01 May 2024: BT Group, a British multinational telecommunications holding company, has installed its first electric vehicle charging point in the UK. Fueled by a street cabinet, this marks the beginning of preliminary testing, potentially leading to widespread improvements in cabinet units across the UK. This charging station, deriving its power from a cabinet, traditionally utilised by BT Group for storing broadband and phone cabling, is a component of a countrywide pilot led by the company's startup incubation hub, Etc. The initiative aims to tackle the deficiency in public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The initial charger has been set up in East Lothian, Scotland, catering to local residents who can charge their electric vehicles at no charge until May 31st as part of the trial phase. The next focus area for the pilot will be West Yorkshire, with plans to expand to 600 trial locations throughout the UK. Electric vehicle drivers can conveniently access the charging point by downloading the trial app from either the App Store or Google Play Store.

The Etc. team collaboratively designed and developed the app with input from EV drivers. It incorporates features tailored to their preferences, such as UK-wide visibility of EV chargers, real-time updates on pricing, availability, and charging speed. Users can also initiate, halt, and monitor charge sessions through the app, and filter options are available based on connector type, charging speed, and network.

EV drivers have the ability to link their electric vehicles to the app, enabling them to receive real-time updates on battery levels, estimated costs, and charging times, as well as access their charging history. During the trial period, BT Group will assess various aspects, including the digital user experience, engineering and technology selections, planning and community involvement, operational strategies, and commercial possibilities. According to Zapmap data, Scotland currently has only 5,052 public EV chargers, while Etc. has identified approximately 4,800 street cabinets that could potentially be repurposed for upgrades in Scotland to accommodate the growing demand.

In a press release published by BT Group, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Transport at Scottish Government, stated, "This is an exciting and innovative development in the provision of electric vehicle charging so I'm really pleased that the first trial in the UK is taking place in East Lothian.”

He further added, "This government is committed to supporting people to make the switch from petrol and diesel vehicles, and our vision for Scotland's future public EV charging network highlights the need for private sector finance and delivery to build on our significant investment in the network to date. I'm really looking forward to seeing more partnership working like this as we continue to help people in Scotland to make greener transport choices."

Also, Tom Guy, Managing Director, Etc., BT Group commented, "With our research showing that 78% 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. 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."

The introduction of the first-ever public EV charging point converted from a green cabinet by BT Group marks a significant milestone in the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation. This innovative initiative not only repurposes existing infrastructure but also paves the way for a more accessible and eco-friendly charging network. As BT Group continues to lead the way in sustainable solutions, this pioneering project sets a precedent for future endeavours in the transition towards greener transportation infrastructure.