The End of Gas Stations

One of the “excuses” for the EV takeover being an issue is they will mean the end of a business — gas stations. Yes, gas stations will go away but blaming it on EVs misses a big point.

When ICE cars first started appearing there were no “gas stations”. Initially, people when to the pharmacist to buy fuel. The gas station industry started developing because there was so much more needed by those ICE vehicles. That included tire repair/change, oil changes, lubrication and all sorts of routine maintenance. Those gas stations usually had a mechanic on duty who could diagnose problems and, with the parts in stock, could fix many things.

As cars got more complicated, more reliable and more diverse, there was little such gas stations could do other than fuel your vehicle and sell you some oil. With so many gas stations and low margins on fuel sales the income from car repairs needed to be replaced with something. Today, you are more likely to find hot dogs, beer and chips for sale than a car battery (and someone who knew how to install it).

The “gas station industry” has already changed. You are already more likely to need a sandwich and a restroom while you car is being fueled than any real car maintenance. Those gas stations who have already become primarily services unrelated to actual vehicles have a head start. While I don’t have any numbers I would guess there is more money being made on non-vehicle related purchases than fuel. Their transaction to an EV station mostly means installing vehicle chargers.

Some people say that won’t work because vehicle charge times are way too long to allow the “service station” to be able to charge enough vehicles. Clearly that was the case but it is changing. Most modern EVs have a charge time about the same as the time you will spend buying a hot dog and a soda and using the restroom. Even shorter charge times are coming. This is all going to come together just fine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *