The electric charging infrastructure arm of BP has acquired the freehold of Ashford International truckstop next to the M20 in Kent.

BP Pulse said the move was part of its drive to create a Europe-wide network of eHGV charging infrastructure.

It said the acquisition presented it with the opportunity to help meet the needs of UK and European HGV operators transitioning to electric variants.

Ashford International has the capacity to host around 20 megawatt chargers, 10 x 400kW chargers and 125 x 100kW chargers, although this capacity depends on power connection availability and the pace of electrification in the UK.

BP Pulse reckoned the site could potentially enable it to install charging options suitable for on-the-go and overnight lorries.

A megawatt charger can fully charge an HGV in 45 minutes and enables an onward range of around 310 miles (500km), although this is dependent on a range of factors relating to model, battery, weather and driving conditions.

Stefan von Dobschuetz, general manager at 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 to 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.”

The truckstop is currently owned by GSE Group and the 21-acre site offers 660 secure parking bays for lorries.

As part of the agreement, BP Pulse said it would lease back the site to Ashford International Truckstop, part of GSE Group, to operate the existing site facilities and parking on a long-term lease.

BP will then focus on operating the EV charging kit.

GSE Group chairman Darrell Healey 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, which is why the combination of the truck stop at Ashford and BP Pulse works so well.”