Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: March 15, 2024
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By Mobility Portal
United Kingdom
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bp pulse acquires full ownership of one of Europe’s largest truck stops: Ashford International Truckstop in Kent

The site has the capacity to host approximately 20 MCS, ten 400kW and 125 100kW chargers. bp pulse will operate and manage the infrastructure.
bp pulse Ashford charging

bp pulse, bp’s electric vehicle (EV) charging brand, has acquired the freehold of one of the largest truck stops in Europe, Ashford International Truckstop in Kent as part of its strategic drive to create a Europe-wide network of eTruck charging infrastructure.

Strategically located off Junction 10 and 10a of the M20, the Truckstop is close to Dover, the UK’s busiest ferry port, and LeShuttle Freight via the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone.

Approximately 3.5 million Heavy Goods Vhicles (HGVs) travel across the channel via the port of Dover and Eurotunnel each year.

The acquisition presents bp with the opportunity to help meet the comprehensive needs of UK and European HGV operators transitioning to EVs.

Stefan von Dobschuetz, general manager bp pulse Europe, states, “For fleet operators to consider going electric, they must be confident that the infrastructure is in place to support them.”

“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,” he adds.

The site has the capacity to host approximately 20 mega-watt chargers (MCS), ten 400 kilowatts and 125 100 kilowatts 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 the firm to install a range of charging options suitable for both on-the-go and overnight HGVs.

The first mega-watt chargers are expected to be in place from 2026.

A mega-watt charger has the potential to fully charge an HGV in up to 45 minutes, enabling an onward range of ~310 miles (500 kilometers) in a single charge, depending on EV model, battery, the weather and driving conditions.

“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,” says von Dobschuetz.

Ashford International Truckstop is currently owned by the GSE Group.

The 21-acre site already offers 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 GSE Group, to operate the existing site facilities and secure parking on a long-term lease.

The firm will operate and manage the EV charging infrastructure.

Darrell Healey, Chairman of GSE Group, says: “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, which is why 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,” he adds.

The firm aims to create a network of mobility hubs along key logistics corridors across UK & Europe providing freight operators with a range of energy options, including traditional fuels to support its fleet customers at every stage of their decarbonisation journey.

“Across Europe, we support 1.8 million fleet drivers providing fuels, charging and convenience offers across key logistics routes. This acquisition will be a great addition to our offering,” indicates Alex Eftimiu, vice president Fleet Europe.

In January 2023, the firm launched Europe’s first truck charging corridor along a 600 kilometers stretch of the Rhine-Alpine corridor across Germany.

21 Aral pulse (bp’s brand in Germany) EV truck stops are already operational in Germany enabling an electric truck to cover over 750 kilometers across multiple routes throughout Germany.

Once the EV chargers are installed on the acquired site, bp pulse is set to establish a link between the UK and its German charging corridor to further encourage HGV operators to shift to electric.

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