The Fuels Institute’s Fuels2018 event in May in Chicago included numerous panel discussions about the changing transportation landscape. Here are some thoughts from some interested observers on three of the sessions:
Electric Vehicles and the Infrastructure to Support Them: The discussion emphasized overcoming customer concerns about adoption in the U.S. One particularly interesting point was that the requisite charging times of at least 15 minutes or more (at least for the near future) seems to be at odds with the current model of behavior for a customer at a convenience store. Perhaps C-stores will need to make strategic adjustments that provide reasons for customers to stay 15 minutes – such as adding video gaming or car-detailing services. Another observation: stand-alone, unmanned chargers in open parking lots lack fuel island accessory experiences, such as windshield cleaning.
Global, Federal and State Regulations: This session showed the growing pressures on state and local agencies to take on environmental issues, as they see the federal Environmental Protection Agency withdrawing and reducing regulations. The thought that equipment providers might someday have to deal with multiple levels of product regulation was rather unsettling.
The World of Transportation Energy: This session elicited the following thought: so much of the impetus for moving away from gasoline-powered vehicles is a desire to do something that helps the planet. And sometimes that leads to unintended consequences – such as the correlation between the need for cobalt in batteries and reports of child labor in mines (currently cobalt is primarily available only in the war-torn area of the Congo). There was an overwhelming sentiment in the room that there needs to be continued efforts to identify the right combination of energy and fuel that supports a good future.
TOP: Source’s Jeff Dzierzanowski (holding microphone) participated in a discussion about biofuels compatibility with today’s fuel infrastructure at FUELS2018.
BOTTOM: Source brought its fun and educational virtual reality experience to the conference.