Many of us grew up around stopping over at gas stations to put fuel in the car. They are usually a fixture in the community, sometimes offering other services. However, have you ever wondered what would happen to these trusted fuel outlets as electric vehicles become more prevalent? This article explores the future awaiting gas stations when electric cars take over.
What happens to gas stations as electric cars take over?
Electric cars do not burn gas but get their automotive energy from electricity stored in a battery. The energy powers an electric motor that rotates the tires.
Since you charge an EV by connecting it to the grid, every new battery-powered car is a loss to a gas station somewhere. With more governments pushing electric vehicles by introducing bans on ICE cars, the pool of customers for gas stations will dry up. Eventually, running filling station will not be profitable.
Even without the input of electric vehicles, working from home has impacted gas station businesses as people now drive less. Astute gas station operators are already observing this trend.
Faced with this situation, the operators have two options:
Do nothing and watch everything crumble
This is the easiest way to deal with the situation. The gas station owners can just fold their arms and let nature take its course. Eventually, the business will close when the majority drives electric.
This, however, is not the best as people will lose their jobs, and the economy will contract or slow down.
Humankind is where we are because we have evolved or adapted to changing circumstances. It is time for gas stations to move on.
Some EV owners do not have off-street parking, making home charging impossible for them. These drivers have to rely on fast public chargers to fill up their batteries quickly. Filling stations can rebrand into public charging stations and remain in business.
The switch does not have to be abrupt. As fuel sales dip, filling stations can gradually swap out their fuel pumps for fast DC chargers.
Switching to vehicle charging can open the door to other business opportunities. Charging takes longer than buying gas, which means the drivers spend more time on the premises. This gives the station managers more opportunities to sell products or services to the drivers. Businesses such as Laundromats, retailing, fast-food joints, etc., will attract the drivers while they wait for their charging to be completed.