Thousands of green street cabinets are set to be turned into electric car charging points to tackle the chronic shortage, BT has announced.
Despite nearly a million electric cars now on UK roads, there are still only 55,000 on-street charging points available.
To create more, BT said it planned to retrofit up to 60,000 street boxes that currently contain broadband and phone cables for nearby homes.
With most set to be retired due to the roll-out of full-fibre internet, the telecoms giant said they could instead fit it with two charging points.
The first charger is set to be installed in East Lothian, Scotland, in the coming weeks, with further pilots set to roll out across the UK in the months to come.
There are now 975,000 fully electric cars and 590,000 plug-in hybrid cars on UK roads.
But finding somewhere to charge them is still proving a major barrier to many, with some 55,000 public points are currently in operation across the country.
One in three motorists say they would have bought switched to electric by now if charging was less of an issue, research by BT found.
Ministers have set a target of 300,000 charging points by 2030 and have invested £2bn to rapidly expand the existing infrastructure.
The government is aiming to ensure everyone in the UK has access to superfast full fibre internet by 2030.
It means the existing green cabinets, which house the traditional copper cables for broadband, are gradually being decommissioned.
BT said they had found a way to retrofit them while still in use so the existing power connection can also be shared with a vehicle charging point. There is then space for another charging point once it is fully retired.
Rishi Sunak recently delayed the ban on new petrol cars by five years to 2035 over concerns the UK wasn’t ready for the switch.
In December, the Government said the charging infrastructure had grown 42 per cent on the previous year – and was ‘well on the way’ to reaching its target.
A BT survey however found 60 per cent of respondents said Britain’s EV infrastructure was ‘inadequate’.
A further 78 per cent of petrol and diesel drivers said not being able to conveniently charge an EV is a barrier to getting one.
With a third of UK homes not having access to off-street parking, often in cities and town centres, on-street charging is seen as crucial for the roll out of electric cars.
The initiative by BT Group’s start-up and digital incubator Etc. has been recognised globally. The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has awarded it an ‘Innovation Honoree’ for outstanding design and engineering at this year’s event, taking place this week.
Tom Guy, chief executive of Etc., said: ‘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.
‘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.’