ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Bringing New Fuels to Market
,” hosts Donovan Woods and John Eichberger of the Fuels Institute, talk with two convenience retailers about their preparation for the future of fueling.
Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz offers E15 at 240 locations, covering around 40% of its total store count. The chain has also added E85 to all E15 sites and has begun installing electric chargers. “We’re pretty immersed in alternative fuels at this point,” said Mike Lorenz, executive vice president of petroleum supply for Sheetz.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go also sells E85 and E15 and has begun to explore the electric vehicle space. “We’re putting in electric chargers … because publicly available funds are available for electric charger installation and third-party groups are willing to assist us in putting those in,” said Matt Spackman, vice president of fuels for the Midwest chain. “As we stake our claim to real estate along interstates and other commuter thoroughfares, we will be able to have our chargers in place and learning prior to our competition.”
Both convenience retailers suggest that electric vehicles could impact their liquid fuels business at some point in the future. “Electric chargers are another form of fuel, and we provide fueling for people’s vehicles, whether be electric or liquid fuel,” added Spackman. “We’re going to embrace it and learn how to monetize it, …because you can’t resist change.”
Kum & Go and Sheetz are also committed to bringing quality products in an environmentally friendly way to customers. “We see E15 as providing a great value proposition to the consumer, and we can currently sell it for less, it’s higher octane and it’s cleaner burning,” said Lorenz. “Because not a lot of others are offering it, it’s a competitive advantage that also builds loyalty and increases our sales.”
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