March 29, 2018 | Vol. 68, No. 6
Dear PEI Member:
The TulsaLetter first discussed on-demand vehicle fueling services in early 2016 (see Feb. 3, 2016, TL). Consumers who use this new fueling option don’t drive to their local convenience stores to fill up; they order fuel through an app on their mobile devices, and the fuel is delivered to their parked vehicles.
At the time of that first article, only a handful of on-demand fueling start-ups—almost all in California—were operating. Code and regulatory authorities were just beginning to consider the safety and environmental issues inherent with on-demand fueling. And even the apps through which consumers placed their orders were essentially in beta mode.
Two years later, on-demand fueling is for real.
Several of the early start-ups are today well-capitalized, well-managed, growing ventures. Silicon Valley-based Yoshi, for example, offers basic vehicle maintenance in addition to fuel and has expanded to Austin, Nashville, Atlanta and Chicago. With $13 million in new funding from ExxonMobil, General Motors and other investors (including NBA superstar Kevin Durant), Yoshi intends to enter many more markets later this year.
San Francisco-based Filld added service in Seattle earlier this month. Booster Fuels is using $9 million to pursue corporate clientele and expand into the Pacific Northwest.
On the regulatory front, the 2018 edition of the Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages (NFPA 30A) has a new Chapter 14 (“On-Demand Mobile Fueling”) with requirements for mobile fueling vehicles, equipment and operations, including:
by e-mail to the editor, Rick Long at email@example.com
or join the discussion in the Petroleum Equipment Forum
The latest edition of the International Fire Code includes Chapter 57 (“Mobile Fueling Systems”), with requirements nearly identical to those in NFPA 30A.
But hurdles remain if on-demand mobile fueling is to move beyond its current niche. The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) is concerned about but has yet to address basic storage and metering requirements. States have been slow to adopt or adapt the national fire code provisions and, when they do act, state authorities are proceeding cautiously. Earlier this month, for example, legislation proposed in Connecticut to license on-demand mobile fueling providers failed to make it out of committee. The Connecticut Fire Marshals Association and the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association had opposed the bill on the grounds that the state should establish its mobile fueling fire and safety standards first.
Is on-demand mobile fueling moving forward? Yes, and it’s definitely a trend to monitor. But it’s a long way from being a widespread threat to traditional retail fueling facilities.
BILL REJECTS PROPOSED EPA BUDGET CUTS
TO EASE FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS
The most likely scenario appears to be a two-step process in which the EPA would declare by April 1 that the existing standards are “not appropriate,” and then open negotiations with automakers to set new standards sometime this summer.
If the EPA acts as expected, a confrontation with California and 12 other states that follow California’s emissions standards might quickly follow. Currently, automakers that satisfy EPA vehicle emission standards are “deemed to comply” with California’s requirements. However, if the federal standards are weakened, California might choose to revoke the “deemed to comply” rule and keep its tougher standards in place. The result would leave automakers with a confusing patchwork of emission requirements across the country.
RATES END APRIL 15 FOR PURCHASING & INVENTORY CONFERENCE
Attendees will participate in roundtable discussions on topics of their choosing. In addition, Jason Bader, president of The Distribution Team, will direct three general sessions:
To learn more, register and book your hotel room, click here.
Confirmed conference sponsors are Cim-Tek Filtration; Davisware Inc.; ESCO Services Inc.; Freedom Electronics Inc.; Husky Corp.; Morrison Bros. Co.; Performance Ink Inc.; PMP Corp.; RDM Industrial Electronics; and Universal Valve Co. If your company would like to sponsor the conference, contact Bob Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-236-3966.
CHASE MOBILE PAY
service company. NAX Petroleum LLC, 1977 Hunters
Creek Drive, Superior Township, MI 48198, has applied for service and
construction division membership. Adam Cacioppo is owner of the firm, which
was established in 2016. NAX Petroleum LLC specializes in sales, service and
installation of petroleum equipment. Sponsored for PEI membership by Andy
Mercer, R. W. Mercer Co., Jackson, Michigan.
manufacturer. China Baotai Science and Technology
Co. Ltd., No. 1779, First Road, Binhai Industrial Park, Wenzhou Economic and
Technological Development Zone, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, 325025, China, has
applied for manufacturer division membership. Vicky Suen is sales manager
for the firm, which was established in 2009. The company designs,
manufactures and supports equipment for the petroleum station market.
Sponsored for PEI membership by Brian Fedro, Great Plains Industries Inc.,
ADMITTED TO PEI
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