Turn bankrupt gas stations into supercharger locations

lukefrisbee

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In my town the Sonic is well attended at lunchtime, and at all hours. This is a business model suited to our Covid pandemic times. SO, private enterprise and Tesla should adopt supercharger stations to provide take out menus! TESLA EATS / TREATS & COFFEE!
You made me imagine another "Filling Station." Heck they might even trademark "Filling Station."
The old car hop joint with a twist. The carhop skates out to your car, plugs your car in, takes your order. comes back with your order, and while you are eating in the car they detach the car from the charger once the light goes on at the parking space.

 
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Tesla4KShares

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I think Gas Station will eventually turn into Charging Station with Restaurant or Take Out places. When it's no longer make financial sense to stick with gas, owners will start exploring other business opportunities with their lots. It makes the most sense to lease out the lots and turn it into Charging stations and sell goods (or services) that fits the needs geographically.

Imagine:
1. In & Out + Charging Station
2. Starbucks + Charging Station
3. CVS + Charging Station
4. Car Wash + Charging Station
5. Brewery + Charging Station (assuming FSD is in place)

SO many possibilities.
 
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I do get your viewpoint. But now you are being too narrow in scope. Please consider there are more ways to skin a cat than those two.
Any one of a number of financial arrangements could result in where any type of tesla chargers of any type are placed.
My point was and still is
Gas Stations will NOT be a consideration for placing Tesla Chargers because drivers (eventually non-drivers because we will have FSD) will NEVER go to a gas station. Gas stations existed for the main reason of providing fuel. Gas stations were a necessary evil because of the way in which fuel was provided to cars. People HAD TO go to a gas station to get fuel. Given a choice people will prefer to "fuel up" at a more time convenient location where they can accomplish tasks while fueling, and NOT have to add to their errand list "get gas."
The easiest place to see refueling be an almost stand alone entity is rest centers on the interstates, but even then once refueling is added to such a site it will be valuable as a retail site and be developed. Gas stations will NOT be considered due to the residual pollution on the site from serving as a gas station.
Replying to lukefrisbee, and with more specific regard to your blanket statement, "...Gas stations will NOT be a consideration for placing Tesla chargers...." You are just wrong. I personally have juiced up my Model 3 at both a Sheetz station and a WaWa station. Both have large facilities with many, many vacant parking stalls. In this, the early years of charging station rollout, it makes sense for the big boys, (WaWa) and others to offer this convenience. I don't think WaWa is all that altruistic–they are providing charging stations to lure the electric crowd to their convenience stores.
 
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Sputter

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I think Gas Station will eventually turn into Charging Station with Restaurant or Take Out places. When it's no longer make financial sense to stick with gas, owners will start exploring other business opportunities with their lots. It makes the most sense to lease out the lots and turn it into Charging stations and sell goods (or services) that fits the needs geographically.

Imagine:
1. In & Out + Charging Station
2. Starbucks + Charging Station
3. CVS + Charging Station
4. Car Wash + Charging Station
5. Brewery + Charging Station (assuming FSD is in place)

SO many possibilities.
Thank you, Tesla4Shares. Yeah, this was the conversation I had hoped to start with my original thread. In my travels across America on my motorcycle, with great frequency, (not in major metropolitan areas), I pull off a major exit on the Interstate and see an abandoned gas station. It is these un-sightly, boarded-up facilities that I thought Tesla might jump on and revitalize. I believe Elon was serious when he states he wants to convert society to renewable resources. So, why could Tesla not take the lead, make these abandoned stations multi-electric vendors, spread the cost of the make-over. Again, they have canopies for solar; they have existing toilet facilities. Maybe I'm off-base, but maybe a COMMON convenience store and an attractive and well-maintained center for ChargePoint, ElectrifyAmerica and Tesla. A splashy alternative to spread the word to the fossil fuel driver. Why not? More viewpoints, please...
 


ajdelange

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Not really much new viewpoint to offer but to reiterate that the old mom and pop operation that sold gas, ice, sodas, fan belts and worms is generally a thing of the past. There is a reason those old rural gas stations are closing left and right. Tesla wants to make charging on the road something that is little more inconvenient than filling with gas at the places where people commonly fill with gas which is a Sheetz, WaWa, Cumberland Farms, Prtice Club, Walmart, large shopping mall etc. type of establishment. Thus they put their Super Chargers in the locations where one is likely to find one of that type of business - where there is traffic. They aren't going to go out and look for old gas stations at which to put SC's. They are going to look for places that have traffic and conveniences. AFAIK with only an exception or 2 they have never provided the conveniences relying on others (the people they rent land from) such as shopping malls and convenience stores to provide those. If a developer finds a location that looks as if it might support a convenience store or mall (large or small) such a developer might well approach Tesla to see if they are interested in putting an SC there. Exactly this has happened in Vienna, VA at a prominent corner in the town that is just off I66. While that corner might well have had an old gas station on it in fact it had a real estate office. WaWa was indifferent as to what sort of business had been located there before. It was a good spot for a WaWa and Tesla shared that opinion and went in with them.

Another example might be Newport, VT which has NO charging opportunities whatsoever. It has lots of old gas stations going out of business, though, despite the fact that this is the last place to get gas free of the absurd Canadian taxes if headed north. Most of my neighbors in Canada seem to cross over into the US to buy gas but they do it at the convenience stores now more than they used to. Vermont only has 3 SCs (Burlington, Montpelier and Brattleboro) though the one in Lebanon, NH might as well be in Vermont as it is just off I 91 but if you look at Plugshare for the state it's pretty clear, from a filling in the gap perspective, that the Newport area could use one. Now were Tesla to consider installing one there they would use their usual criteria and strike a deal with one of the multiple businesses near the Rte 5 exit off I 91. IMO they would be much more likely to go with Walmart or Price Chopper than one of the multiple shut down gas stations along that stretch as the requirements for amenities and access to power are available at those not to mention football field sized parking lots.

Thus I summarize by thinking that no, Tesla would not go about looking in particular for old gas stations but that if an old gas station met their requirements there would be no reason for them not to choose such a spot. The Tesla network is pretty fully fleshed out at this point though there are places where they could use new stations. Their approach, which has not, AFAIK, involved conversion of old gas stations, appears to have been successful and I would thus not expect them to deviate from it.

There are other companies offering charging equipment/networks such as EA. Would they be interested in buying up old gas stations and converting to electric or would people who own those consider installing charging equipment to save their businesses? One guy in Takoma Park, MD (mentioned in earlier posts) has done this but I don't know how he has fared. To be useful for people on the road a charger must be pretty hefty (100 + kW) and that means the utility in the area must be commensurately so.
 
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Not really much new viewpoint to offer but to reiterate that the old mom and pop operation that sold gas, ice, sodas, fan belts and worms is generally a thing of the past. There is a reason those old rural gas stations are closing left and right. Tesla wants to make charging on the road something that is little more inconvenient than filling with gas at the places where people commonly fill with gas which is a Sheetz, WaWa, Cumberland Farms, Prtice Club, Walmart, large shopping mall etc. type of establishment. Thus they put their Super Chargers in the locations where one is likely to find one of that type of business - where there is traffic. They aren't going to go out and look for old gas stations at which to put SC's. They are going to look for places that have traffic and conveniences. AFAIK with only an exception or 2 they have never provided the conveniences relying on others (the people they rent land from) such as shopping malls and convenience stores to provide those. If a developer finds a location that looks as if it might support a convenience store or mall (large or small) such a developer might well approach Tesla to see if they are interested in putting an SC there. Exactly this has happened in Vienna, VA at a prominent corner in the town that is just off I66. While that corner might well have had an old gas station on it in fact it had a real estate office. WaWa was indifferent as to what sort of business had been located there before. It was a good spot for a WaWa and Tesla shared that opinion and went in with them.

Another example might be Newport, VT which has NO charging opportunities whatsoever. It has lots of old gas stations going out of business, though, despite the fact that this is the last place to get gas free of the absurd Canadian taxes if headed north. Most of my neighbors in Canada seem to cross over into the US to buy gas but they do it at the convenience stores now more than they used to. Vermont only has 3 SCs (Burlington, Montpelier and Brattleboro) though the one in Lebanon, NH might as well be in Vermont as it is just off I 91 but if you look at Plugshare for the state it's pretty clear, from a filling in the gap perspective, that the Newport area could use one. Now were Tesla to consider installing one there they would use their usual criteria and strike a deal with one of the multiple businesses near the Rte 5 exit off I 91. IMO they would be much more likely to go with Walmart or Price Chopper than one of the multiple shut down gas stations along that stretch as the requirements for amenities and access to power are available at those not to mention football field sized parking lots.

Thus I summarize by thinking that no, Tesla would not go about looking in particular for old gas stations but that if an old gas station met their requirements there would be no reason for them not to choose such a spot. The Tesla network is pretty fully fleshed out at this point though there are places where they could use new stations. Their approach, which has not, AFAIK, involved conversion of old gas stations, appears to have been successful and I would thus not expect them to deviate from it.

There are other companies offering charging equipment/networks such as EA. Would they be interested in buying up old gas stations and converting to electric or would people who own those consider installing charging equipment to save their businesses? One guy in Takoma Park, MD (mentioned in earlier posts) has done this but I don't know how he has fared. To be useful for people on the road a charger must be pretty hefty (100 + kW) and that means the utility in the area must be commensurately so.
Excellent points. By necessity, I suspect Tesla initially (and obviously) chose the most convenient locations possible. Those, and those along the Interstate corridors which would alleviate range anxiety. The suggestion of abandoned gas stations was offered as a talking point for a "phase II," off the beaten path expansion. I suspect there are many Tesla owners who yearn for more public charging stations. (Like me.) I suspect if Tesla took a survey, "Where would you like to have a new charging station," they would get tons of suggestions. My nearest Tesla station is at a popular shopping center. The place is so popular (I live in a very densly populated suburb of Washington, D.C.), Tesla limits you to an 80% charge with a monetary penalty if you stay beyond this. Thus....if Tesla could add other charging stations, it would be a public service. Abandoned gas stations was just a talking point. In the metroplex that surrounds D.C. and the vast Interstate arterial feeds into and around the area, I am surprised at the dearth of Tesla charging stations. My guess is, there are millions of single-family homes where Tesla naturally expects us locals to provide our own charge point. (as I do.) I'm thinking mainly of tourists to the D.C. area, of which there are millions. Your point about the adequacy of an existing hefty electritry supply is well taken. I had not thought of that. But yeah, that may be the deciding negative factor.
 

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This puts an entirely different perspective on things. I have been here thus far entirely focused on the range anxiety question i.e. on travel charging. Overall 85% of charging is done at home and so for most users local area charging is of little interest. I've charged at local SC's twice: once to learn how to do it and once to train my wife. The fact of new superchargers opening in the DC metro are is of no more than general interest. It won't benefit me. I get free supercharging but I'd much rather pay the 6 or 7 cents per kWh (about $0.02/mi) than travel to a SC to get it free. One of the major advantages of owning a BEV is charging at home to the point that I tell people who cannot do that to think long and hard about whether they really should get one. Having to do all charging at an SC turns that advantage into a disadvantage (and it's harder on the battery).

Always keep firmly in mind that the SC network is a marketing tool operated by Tesla at a loss. Given this they are unlikely to invest in expanding it to draw in a segment of the population that they, at this point, don't need i.e. people that live in condos and apartments. Note, though, that upscale establishments of that source either have or have arrangements whereby home charging can be arranged and there is a trend in that direction. I believe California or at least some local governments in California require new construction to have this. Tesla now needs to reserve their cash for ramping Y, CT and Semi production and is thus, IMO, unlikely to spend it where it will probably not be needed as I just don't think that many people that can't charge at home are buying Teslas now. When and if Tesla decides they need that apartment/condo dweller segment they may change their philosophy on this.
 

ajdelange

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There's a gas station at the end of my driveway. It flunked the EPA tests when he tried to sell it. So he dug it up and removed the tanks and contaminated earth. I'm sure it cost him a few coin but he had no trouble covering it and selling the place. Whether remediation is worth it or not doubtless depends on the value of real estate in the area. In this zip code it is pretty dear. So I'll call BS on the gas stations cannot be reused argument. I have set forth the actual reasons that they won't likely be reused.

When I went to geothermal they had to condemn my old oil tank. It had leaked a bunch and so flunked the soil TPH test. We had to dig it up, of course, and a lot of soil had to be removed. It probably cost a bunch too but I never saw a bill. The state took care of it gratis! My tax dollar at work.
 

lukefrisbee

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Gas station can be re-used. The OP thought that it would be a simple process of slapping down some UNNEEDED super chargers with little interruption. The truth is when the gas station applies for the permits the government will survey the site and require the pollution be remediated. And that Dollar amount will stop the venture...especially "Abandoned" gas stations. they are abandoned because the government won't let anything be done on the property till the pollution is removed. So YES, the pollution will be just one aspect of why Gas stations will not be turned into Charging stations. THE UPFRONT COST.
 


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This puts an entirely different perspective on things. I have been here thus far entirely focused on the range anxiety question i.e. on travel charging. Overall 85% of charging is done at home and so for most users local area charging is of little interest. I've charged at local SC's twice: once to learn how to do it and once to train my wife. The fact of new superchargers opening in the DC metro are is of no more than general interest. It won't benefit me. I get free supercharging but I'd much rather pay the 6 or 7 cents per kWh (about $0.02/mi) than travel to a SC to get it free. One of the major advantages of owning a BEV is charging at home to the point that I tell people who cannot do that to think long and hard about whether they really should get one. Having to do all charging at an SC turns that advantage into a disadvantage (and it's harder on the battery).

Always keep firmly in mind that the SC network is a marketing tool operated by Tesla at a loss. Given this they are unlikely to invest in expanding it to draw in a segment of the population that they, at this point, don't need i.e. people that live in condos and apartments. Note, though, that upscale establishments of that source either have or have arrangements whereby home charging can be arranged and there is a trend in that direction. I believe California or at least some local governments in California require new construction to have this. Tesla now needs to reserve their cash for ramping Y, CT and Semi production and is thus, IMO, unlikely to spend it where it will probably not be needed as I just don't think that many people that can't charge at home are buying Teslas now. When and if Tesla decides they need that apartment/condo dweller segment they may change their philosophy on this.
Well said. Your points are taken. It is a quandary I suspect the engineers at Tesla are trying to balance. But with the millions of tourists who drive into the D.C. area, it still seems, more superchargers are needed. (Seeming my Tesla last year, a tourist in a Tesla bemoaned his plight, asking which one would be easiest to access from his location.) Tough balance. I concur with your thoughts to not make them so convenient that the locals overwhelm them.
 

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Ahhh NO!
First, The gas stations that are going under in all likelihood have environmental clean-up issues that far outweigh the cost of the land.
Second. Very soon ANY PLACE Tesla wants to drop a charging station will donate the land...maybe "soon" isn't the right word... Yesterday maybe.
I agree, the tanks in the ground either MT or Full are a boat anchor when it comes time to sell.
 

ajdelange

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As I said in an earlier post out in the boonies where land sells for $50K an acre petroleum remediation is a boat anchor. Around here where an acre in a prime business location goes for well over $1M it isn't. We don't have any derelict gas stations in this zip code (or any of the ones around it). We do have operating gas stations that have done the remediation.
 

lukefrisbee

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As I said in an earlier post out in the boonies where land sells for $50K an acre petroleum remediation is a boat anchor. Around here where an acre in a prime business location goes for well over $1M it isn't. We don't have any derelict gas stations in this zip code (or any of the ones around it). We do have operating gas stations that have done the remediation.
and those "remediated" gas stations on prime real estate are PRIME real estate. So do some math and get back to me.... How much more will they charge to "fill-up" because they are "prime" real estate? And then again, how much more will they charge because they need to make a living selling electricity?
Or will everyone just fill-up while they eat a burger, get a haircut, try on some shoes...because businesses that want your business can easily add superchargers. They can even make it even better by adding them on the empty part of the parking lot.
I clearly see this kerfuffle as a non-argument.

Gas stations that are remediated will become something more valuable than a super charger site because no one will pay the premium to charge their batteries when they can do it less expensively at McDonald's and eat too.
And as to tourists in DC...(first taking a car to DC means it sits at the hotel till you are ready to leave. Mass transit is part of the Bumpkin experience, and when THIS Bumpkin was there he was amazed by the whole thing. My car stayed at the Hotel.) Tourists will charge their batteries at the hotels.
And I am not being hostile or arguing. I am strongly stating a much more logical and inclusive understanding of how supercharging will evolve. And it does NOT involve gas station conversions.
 

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I do get your viewpoint. But now you are being too narrow in scope. Please consider there are more ways to skin a cat than those two.
Any one of a number of financial arrangements could result in where any type of tesla chargers of any type are placed.
My point was and still is
Gas Stations will NOT be a consideration for placing Tesla Chargers because drivers (eventually non-drivers because we will have FSD) will NEVER go to a gas station. Gas stations existed for the main reason of providing fuel. Gas stations were a necessary evil because of the way in which fuel was provided to cars. People HAD TO go to a gas station to get fuel. Given a choice people will prefer to "fuel up" at a more time convenient location where they can accomplish tasks while fueling, and NOT have to add to their errand list "get gas."
The easiest place to see refueling be an almost stand alone entity is rest centers on the interstates, but even then once refueling is added to such a site it will be valuable as a retail site and be developed. Gas stations will NOT be considered due to the residual pollution on the site from serving as a gas station.
Man, I hope they convert old gas stations to Supercharger stations. They are so conveniently located near main roads. The closest supercharger to me is hidden behind some retail shop and is pretty far off the main highway. It'd be so much better to have a Supercharger right there at the exit.

 

 
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