BT begins EV charging pilot scheme 


The group announced the trial in July last year 

BT Group’s startup incubation arm, Etc., has upcycled a now obsolete BT street cabinet in East Lothian, Scotland, into an electric vehicle (EV) charging point.  

This is the first installation as part of a wider initiative aiming to explore the feasibility of using BT Group’s existing street cabinets for EV charging, helping to address the country’s shortage of vehicle charging infrastructure. 

The charger in East Lothian has been deployed as part of an initial pilot scheme allowing residents to use the charger for free until the end of the month.  

The pilot program is set to expand West Yorkshire in the near future, with plans to ultimately test 600 sites across the UK. 

EV drivers can access the charging point via an app, which allows drivers to find available charging points, monitor charging sessions, and view charging history. 

In Scotland specifically, there are only 5,052 EV chargers, an amount which, according to BT, is unable to meet the current demand. The repurposing of street cabinets could provide up to 4,800 additional chargers in Scotland, nearly doubling the available infrastructure.  

Consumer adoption of EVs is that being greatly hindered by this lack of charging infrastructure, with BT noting that 78% of petrol and diesel car drivers see not being able to easily charge an EV as a barrier to purchase.  

The UK government aims to increase EV charging points in the UK from 53,000 to 300,000 by 2030, a plan they say will cost the country £1.6 billion. In 2022, when this aim was announced, this tied in with the government’s decision to ban the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030, although this has now been pushed back five years. 

“It’s critical that we start looking at existing infrastructure to drive innovation at speed,” said Tom Guy, Managing Director at Etc. in a press release.  

“These trials present a unique opportunity to tap into existing assets to drive the important transition to electrification in the UK, and we’re proud to be working with local councils in East Lothian and more widely across the UK at this critical stage to play our part,” he continued. 

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