BP has acquired Ashford International Truckstop with big plans for HGV charging

BP Pulse, BP's electric vehicle charging brand, has acquired the freehold of one of the largest truck stops in Europe, Ashford International Truckstop in Kent. This acquisition is part of its strategic drive to create a Europe-wide network of electric truck (EV) charging infrastructure. Located off Junction 10 of the M20, the truckstop is close to Dover ferry port and LeShuttle Freight terminal in Folkestone.  Approximately 3.5 million HGVs travel across the channel via the port of Dover and Eurotunnel each year.

The site can host approximately 20 mega-watt chargers (MCS), 10 x 400kW and 125 x 100 kW chargers. This capacity is subject to power connection availability and the pace of electrification in the UK and European road freight sector. It could enable BP pulse to install various charging options suitable for both on-the-go and overnight HGVs.

The first mega-watt chargers are expected to be in place starting in 2026. A mega-watt charger has the potential to fully charge an HGV in up to 45 minutes, enabling an onward range of around 500km, depending on battery, the weather and driving conditions. Stefan von Dobschuetz, general manager of BP Pulse Europe, said, "For fleet operators to consider going electric, they must be confident that the infrastructure is in place to support them.

That is why we are thrilled to have secured the land at a crucial site near Dover, as we strive to meet the evolving needs of HGV operators transitioning to EVs. The location of this truck stop aligns with our mission to provide accessible and strategically positioned charging infrastructure for our customers along the major truck corridors in Europe," Stefan continues, "Now we need to unlock the EV charging potential at this site.

We look forward to working with national energy infrastructure partners to facilitate timely power connections for our ambitious project." The GSE Group currently owns Ashford International Truckstop, a 21-acre site offering 660 secure parking bays and convenience services for HGV drivers. As part of the agreement, BP Pulse will lease back the site to Ashford International Truckstop Ltd, part of the GSE Group, to operate the existing site facilities and secure parking on a long-term lease. bp pulse will also operate and manage the EV charging infrastructure.

Darrell Healey, Chairman of GSE Group, said: "We know the industry, including many of our clients, want to go electric. They will need convenient and quick charging infrastructure in the right locations, so the combination of the truck stop at Ashford and BP Pulse works so well. "Our knowledge and experience of operating arguably the best truck stop in the UK, combined with bp pulse's capabilities in building the EV charging infrastructure required by our existing and future customers, is a perfect partnership.

We're looking forward to seeing our site evolve and serve such E-Trucks and to continue to explore other potential truck stop projects in the UK."