BT’s first green cabinet EV charger goes to work

BT Group have powered up the first EV charger transformed from a green cabinet in East Lothian, Scotland and it will be free for the public to use throughout May.

As the country is upgraded to full fibre, BT’s familiar green street cabinets – currently used for providing phone services and broadband – will soon become obsolete and BT have been looking at an innovative way of repurposing them: turning them into EV charge points.


BT Group has now begun the first phase of its trial, which could lead to the wider upgrade of cabinet units across the UK. The charger forms part of a nationwide pilot by the business’ start-up incubation hub Etc., designed to address the shortfall in public EV charging infrastructure.

The first charger has been installed in East Lothian, Scotland, for use by local residents, who will be able to charge their electric vehicles at no cost until 31st May as part of the pilot.

The potential impact of the scheme is illustrated by the fact that Etc. has identified up to 4,800 street cabinets in Scotland that could be upgraded, almost doubling the current number of EV chargers in the country (5,052 according to Zapmap data).

In total, it is thought that up to 60,000 of the Group’s 90,000 cabinets may be suitable for conversion.

The pilot will focus next on West Yorkshire, with ambitions to scale up to 600 trial sites across the UK. EV drivers can use the charge point by downloading the trial app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

The app is designed and developed by the Etc. team in conjunction with EV drivers and includes the features they said they wanted to see, such as visibility of EV chargers across the UK, alongside real-time pricing, availability and charge speed, the ability to start, stop and monitor charge sessions via the app and to filter by connector type, kW speed and charging network.

EV owners can connect their EV to the app to get live updates on battery levels, smart estimated costs and charge times, and access their charging history. Throughout the pilots Etc. at BT Group will test elements ranging from the digital customer experience to engineering and technology choices, planning and local engagement, operational and commercial options.

Tom Guy, Managing Director, Etc., BT Group says: ‘With our research showing that 78% of petrol and diesel drivers see not being able to conveniently charge an EV as a key a barrier to purchasing one, and the UK behind government-set sustainability targets, it’s critical that we start looking at existing infrastructure to drive innovation at speed.

‘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.’


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top