BT is starting a program to turn old street cabinets that are usually used for phone and broadband lines into charging stations for electric cars.
The pilot program’s first conversion will happen in a few weeks in East Lothian, Scotland. After that, the program will be spread to other places.
The plan was announced before the CES tech show in Las Vegas. It is being run by the startup Etc, which is part of the BT Group’s digital innovation arm.
A study from BT found that 60% of Britons believe the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles is not good enough. Most of the people who drove gasoline or diesel cars (78%) said that not being able to easily charge an EV was something that kept them from buying one.
In 2023, the UK added a record number of public chargers for electric cars. At the same time, the network of ultra-rapid chargers for longer trips doubled in size.
EV Charging Surge: 53,200 chargers added in 2023, up 43% from 2022
According to the data company ZapMap, more than 53,200 public chargers were added in the year ending December 12, 2018. That’s an increase of almost 16,000. That was a 43% rise from 2022, which is a lot faster than the last three years.
Rishi Sunak, who was prime minister last year, pushed back the ban on selling new gasoline and diesel cars by five years, to 2035.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says that sales of electric cars stayed the same in 2023, with 16.5% of all new cars being electric. This was down from 16.6% in 2022.
Manager of Etc, Tom Guy, said, “Our new charging solution is a huge step toward bringing EV charging to the curbside and looking into how we can remove key barriers that customers are currently facing.”
“We are at a very important point in our journey to solve a very real customer problem that is at the heart of our larger goal to connect for good. We are working closely with local councils in Scotland and across the UK.”
Engineers will add a device to the cabinets that lets renewable energy be shared to a charging station along with the current broadband service. This way, there will be no need to make a new power link.