With a global focus on setting and achieving environmental targets, the European Union is contemplating a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 20251, which will undoubtedly lead to a shake-up of forecourts. Petrol stations will be faced with the challenge to continue catering for fossil fuel powered vehicles already on the road, as well as taking steps to power the rapidly growing number of electric and hybrid vehicles that are gradually replacing them. With electric vehicles taking a lot longer to ‘fuel up’ than petrol and diesel cars, traditional petrol stations could struggle for space, meaning a potential sizable gap in the market for more stations, and more competition to capture customer loyalty.
Motorists’ expectations will shift beyond convenience to a better customer experience as they wait for their vehicles to charge, and petrol stations will have to step-up to accommodate for this. From on-site dining and entertainment to gym facilities and even office pods, it’s likely customers will expect a variety of options to help them pass the time.
Changing the entire petrol station business model could lead to many unexpected challenges. Those that are ready and able to adapt to changing expectations quickly and effectively will be the ones that come out on top as the sector inevitably becomes more crowded.