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BT Charges Ahead with First EV-Charging Street Cabinet Integration

Celebrating a significant milestone, BT Group has successfully installed its inaugural electric vehicle (EV) charge point, powered directly from a street cabinet. This achievement signifies the completion of the initial phase of trials, with the potential to revolutionise the landscape by repurposing hundreds of cabinet units across the UK.

The inaugural charger, situated in East Lothian, Scotland, heralds a new era for local residents, offering them complimentary access to EV charging until May 31st as part of the ongoing pilot. Accessible via a trial app available on both the App Store and Google Play Store, EV drivers can seamlessly utilise the charge point.

With the first phase accomplished, the project, spearheaded by a start-up incubation hub, etc., now focuses on converting a cabinet site in West Yorkshire. BT Group anticipates that the pilot initiative could pave the way for the transformation of up to 600 trial sites into EV charging stations nationwide.

These novel chargers draw power from BT Group-owned cabinets traditionally utilised for broadband and phone cabling. Leveraging existing infrastructure, this approach promises swift and hassle-free deployment of new chargers, sidestepping the need for costly grid upgrades or resident disruption.

Throughout the pilot program, Etc. BT Group will meticulously evaluate various elements, from the digital customer experience to engineering and technology choices, planning, local engagement, operational procedures, and commercial viability.

Furthermore, BT Group has identified approximately 4,800 street cabinets in Scotland suitable for potential upgrades, a move that could nearly double the current number of public charge points across the country. This ambitious endeavour promises to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles while optimising existing infrastructure to meet evolving mobility needs.

"With our research showing that 78 per cent of petrol and diesel drivers see not being able to conveniently charge an EV as a key 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," said Tom Guy, managing director at BT Group. "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."

In related news, energy powerhouse EDG has unveiled a strategic collaboration with EV charge point provider Pod Point for a groundbreaking innovative charging pilot project.

This joint endeavor aims to optimise EV charging schedules by leveraging day-ahead electricity demand forecasts. This will facilitate the shift of customers' electricity usage to off-peak hours, reducing carbon emissions and mitigating energy costs.

During the inaugural six-month pilot phase, handpicked Pod Point customers will receive incentives to participate in the trial. Through this initiative, Pod Point gains the capability to adjust charging schedules dynamically, allowing for the pausing of charging sessions for up to four hours between 16:00 and 20:00. This timeframe coincides with periods of peak wholesale energy demand, highlighting the project's strategic focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

Stuart Fenner, wholesale market services commercial director at EDF, said: "We are delighted to partner with Pod Point on this Smart Charging pilot, which combines EDF's expertise in energy forecasting and commitment to helping Britain achieve net zero with Pod Point's innovative charging solutions. Through the optimisation of EV charging, our aim is to help customers save cash and carbon whilst at the same time advancing the transition to a greener future."


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