Gas Station Owners Think Biofuel Will be Big in 2017

Citing moves from select Sheetz, RaceTrac, and Mapco locations to add E15, E85, and electric fast-charging stations to their existing fuel stops, the CSP Daily News believes that popular biofuel will be big in 2017. Just how big? CSP, the leading trade journal for convenience store and petroleum retailers, is expecting offering “expanded refueling options” like these to be one of the top 5 industry trends throughout 2017.

If CSP is right, the move makes sense as more and more gas station owners start to look into new ways to get Tesla and other EV/PHEV owners to spend more time inside their stores. Or, you know, any time in their stores!

You can check out the logic involved in the biofuel boosting post, reprinted below, and check out the other “top trends” for 2017 at the original article by clicking here. Be warned: the picture for the number two trend involves a bearded, hipster-y type guy filling up a growler with microbrew beer. I’ll let you think about why that’s sketchy on your own, however. Enjoy!

 

Biofuel and EV to Shape Gas Stations in 2017


E15 E85 Fuel Pump

Today’s cars run on more fuel types than ever before; some of the latest options are E85, E15, electricity, and in California, even hydrogen. Yet, to date, convenience retailers have been slow to add these new fuels to the mix, partly because expanding fuel offerings can be costly. The process often requires repurposing existing pumps or adding new pumps and canopies. Beyond the upfront capital investment, the construction period associated with these changes can drive even loyal customers to visit nearby competitors, causing sales disruption and potentially long-term customer loss.

Some convenience stores, however, have accepted that risk, implementing a wider variety of fuel offerings at select locations. Sheetz has added E15 and E85 to some Virginia locations, and it is in talks with Tesla to add chargers for electric vehicles (EVs) in the near future. Other chains, including RaceTrac and Mapco, have also begun offering E15.

Before investing in upgraded pumps across their networks, executives should first run small in-market tests to determine which, if any, of these fueling options are right for them. By first trying new fuel offerings in select locations, retailers can let consumers vote with their wallet on the importance of these offerings and design a more profitable strategy accordingly.

 

Source | Images: CSP Daily News.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.