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Bloomberg has a piece about how Shell is envisioning the gas station of the future:

"Drivers filling up at the Shell station on Fulham Road in southwest London can get coffee, sodas, snacks, and basic groceries such as milk and eggs. One thing that’s not on offer: gasoline. Since January the station has been all-electric, with the old gas pumps replaced by 10 rapid chargers set under soaring wood awnings where people can plug in and top up … The Fulham station is one of several prototypes it’s planning as more cars shift to battery power, aiming to get feedback on what works while laying the groundwork to hit a target of net-zero emissions by 2050."

Istvan Kapitany, who oversees Shell’s global retail operations, calls it "the future of mobility."

The story notes that "Shell is busy cementing deals with fast-food and coffee chains for its stations in various markets. And in China, the world leader in EVs, it’s in the midst of a rapid expansion, with 3,000 chargers there. In one station in the coastal city of Xiamen, it has a dozen charge points, 28 fuel pumps, and a facility for swapping out batteries using a system designed by Chinese EV maker Nio Inc. Shell has 100 such sites in the works in China, and it’s planning to introduce them to Europe this fall."

Some context:

"McKinsey & Co. expects demand for gasoline to fall to $79 billion by 2030 from $87 billion in 2019. Nonfuel retail sales at stations will rise by more than a third over the same period, to $30 billion, and EV-charging revenue will hit $20 billion by 2030, McKinsey predicts. But McKinsey expects about 80% of charging to be done at home or the office, leaving Shell and other gas station operators to tussle over the remaining 20%.

"And even there, they’ll face growing competition from the likes of Tesla Inc., which runs 35,000 supercharger stalls globally, and dedicated providers such as ChargePoint, Blink Charging, and Volkswagen’s Electrify America. Another threat is swapping stations, where a spent battery is removed from the car and replaced with a fully charged one. Most companies offering charging services, though, don’t have a retail component to generate extra sales."

KC's View:

It is noteworthy how this subject is getting a lot of attention - it was just a month or so ago that we had a story about how gas stations were being redefined as "mobility destinations," which implies an entirely different set of priorities and operational mandates.

It has to be more than just replacing gas pumps with charging stations - it has to be an entire rethinking of both the outside and inside experience, making both relevant and resonant to shoppers.

It probably was just an accident of timing, but Bloomberg has another story this week about how one c-store chain is changing for the future:

"Green Thumb Industries Inc., one of the largest US cannabis producers, signed a deal with Circle K, the global convenience-store chain, to sell licensed marijuana at its Florida gasoline retailers. The partnership will begin next year with 10 of the company’s 600 locations in the state, Green Thumb said.

"The deal is rare, given that legal marijuana has so far been sold only in stand-alone dispensaries in the US and within pharmacies in countries such as Uruguay and Germany. By selling marijuana, which is still illegal at the federal level, at gas stations where consumers buy staples like snacks and cigarettes, the partnership may help push the drug further into the mainstream."