EPA issues final rule on air toxics from gasoline distribution facilities
Daimler Truck North America beginning deliveries of first battery-electric Freightliner eM2 box trucks

bp pulse acquires one of Europe’s largest truck stops; plans to transform the site with mega-watt EV chargers for HGVs

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, as part of its strategic drive to create a Europe-wide network of electric truck (EV) charging infrastructure.

Strategically located off Junction 10 and 10a of the M20, Ashford International 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 Vehicles (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.


The site has the capacity to 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 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 (500km) in a single charge, depending on EV model, battery, the weather and driving conditions.

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. bp pulse will operate and manage the EV charging infrastructure.

bp 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.

In January 2023, bp launched Europe’s first truck charging corridor along a 600km 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 more than 750km 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.

EV charging is one of bp’s five ‘transition growth engines’, alongside convenience, bioenergy, hydrogen and renewables and power.



Following the incredible success of cost reduction for renewables, the battleground has somewhat shifted to issues of how you transport that power around, store it for when it is actually needed, and provide it, in this case in for the very spikey demand to charge a BEV truck.

Here is what Germany is planning to cope:


' An EU regulation has already set concrete minimum targets with regard to public truck charging infrastructure for all EU Member States: For instance, Germany must have a total of 32 truck charging locations by 2025, rising to 104 by 2027 and finally to 314 by 2030. The related charging capacity for trucks will increase from approximately 66 megawatts in 2025 to 918 megawatts in 2030. The EU regulation also states that there must be fast-charging infrastructure available for battery-electric trucks every 60 to 100 km along the most important German motorways.

This raises questions about suitable locations, their design and the number of locations and charging points beyond the specified minimum amount. The researchers conclude that an initial network for Germany should cover approximately 142 charging locations. The underlying scenario assumes that, in 2030, trucks will charge during the statutory 45 minute break after four-and-a-half hours of driving, about 15% of all heavy-duty trucks will be battery-electric ones, and a maximum of half of all charging processes will take place using public charging infrastructure.'


As Gryf has argued here, the solution to moving renewable power around without destroying the countryside may be to put them underground, and Germany with its greater willingness than Anglo-Saxon countries to pay for infrastructure is doing just that:


' Today, global engineering and consultancy group DMT GROUP said it has been appointed to support two critical elements of the construction of SuedLink, the longest underground power cable in the world. The 700-km 100% underground SuedLink transmission line will transport wind energy from northern Germany to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg and better integrate sources of renewable energy into Germany’s electricity grid.'


Meanwhile in the quarterly performance oriented US with a hefty dose of regulatory capture:


' Expanding transmission could lower electricity generation costs; in 2022, a fully integrated grid in the central U.S. would have lowered those generation costs by $2 billion.

The costs, the study finds, would be lowered in part because more transmission would allow for better use of the wind generation that's already available. But building transmission is likely to be opposed by existing power plants, whose profits—for some to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually—are protected by inadequate transmission for new competitors.

Although building transmission could be beneficial, it will lower profits at some power plants. The problem, according to Hausman, "is that some of the same companies that would see a cut to their net revenues are the companies that have a big say in when, where and whether transmission lines get built."'

Clearly those executives are laser focussed on providing benefits to society commensurate with their drawing a hundred times or so average wages!




I doubt that demand would be "spikey" in this case, with nearly 10,000 trucks per day on this route (3.5 million per year). That's a steady flow!
Besides, there are several solutions to this issue that already in use for smaller sites that don't have upgraded grid access (yet).


Whether it's charging batteries or making hydrogen where you use it we're going to need a good electrical grid everywhere let's get going!


Hi Bernard.

If it were a steady flow 24/7 fair enough.

I have not studied heavy truck delivery schedules, but I am betting that there are rush hours there too.

For instance deliveries to supermarkets tend to happen in time slots during the day when they have the staff about etc, so that will determine when the trucks have to be en route.

Especially with TOU charging it can be smoothed perhaps to a greater degree perhaps than private cars, but managing such heavy loads locally on the grid is going to pose significant challenges.

Hydrogen powered charging stations are one of the options being developed and installed! ;-)



Long distance trucking tends to be more 24/7. Drivers still need to sleep, but that time can also be used for charging.
The article mentions 3.5 million trucks a year, which wouldn't be possible if they all showed-up at the same time.

I watched a short film about EV regional delivery for a supermarket chain, and the trucks were charged overnight, but also when they were loaded and unloaded at distribution centres and at supermarkets. There's no peak, because you can only load so many trucks at a time. Even a large truck only requires the peak charging power of two or three modern EVs, which isn't much for large facilities like warehouses and supermarkets. They probably already have more chargers installed out front for regular customers.


Hi Bernard.

It would be good if you would supply the references on which you base your statements, otherwise it is impossible for others to know whether they are fair enough or not.


New issues are arising in providing power for cars and trucks, as both the imputs and outputs are increasingly variable.

Oil and hydrogen are inherently storable, and gas generators can provide power anytime, more or less regardless of the time of the year or weather, or day or night, whilst it takes ten minutes or so (?)to pump the diesel into a truck.

Obviously imputs with more and more renewables will be increasingly variable, and charging a BEV is not only more time consuming than pumping in some diesel, but demands power right then and in some substantial quantity.

Here is a German study on criteria for providing charging points for HGV's:


Some of their assumptions seem a wee bit optimistic to me, but they very rightly point out that most of the fleet will remain diesel for some time. So they will have the inherent flexibility and non-renewables dependability of this option to fall back on.

And here is a study pointing out that previously trip optimisation was done on time and distance, whereas there are now a whole new set of variables to optimise for, how much they are charged for renewable electricity according to when it is in surplus or supplies are tight, for instance:


Difficulties do not have to be regarded as insuperable obstacles, and I certainly do not intend to present them as such.

However it is plain that fleet managers will live in what the Chinese call: 'Interesting times.'

The comments to this entry are closed.