While previously first announced in July 2023, BT Group is now set to test its method of converting reused on-street broadband cabinets into EV charging stations in Scotland this month. Etc., its subsidiary for start-ups and digital incubation, will change a cabinet in East Lothian this month to evaluate if the solution can be applied across the UK.
The business aims to transform up to 60,000 cabinets across Britain and will use the pilot to evaluate various technical, commercial and operational aspects. These involve power, customer experience, accessibility, and collaboration with local stakeholders. The solution uses a device that allows sharing energy between copper broadband and EV charging. The solution can be applied to both active and retired broadband cabinets.
The pilots will use renewable energy, mainly from certified tariffs, to power the cabinets. BT Group is financing the pilots but still assessing whether to pursue a wider rollout as a Group project or a partnership model. To accentuate BT’s strategy, Etc.’s Managing Director stated that “Our new charging solution is a huge step in bringing EV charging to the kerbside and exploring how we can address key barriers customers are currently facing. 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.”
The UK currently has more than 50,000 public EV charging stations, but the Government wants to raise the number to 300,000 by 2030. This ultimately shows BT’s and the nation’s government to greener energy and less raw materials.