UK telco BT has announced plans to repurpose its old street cabinets into EV (electric vehicle) charging points.

The company said that it will power up its first EV charging unit built from a street cabinet traditionally used to store broadband and phone cabling.

BT EV cabinets
– BT Group

BT's green cabinets - located on streets across the country - have become redundant as the telco has expanded its fiber broadband rollout.

The telco said that up to 60,000 cabinets could be upgraded into EV charging points, which will support the government's sustainability targets.

The repurposing of the existing street furniture is also expected to help address the lack of chargers currently on UK roads, with this number standing at just 53,000 at present.

By 2030, the UK government wants to increase this figure to 300,000.

The first installation will be in East Lothian, Scotland, while further pilots will roll out across the UK in the coming months, said Etc., the start-up and digital incubation arm of BT.

According to the telco, the charging solution works by retrofitting the cabinets with a device that enables renewable energy to be shared to a charge point alongside the existing broadband service, with no need to create a new power connection.

EV charging can be deployed to cabinets that are in use for current copper broadband services or those due for retirement, depending on the space and power available to the unit.

BT notes that once equipment is no longer needed for broadband and the equipment is recycled, additional EV charge points can be added.

“Our new charging solution is a huge step in bringing EV charging curbside and exploring how we can address key barriers customers are currently facing," said Tom Guy, managing director, Etc. at BT Group.

"Working closely with local councils in Scotland and more widely across the UK, we are at a critical stage of our journey in tackling a very real customer problem that sits at the heart of our wider purpose to connect for good.”