People like gas-powered cars. Some people like the range and freedom they’re granted by the quick, accessible filling stations. Others- maybe most- just like the fact that they can fill up their car with dino-juice and not worry about it again for a week or so. Is that lazy? Sure it is. Is that what’s going to kill the gasoline-powered car? If you realize that Husky’s latest fuel-filling robot exists to serve just that kind of laziness, you already know what the answer probably is.
Electric and “alternative fuel” cars are coming fast, and the gas an oil companies have begun to resort to fear-mongering, price gouging, and outright lies to keep as much of their pie as they can. Once company, though, seems to have figured out the EV’s “killer app”. That one feature of electric cars that will get people who couldn’t care less about the planet or their cars’ emissions to switch to EVs in droves might be that you’d never to need to worry about “filling up” ever again.
My take on it goes like this: the minute wireless charging becomes a thing, so that all you have to do to charge your car is park it wherever you are- no plugs, no hunting for a special spot, the ICE is doomed.
Think the average American suburbanite or city-dweller is going to pick up a gas-burner, knowing full well that they’ll have to deal with uncertain gas prices, the hassle of getting to the pump, etc. when all they can skip all of that by picking up a stylish, fashion-forward EV that they never need to think about? If you think they would, you might not actually live in ‘Murica.
So, where is Husky’s gas station robot going to be big? I’d bet dollars to donuts that you’ll see a few of these in Wal-Mart gas stations and in Costcos out in the flyover states. Gas-fueled cars still make sense out there, since a 20 mile drive one-way might still not get you anywhere (a fact that blew my mind during my Honda drive in San Antonio last month). Everywhere else? Not so much.
If Husky’s robot gas pumpers get the green light, you’ll need a special, $5 gas cap to make your car compatible. The robot will measure your car up as it pulls in, locate the fuel door, and do its thing with your car’s gas-hole. I’m predicting more than a few lawsuits will happen when people pull up to the robo-pump and forget to unlatch the door, and possibly a few drunken “fist fights” with the robot arm in Central Florida. What about you guys? Think Husky’s on to something, or is this just more proof that Americans need to put down the Whoppers and stop being a global embarrassment? Let us know, in the comments.