Fuels Institute: It would take close to a decade for a new vehicle technology to reach market saturation

ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Jun-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — It would take close to a decade for a new vehicle technology to reach market saturation, according to a new report released today (6/14/2017) by the Fuels Institute. The report, “New Technology Adoption Curves: A Case Study on Delivering E25-Capable Vehicles to Market,” demonstrates that it would be highly unlikely for a new vehicle powertrain optimized to operate on a gasoline blend containing 25% ethanol (E25) to achieve 20% market share by 2025, due directly to fleet turnover rates.

“To signal the fuels market to make a new fuel product broadly available, there must be a realistic expectation that demand will be sufficient to support the retail and distribution investments,” explained Fuels Institute Executive Director John Eichberger. “For this project, we selected a 20% share of vehicles on the ground to represent that signal. The study found that it would likely take many years, combined with very strong sales of these new vehicles in their first years on the market, to achieve this level of market penetration.”

The study, prepared by Navigant Research, calculates how many of these new vehicles must be sold each year to reach 20% fleet share by 2025 if the vehicles were first offered for sale in 2018, 2020 or 2022. The report shows, in each scenario, that vehicle sales in the first and subsequent years must be significant to achieve the model’s established targets. First-year sales of E25-capable vehicles would have to total 629,000 if introduced in 2018, 1.3 million in 2020 and 3.8 million in 2022. The ramp up in sales in subsequent years required to achieve 20% market share is equally significant.

“Because the existing light-duty fleet in the United States is so large, it will take a considerable amount of time for any new technology to reach market saturation,” Eichberger continued. “The report does not consider any elements other than sales and fleet turnover. It does not evaluate automaker production schedules, regulatory approval requirements or any other market introduction steps, each of which could add complexity and further delay market penetration. This study is simply a calculation of fleet turnover.”

“While we analyze E25-capable vehicles in this case study, the findings are applicable beyond E25,” Eichberger said. “It does not matter what technology or powertrain is being contemplated, as every change to the fleet will take time to affect the market.”

“New Technology Adoption Curves: A Case Study on Delivering E25-Capable Vehicles to Market” can be downloaded for free at fuelsinstitute.org

NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

Source: NACS

Finalists announced to compete in the NACS Fuels Institute’s 2016 Future of Transportation Case Competition

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2016-Mar-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Duke University, Morgan State University and the University of California, Berkeley, have been chosen as finalists to compete in the Fuels Institute’s 2016 Future of Transportation Case Competition, taking place April 27–29 in San Francisco at the Institute’s annual meeting.

In its second year, the Fuels Institute’s Case Competition, sponsored by Gilbarco Veeder Root North America, provides teams of university undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to create their vision of an ideal future transportation sector. Teams were asked to outline how their vision could become a reality within the next 30 years, based on the current infrastructure in the United States.

Twenty teams of three or more students from 11 schools registered for the competition. A group of 13 judges from the fuels, retail and vehicle industries winnowed the submissions to the top three. The finalists will be flown to San Francisco to present to more than 80 professionals in the fuels and vehicle industries on Thursday, April 28. The winner of the 2016 Future of Transportation Case Competition will be announced later that evening at an awards dinner.

The winning team will share $5,000; the second and third place teams will win $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. The finalists, along with three honorable mention submissions, will have their submissions published by the Fuels Institute.

“Our team of judges was impressed by the ideas and perspectives presented by each of the finalists,” said Fuels Institute Executive Director John Eichberger.  “We look forward to hearing the finalists present their visions of an innovative transportation future to industry thought leaders attending the Fuels Institute meeting next month.”

In addition to the student competition, the Fuels Institute, founded by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) in 2013, commissions and publishes comprehensive, fact-based research projects that address the issues identified by the affected stakeholders. These projects help inform both business owners considering long-term investment decisions and policymakers considering legislation and regulations affecting the market.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $483 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

For media interviews/comments contact Jeff Lenard.

NACS launches new online resource for everything fuels-related: the Fuels Resource Center

​ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2016-Jan-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The convenience and fuel retailing industry sells 80% of the fuels purchased in the United States at approximately 128,000 convenience stores—that’s about 40 million fill-ups a day. As the voice of the industry in the fuels arena, NACS created the Fuels Resource Center to encompass research, news and data for the novice consumer to the knowledgeable retailer on all things fuels—from gasoline and diesel to alternative fuels.

“This online research communicates our industry’s expertise, historical insights, analyses and news within the U.S. convenience and fuels retailing landscape. The continually updated Fuels Resource Center is a go-to site for retailers, the media and consumers,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Since the first filling station opened to consumers in the early 1900s, to today’s growth in alternatives such as electric and hydrogen, our industry has been on the forefront of retail fueling innovations and information. The Fuels Resource Center houses all of this knowledge in a one-stop, easy-to-use online hub.”

The Fuels Resource Center is designed to help educate the NACS audience and general public on retail fueling by serving as the go-to resource for fuels-related information, which is categorized into four areas:

  • Basics: General and historical information on retail fueling
  • Petroleum: The scoop on the leading energy source for today’s vehicles
  • Alternative Fuels: What’s new and what’s on the horizon in renewable fuels
  • Operations: Trending topics and regulatory information for convenience store operators

The Center also incorporates research and analysis from the Fuels Institute, which was founded by NACS in 2013 as a venue for all transportation industry stakeholders to come together and share ideas without a pre-determined agenda or outcome.

“Together, NACS and the work of the Fuels Institute is enhancing the education, awareness and regulatory issues that impact retailing fueling operations,” said John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute. “By bringing all our of research and knowledge into one centralized online location, we will continue amplifying the important role convenience stores have in the current retail fueling space and innovations being developed throughout the entire transportation market.”

As the Fuels Resource Center continues to evolve, NACS will bring fuels information to its audience with easy to find, engaging and approachable content. Be on the lookout for the 2016 NACS Consumer Fuels Report, launching in early March.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 152,700 stores across the country, posted $696.1 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $482.6 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

SOURCE: NACS

NACS: University of Wisconsin students’ proposed battery swap model wins the Fuels Institute’s inaugural Future of Transportation Case Competition

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-5-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — A proposed battery swap model developed by University of Wisconsin students to increase the viability of electric vehicles was named the winner of the Fuels Institute’s inaugural Future of Transportation Case Competition at the Institute’s Spring Meeting in New Orleans.

The University of Wisconsin team’s proposal, “Electricity and Petroleum as Long-Distance Fuels,” focused on a unique 15-year, five-city initiative to develop a model battery swap retail program similar to the concepts pioneered in Israel. The team of Justin Goninen, Eric Nimphius and Mike Lyons captured the $5,000 top prize in the national, multi-disciplinary student competition.

The Fuels Institute is a non-profit research-oriented think tank dedicated to evaluating market issues related to vehicles and the fuels that power them. The case competition was open to both undergraduate and graduate students across the country. Students were asked undertake a broad industry reinvention of both the motor fuels and motor vehicles industries. From all abstracts submitted, 21 schools were asked to submit proposals and three finalists presented their ideas at the Fuels Institute meeting.

Northwestern University captured second place and $2,500 for its proposal, “Integrating Electric Vehicles in the Future Transportation Value Chain,” and third place and $1,000 went to the University of Texas at Dallas for “Monetizing Environmentalism.”

“Our goal in designing our model was not to argue what the world should be. Nor was it to dream about what the world could be. Our goal was to design the most plausible model, considering current technologies, customer attitudes and government involvement in the industry,” the Wisconsin students noted in their proposal.

Battery swapping stations, roughly the size of a car wash, would address the challenge of longer charging times faced by current EV drivers. Retailers would benefit from increased traffic at stores for food and beverage items, while maintaining 3% margins for battery swaps that are roughly in line with traditional fuels margins. The students also said that by taking away the cost of the battery — roughly half the current cost of an EV — by “renting batteries” as part of battery swaps, electric vehicles would be significantly more affordable and sales would surge.

The students proposed that five cities with populations of around 300,000, such as Madison, Wisconsin, could be test markets for the technology and implementation.

“By developing a battery-swapping model now, and implementing it in a handful of American cities, the value chain is able to learn about and improve electricity as a fuel before a radical shift in government regulation,” the students noted in their proposal.

“The fuels and vehicles industries are facing a rapidly changing policy and technology environment, presenting perhaps the first real opportunity since early in the 1900s for dramatic industry reinvention. The sheer amount of new fuels, and new drivetrains, which lie just around the horizon, is truly breathtaking,” said Fuels Institute Executive Director John Eichberger. “The University of Wisconsin team presented a very thoughtful path forward for how to actually make this happen.”

In addition to the student competition, the Fuels Institute, founded by NACS in 2013, commissions and publishes comprehensive, fact-based research projects that address the issues identified by the affected stakeholders. These projects will help to inform both business owners considering long-term investment decisions and policymakers considering legislation and regulations affecting the market.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.