BT green cabinet conversion to EV charge point

BT to begin conversion of street cabinets to EV chargers in Scotland

Nic Ryan

BT Group has announced that its start-up and Digital incubation team, Etc., will begin conducting pilots in Scotland within the coming weeks to convert or upgrade its street cabinets to electric vehicle charging units.

The street cabinets are currently used for providing copper-based broadband and phone services, and will be decommissioned as the nationwide upgrade to full fibre progresses.

The green lockers will have one charge point per cabinet, which provides two charging sockets, enabling two electric vehicles to charge simultaneously.

The first location will be in East Lothian, with further pilots to roll out across the UK in the coming months - broadband services should not be affected during the conversions thanks to back-up batteries.

Most electric vehicle (EV) drivers conduct the majority of their charging when the car is parked up overnight. However, this can present an issue for those without off-street parking, on-street charging solutions such as bollard and lamp post style charge points solve this issue and remove the need for additional street furniture.

Etc.’s early projections suggest that, over time, as many as 60,000 of the Group’s 90,000 cabinets may be suitable for upgrades to EV charging points. BT Group already purchases 100% renewable electricity and will continue this through the EV charging pilots.

“Our new charging solution is a huge step in bringing EV charging kerbside and exploring how we can address key barriers customers are currently facing,” said Tom Guy, CEO of Etc..

“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.”

“This is a key step in our mission to build products and services right now that work for the future, with positive transformation at the heart."


The government aims to increase the number of charge points from 53,906 as of the end of December 2023, to 300,000 by 2030.


"Harnessing existing street furniture is a great way to increase the number of public EV charging points without further adding to clutter along our footpaths," said Stuart Masson from automotive website The Car Expert

"Making this even more valuable, many of these green street cabinets are located in residential areas across the UK, including smaller villages and towns, where charging infrastructure is most severely lacking."