Despite traditional fuel’s expected dominance in the new decade,c-store retailers are adapting to signs of disruption in the fuel market by integrating electric vehicle charging stations and flex fuels.
The ‘20s have arrived carrying early signals that this decade will begin to bring transformation to the fuels market as convenience store retailers know it. C-store operators are pivoting with the changes, piloting electric vehicle chargers, experimenting with a range of fuel options and evaluating market headwinds and tailwinds.
And they’re not alone.Fuel disruption also provides new opportunities for competing channels to enter the field with electric vehicle chargers, which makes astute c-store retailers all the more interested in monitoring market conditions and testing new options.
“Given the level of disruption that is likely in the fueling space over the next 10 to 20 years, we think it’s becoming increasingly important to embrace change rather than push back on it,” said Ken Kleemeier, vice president, fuels, with Kum & Go, which operates 400 stores across 11 states. “It all comes back to meeting the needs of our customers — we’ll continue to evolve our offering as their preferences change.”
Far from the “fuel vs. electric” options most of the general public seem to weigh, between those choices exist a myriad of fuel sources, technologies and combinations thereof that’ll emerge in the coming decade and beyond. Countless variables are expected to affect the future of fuels, not only in the U.S., but globally. The big question for c-store retailers
is which forms of fuel will flourish and when? And which will limp off into history?
For now, retailers can breathe easy. Even as changes arrive, fossil fuels aren’t disappearing anytime soon. Experts estimate it could take decades for pure electric vehicles (EVs) to gain significant market share, nevermind replace internal combustion engine