Are we moving toward an era where the gas station will become extinct? The auto industry might be moving away from gas engines - so gas stations will dwindle - but it won't happen any time soon.
Instead, standalone gas stations will need to find ways to innovate or struggle - and just adding some EV chargers alone won't get the job done. Along with EVs needing more time than pumping gas for an internal combustion engine, there are some massive costs to consider. Residential customers usually avoid them, but businesses are hit with demand charges - and those could rack up quickly.
Up to 80 percent of gas stations in California could be unprofitable by 2035, which will leave thousands of station owners - and employees - left wondering what's next.
Also, it's not as simple as just ripping out the gas pumps and adding EV chargers - gas stations aren't used to providing so much power, so a hefty station redesign could be pretty expensive.
Traditional gas stations usually are low-cost, high-volume businesses that thrive when customers drive in, pump their gas, and then leave in a timely manner. But charging stations could be a loss leader instead of a revenue generator, and gas station owners are worried.
Sanjiv Patel, CEO at National Petroleum and board member of the American Petroleum and Convenience Store Association (APCA), not surprisingly had a more negative outlook on the changing trend."Here in the Bay Area, we are ground zero," with one of the nation's highest concentrations of electric vehicles (EVs), he said. "Things will start from here, and then spread."
Even though it's plausible there might be centralized EV chargers supported by a controlling business, that certainly isn't needed. The chargers can be anywhere - at home and in your garage, near the coffee shop, outside your office building, or in your apartment complex.