Despite being regular fixtures in our daily lives, gas stations face multiple threats to their existence in the form of affordable, consumer-grade electric cars and other convenient alternatives to the traditional pump-and-pay routine.
Interestingly, a number of innovative startups are building solutions aimed at making gas stations history—without fully doing away with the gas part of the equation.
How, you ask?
By simply offering refueling services directly to a customer’s location. Using the firm’s mobile app to order gas delivery services on-demand, customers can have a refueling truck come directly to their home or workplace and fill their gas tanks while they wait. Let’s have a look at the best of these startups aspirating to build a better alternative to the gas station.
WeFuel’s goal is to eliminate the ritual of driving to a gas station to fill up your car. They bring the fuel to you instead—wherever you are—via its fleet of efficient and safe fueling trucks. Your order is placed through a simple and user-friendly mobile app called “Gas, Unstationed.” WeFuel now operates exclusively in Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, with other areas of operation coming soon.
Miami-based Gas Ninjas is a fuel delivery service that does not charge any extra fees for refueling your car. Like other mobile refueling options, Gas Ninjas will deliver fuel to your workplace, home, or anywhere you might find yourself in need of a fill-up.
With Yoshi!, you’ll never look at your car’s fuel gauge again. Yoshi! comes to you, finds your car, and fills it up every week automatically. Getting started is easy: just sign up for a free account, tell them what type of car you have, and where you want it to be regularly filled up. Yoshi! currently operates in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nashville, and Atlanta.
Joule Refuel delivers fuel to your parked car no matter where it’s located. Choose a fueling time, leave your gas tank cap open, and Joule Refuel will deliver fuel of the same price and quality as your traditional gas station. The service currently operates in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Alhambra, Inglewood, Huntington Park, and Lynwood.
Another Los Angeles-based fuel delivery service, Purple was founded by UCLA professor Jean-Pierre Hubschman and Bruno Uzzan, former CEO/founder of 3D graphics company Total Immersion. The startup thus far has raised between $500K and $1 mln from investors including Oscar Salazar (Uber’s 3rd co-founder), Travis Kalanick, and Garrett Camp.
Purple delivers gas in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Palo Alto, and charges a small extra on top of the gas cost.
Founded in January 2015, San Francisco-based Filld delivers on-demand gas to clients using its free mobile app throughout Silicon Valley. The company buys gas wholesale and charges a flat fee of 5 US dollars per refueling session. The price of gas is determined by taking the average between the prices at 5 gas stations closest to the customer’s vehicle.
The company is planning to increase its fleet by 10 vehicles over the next year, as well as build out its operations and marketing teams. The service purportedly already has thousands of customers.
Seattle-based Booster Fuels was founded in 2014 by Frank Mycroft—former VP of Strategy at asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, Tyler Raugh, and Diego Netto. The startup currently offers an invite-only service in Dallas and San Francisco and has so far raised $3.1 million in funding from Madrona Venture Group, among others.
Like its competitors, Booster Fuels sends trucks to refuel vehicles in corporate parking lots and other designated business locations—and does not charge extra fee in addition to the price of gas. Consumers wishing to use Booster Fuels’ app must first verify if the company can service their vehicles.
Transportation-related disruptions are commonplace these days; these 7 gas refueling startups are the latest upstarts attempting to flip the script on longstanding modes of consumption—this time, by eliminating trips to the gas station. Only time will tell if these new refueling services will garner mass appeal—that said, these firms are already getting some early wins and enjoying relative success in their respective markets.