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Are gas stations' business models outdated?

43% of today's gas stations will disappear by 2050 and the remaining ones will have to stand out by prioritizing 4 key principles.

The gas stations landscape will be deeply upended over the coming years and narrowed back to 68,500 units by 2050: although the end of the fossil fuel mobility era will compromise the current gas station business model, mainly based on fuel sales, it will also pave the way for new opportunities.

Internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles, revenue-generators for gas stations, will be phased-out from the European fleet

As of today, 110,364 gas stations cover the European territory, performing through fuel consumption of ICE vehicles which represent almost the entire fleet. However, this number has been declining over the last decade and, according to Sia Partners, this decreasing trend will continue until 2050 with gas stations dipping 43%.

The tightening number of gas stations will be driven by the regulatory push in favor of low-carbon mobility, the roll-out of technological breakthroughs, and demographic and social changes across Europe.

To survive in this new environment, gas stations will have to renew their business model

Gas stations will not be equally harmed by the drop in fuel sales. Rural gas stations will be the most vulnerable compared to highway gas stations that benefit from a significant level of fuel consumption.

However, all gas stations will have to initiate major transformations, relying on four key principles:

  • Offer diversification including electric vehicles’ charging points and green fuel.
  • Improvement of customer experience, mainly for the most impacted countries, through digital services.
  • Additional revenue including higher-quality retail services or enhancement of mobility hubs.
  • Cost-cutting initiatives through digitalization & automation, new energy supply. 

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