Old green street cabinets scattered throughout the UK will be used for a new pilot aiming to tackle the EV charge point shortfall.

The scheme will target up to 60,000 street cabinets, previously used for broadband, in a bid to tackle one of the main barriers to EV ownership; a lack of charging infrastructure which causes range anxiety. BT Group, alongside their innovation and incubation hub Etc., will power up its first EV charging unit in East Lothian, Scotland. If successful, Etc. plans to install between 500 and 600 EV charging units across the UK over the next 18 months as part of this trial.

There are just over 53,000 charge points available across the UK today, with a target of 300,000 installations by 2030. 2023 was a record year for charge point installations, introducing 16,000 new chargers to the UK, a 43 per cent increase on 2022. However, EV sales flatlined for the first time in 2023 as market share declined relative to 2022. A lack of faith in the UK’s charging infrastructure is a key reason for this plateau.

BT Group’s previous research explained that 38 per cent of people would have an EV already if charging was less of an issue. Furthermore, 60 per cent believe the UK’s charging infrastructure is inadequate, and 78 per cent of petrol and diesel vehicle drivers cite not being able to conveniently charge an EV as a barrier to getting one.

The strategy to repurpose old street cabinets will speed up the rollout of EV charge points, increasing confidence in the technology and stimulating growth for the EV sector alongside a transition away from petrol and diesel vehicles.

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