charging kerbside and exploring how we can address key barriers customers are currently facing,” commented Etc. managing director Tom Guy. 

“Working closely with local councils in Scotland and more widely across the UK, we are at a critical stage of our journey in tackling a very real customer problem that sits at the heart of our wider purpose to connect for good.”

Lead image via BT.

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