From E15 to electric vehicles, learn what’s ahead for the fuels category in 2019.
Convenience stores sell nearly 80% of the fuel purchased in the U.S. and conduct an estimated 165 million transactions a day, making the industry a good indicator for trends related to travel and consumer spending.
However, car makers, fuel makers and transportation groups are constantly looking at the industry to see how it can further the adoption of ethanol mixes, electric vehicles (EV), biodiesel, hydrogen and other options.
More and more ethanol blended fuel is at the forefront of the alternative fuels discussion.
American drivers across the U.S. have logged a total of seven billion miles on E15, according to Growth Energy, a fuels trade association.
E15 could double to around 2,700 by late 2019, 2.2% of the estimated 150,000 stations in the country.
“Retailers who are in a contract to sell a particular brand of gasoline must receive permission from their supplier to offer E15,” said John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute. “Recent estimates place the number of retail outlets subject to branded contracts at approximately 50%. Owners of the brand being sold may not be willing to allow E15 to be sold under their brand for a variety of reasons and this can limit the market expansion of the product.”
Comparably there are nearly 4,300 sites in U.S. selling E85 fuel.
STRUCTURING FOR EV
Royal Dutch Shell PLC is expanding its electric vehicle footprint in the U.S. with the February 2019 acquisition of Greenlots, an EV-charging company based in Los Angeles
Bigger chains including Sheetz, Wawa and Maverik are expanding their EV charging station networks as EV production remains a hot topic. Last year, BP purchased Chargemaster, the largest charging network in Britain.
This Alltown Fresh location in Plymouth, Mass. is the first Global Partners location to offer guests EV chargers. As the fresh convenience market, Alltown Fresh is on a mission to elevate the way people shop, eat and fuel at c-stores, said Dylan Remley, senior vice president of terminal operations at Global Partners, Alltown Fresh’s parent company.
The location features fresh food options with organic, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and locally-sourced alternatives—all with eco-friendly packaging. It makes sense that there would be a variety of fueling options outside.
The Plymouth store has 12 regular fueling spots in the front of the market, three high-speed diesel-fueling stations in the rear and four Electrify America direct-current fast chargers (DCFC) to serve customers with electric vehicles (EVs).
“With tech savvy Millennials as a primary target audience for Alltown Fresh, it’s become clear to the team that consumers are more devoted to eco-friendly alternatives than ever before,” Remley said.