BT has announced a two-year pilot scheme which will see electric vehicle charging points fitted to street cabinets at locations across the UK, starting in Northern Ireland this autumn.
Openreach, BT’s arms-length network division, is currently rolling out fibre-based broadband across the UK. Once that work’s completed the existing street cabinets, which are used to deliver copper-based phone and broadband, are set to be decommissioned.
The pilot announced today will be carried out by Etc., the BT Group’s start-up and Digital incubation team, and will see the cabinets converted or upgraded for electric charging points.
BT says the scheme is intended to “provide critical insight into the viability to scale EV charging to more locations across its estate.”
It’s projected that as many as 60,000 of the 90,000 BT cabinets located around the country could be suitable for eventual conversion to EV charging points. However, decisions on any further scaling on this programme will depend on the success of pilot.
“With the ban on sales of internal combustion engine vehicles coming in 2030, and with only around 45,000 public charge points today, the UK needs a massive upgrade to meet the needs of the EV revolution,” says Tom Guy, Managing Director, Etc. at BT Group.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect for good in a whole new way by innovating around our cabinet infrastructure. The pilots are critical for the team to work through the assessment and establish effective technical, commercial and operational routes to market over the next two years.”