Convenience stores are seeing more demand for self-serve alternative fuel management systems. C-stores that want to remain competitive, profitable, and relevant over the next decade need to transition into fuel management system technology that provides a multi-use platform. To better understand the direction in which alternative fuels are heading, here are seven key developments that have happened within the alternative fuel industry that will continue to impact operations.
1. There are currently more than a dozen alternative fuels either in production or under development, and more development is being inspired by the numerous government agencies and corporations who prefer this cleaner burning, more affordable fuel.
2. In the 20th century, pay-at-the-pump, fuel management systems revolutionized the industry and was named by USA Today as one of the top 25 innovations in the past 25 years.
3. Since 2000 and the introduction of pay-at-the-pump, natural fuels have doubled in usage. Federal data has shown that the use of non-petroleum fuel is at its highest level ever.
4. Today, flexible fuel vehicles are capable of running on gasoline blended with as high as 83% ethanol, and there are currently approximately 17.5 million of these vehicles on the road. That highlights underscores the need for c-stores to prepare to offer a greater selection of alternative fuels at the pump.
5. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is one of the most widely used alternative fuels. It is now favored by municipal transit agencies for their buses, shuttles, and trucks, for example, because it burns cleaner and causes less wear and tear on engines.
6. The Honda Civic is one of the most popular vehicles in America, and earlier this year, Honda introduced a Civic that runs fully on natural gas or CNG. Other CNG vehicles include the Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Dodge Ram 2500 CNG, and Ford F-250 pickups.
7. Now, almost all of the natural gas used for alternative fuels in America is sourced in the USA. This is helping to drastically reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, and is compelling more drivers to use alternative fuel. Modern fuel management systems are allowing fuel station owners to offer and a wider selection of fuels including not just gasoline and diesel but also ethanol, compressed natural gas, and other alternative fuels.