Telecommunications giant BT Group has unveiled its intention to upgrade its street cabinets for electric vehicle (EV) charging units.
Being conducted via BT’s startup and digital incubation team Etc., the organisation will conduct trials and commercial assessments for the conversion of the street cabinets in a bid to provide further EV charging accessibility.
The cabinets are currently used for providing copper-based broadband and phone services and will be decommissioned. Etc. said that around 60,000 of BT’s 90,000 cabinets could be suitable for EV charging upgrades.
The scope of the two-year trial will include technical, commercial and operational considerations. This includes factors such as cabinet location, power availability, local council engagement, public funding options, partnerships and more.
BT confirmed that the first phase of the project will begin in the Autumn of 2023 and will be available to Openreach and BY Group colleagues in Northern Ireland. Should this be successful, the group intend to roll this out to the public across the UK later in the year.
“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,” said Tom Guy, managing director of 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.”
BT’s project will support the UK Government target of having 300,000 EV chargepoints installed in the UK by 2030 – something that recently had come into question by RECHARGE UK.
Current± publisher Solar Media is hosting its EV World Congress event in London this 10-11 October. The conference will focus on some of the key discussion points from across the EV sector including delivering coherent EV charging strategies, whether the UK is on course for its 2030 charging target, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology and more. More information, including how to attend, can be read here.