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Will electric vehicles spell doom for gas stations?

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All the buzz about electric vehicles, i.e.,”EVs,” has people talking and speculating about the end of an American institution, the gas station.

RVers can’t help but wonder about the future of their lifestyle as politicians in some states push “Green New Deal” regulations favoring electric vehicles (EVs) and legislation banning gasoline engines.

If gasoline-powered vehicles are banned, what will happen to the gas stations?

It’s a question that would never have crossed the mind of most RVers before California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order on September 23, 2020, banning new gasoline engines in the state by 2035. Last week the edict was rubber stamped by the California Air Resources Board, which approved the so-called Advanced Clean Cars II Act. Now, 17 other states have adopted California’s standards under the U.S. federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. §7507).

The future of 168,000 gas stations

What does that mean in terms of the nation’s 168,000 gas stations?

Petrol fuel retailers are taking the question seriously. Trade organizations such as the American Petroleum and Convenience Store Association forecasts that 80 percent of California’s more than 12,000 gas station retailers will likely be unprofitable (read: out of business) by 2035. Considerations such as retooling the gas stations as EV charging stations are impractical because of the costs of recharging, the long charging time required by EVs, and the fact that power grids are unable to handle the vast increase in electricity demand.

Of the other 17 states that adopted the California model, it’s likely that New York’s 7,848 stations will be out of business, too. Likewise, Pennsylvania’s 4,629 stations. Many large car-centric states like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico are on that list, too. Texas, the state with the most gas stations, with 15,742, is not, and will likely be working to keep its fueling stations in business.

For RVers, who have a substantial investment in a petroleum fuel-powered motor home or tow vehicle intended to traverse the country from sea to shining sea, this trend is worrisome. Many will be reluctant to rush to purchase a new $250K+ Electric Recreational Vehicle (ERV) even if a practical one eventually exists. For now, gasoline and diesel are available nationwide, albeit at exorbitant cost, and the threat of gasoline station unavailability can, and likely will, change in the months and years ahead.

RVtravel.com will continue to monitor and report on developments on this issue.

##RVT1076b

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Ival Secrest
1 month ago

Contrary to popular opinion, science is never settled. Businesses that expand their geographic area faster than their supply chain can adapt are likely to fail. Likewise, the creation of electrical needs before the supply is available to likely to lead to multiple failures. Think about supplying electricity for the supply chain including trains & ships plus the mining (assuming there are enough ores to build the required number of batteries) required to move to what has been termed renewal energy. The metals are not renewable.

B N S
1 month ago
Reply to  Ival Secrest

Sane Comment.. Thankyou..

Lonewolf
1 month ago

If what Gov Newsome and others think is the answer, tell what will happen to the millions of “Used” vehicles currently on the roads of CA, NY anywhere West Coast, and so on?

Imagine being “forced” by the government to go buy the brand spanking new EV of choice only to find out that your gas or diesel guzzler you paid $50K or more for just a few short years before has a trade-in value of $0!

It is my hope and belief that Newsome and the other states do not have the authority for such mandates most recently upheld by SCOTUS regarding the EPA trying to create law through edict.

B N S
1 month ago
Reply to  Lonewolf

Authority! This is the issue… Mandates etc…

Joe
1 month ago

Currently renewable energy contributes about 20% to the grid. Fossils are about 60% and nuclear about 20%. Those of us that worked in the electrical production industry know that renewables will never be able to supply all of our needs, so that leaves either fossil or nuclear to do the heavy lifting. There is a mind set in the environmental world that nuclear is now green energy. From my 40 year perspective working in various capacities in the generation industry nuclear is not green, from the mining to refinement of the fuel it is a filthy business that leaves it’s mark all over the world. The U.S. does not have a repository for used nuclear fuel rods and they are stored on site, lower level exposed material is sent out for processing that never goes away. I lived very close to 3 Mile Island on March 28,1979 and I can say that it was a very scary time for about a year that I wish on no one! So what does this say for charging EV’s, are we just trading 1 pollution for another?

Roger Eide
1 month ago

Seems a bit of an alarmist bunch of conjecture.

Nick
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Eide

To call this conjecture would be akin to sticking your head in the sand. This is da*n sure happening and it’s not just in the U.S. Global elites are going to force a severe reduction in the use of fossil fuels even if it kills people (at least the ones not killed by covid or the vaccine.). They don’t care. It’s what they want.

B N S
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

Well Said, Nick!

D Pilit
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

It is happening, but much slower than you seem to think. In 50 years we might be at that point, but world events show that we are not close. The alarmists were worried about the new horseless carriages also.

D Pilit
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Eide

I agree. Gasoline will be around long after I’m gone.

CeeCee
1 month ago

From the information included about EV charging issues, it sounds like nobody will be moving much, EV or petroleum. So far, no one seems to have any solutions on how to sufficiently expand the electric grid to meet the EV demand. Since horses and cattle produce too much of their own brand of “gas” to be a source of transportation power, I guess we’ll be pushing our MH down the road ourselves.

bill
1 month ago

What a bunch of alarmist baloney BS. This article is jam packed with conjecture based on cherry picked info. I expect better of RV Travel.

Quentin
1 month ago

The “trend” that may be more worrisome has to do with the changes in our climate combined with the increasing price of fossil fuels. I believe it is pretty well settled that the efficiency of an internal combustion engine (ICE) results in a lot of energy wasted as heat. In the days before the ICE there was a similar lack of efficiency with horse and buggy technology. Now new technologies are available that provide a much higher efficiency than the ICE, and at increasingly less cost. Hence the automakers are building these vehicles. In time RV options will be available, so I would say the sky is not falling yet. Many of those complaining about the change will not even be around in 2035.

Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin

I would say that considering converting all forms of electric production to usable electricity in 2021 is not as efficient as some people think. 61% +/- of all electricity in the us was generated by fossil fired traditional boiler power plants, Coal, gas, or oil with an average of 35%+/- efficiency, nuclear generation for 2021 was at 19%+/- and has an efficiency of about the same or maybe less. Renewables for 2021 was about 20%+/-, wind turbine efficiency about 20-40%+/-, solar over the life span of the panels is about 11-15%+/- efficient. Given these facts charging an EV car was not that efficient after all. Going forward it is known that due to conditions in generation we will more than likely NEVER be able to do away with traditional rotating mass power plants. In the last few years some are now starting to call nuclear power green. Just try to tell those of us in central Pennsylvania that lived under the umbrella of 3 mile island that melted down on March 28, 1979 that.

Quentin
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

I was considering the Southeast where I live, and TVA, not the greenest utility, still has less than 50% production from fossil fuels. This is a trend that is not going away. The same economic forces that have dropped coal production so dramatically in the last several years. It is why we have not gone back to the good old days of whale oil.

  • Today, TVA’s generation portfolio is 39% nuclear, 19% coal, 26% natural gas, 11% hydro, 3% wind and solar, and 1% energy efficiency programs with a total capacity of 33,727 megawatts.

And when it comes to efficiency, renewables may still be on the learning curve of efficiency, but fossil fuels are mature in that regard and by your numbers waste 65% or so of the fuel as heat. This does not happen with a solar panel or a wind turbine. So with this technology the older, more wasteful energy production will, at some point, be taken over. It is just the math.

Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin

Quentin please keep in mind the amount of energy that goes into all fuels for electrical generation from coal, oil, gas, nuclear and the renewables to manufacture them. Along with all of the side effects of renewable mining for the raw material which some are toxic to humans and the environment to disposal of solar panels when depleted which poses another issue with toxicity such as that of cadmium telluride, lead, silicon Tetrachloride and the big one nitrogen triflouride. What I am saying is are we trading one pollutant for another? One way that I look at is from Newton’s third law that basically says “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. As you said renewables are on a learning curve, what will we learn down the road? Going forward what will be the reaction to all of this green energy? My questions from 40 years as a electrical energy in the electrical industry.

D Pilit
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Yes we are trading. EV’s are not as green as some think but are becoming a better option as the industry evolves.
Toxic chemicals aren’t just for battery manufacturing. It takes the same to build ICE vehicles and deliver gasoline to power them.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  D Pilit

No industry is pollution-free, we just have to decide what is the least hazardous. An EV electric traction motor is so simple compared to the enormous complexity of a gas engine.

Bob M
1 month ago

GM and Ford executives agree that for towing electric vehicles won’t work. The F150 electric truck gets less than 100 miles on a charge towing a travel trailer. As for Pa, our senate ad state representatives are majority republican which hopefully; will hold back on mass electric vehicles. Their fighting with the governor on REGGI which is a green initiative that if we got into would be devastating for Pennsylvanians. We’d have to be paying to use our own fossil fuels.We need to go with hybrid vehicles than slowly work from there as technology develops.

JAMES
1 month ago

Californian’s need to switch to “Horse and Buggy” since they don’t even have enough electricity to keep the lights on.

JAMES
1 month ago

Climate change has been going on for millions of years. Remember the “Ice Age”?

Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  JAMES

In addition, the American southwest has experienced 14 mega droughts in the last 1200 years. Some of our highest temperatures were in the 20th century. Humans contribute to a very small percent of the change. The earth is full of surprises, so we can expect natural changes to continue.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  JAMES

Yeah, but this one is happening in 150 years.

B N S
1 month ago
Reply to  JAMES

FACT!

Roger Marble
1 month ago

There is a significant difference between “Gas-powered vehicles will be banned” and “The sale of new gas-powered cars will be banned”. The legislation in Calif is aimed at the 2035 sale of new vehicles in an attempt to slow the effects of Climate Change AKA Global Warming, so I suggest that “The Sky is falling on future RV life” folks ask themselves a few questions. What cell phone were you using 13 years ago, or were you still using a “Flip Phone”? Do you plan on keeping your current RV for 13 more years? You may not want to believe that Climate Change is real but do you believe that the US is currently seeing significant drought? What are your plans for using Lake Mead or Lake Powell or the Mississippi river basin over the next dozen years? Yes things will change in the future and we may not like the consequences of our unrestrained growth, but our current life choices are having an effect on life as we know it.

Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Marble

You should look at the amount of water that is increasingly sucked off the Colorado River and it’s tributaries that feeds water into Lake Mead and Powell. True the snowpack in the Rockies greatly effects the flow of water into the Colorado. This being said my family has had a ski cabin in the front range area of Dillion Colorado for close to 70+ years and over this period we have seen huge snowpacks in June and almost nothing in the same time period. Usually I have the opportunity to ski at A Basin starting early to mid October and end the first or second week of June (last year I skied it June 3rd). The area usually closes due to lack of business and the working staff groupies leaving for the South America ski season. My point is I have seen huge yearly snowfalls and some years that are lacking snow. This year it opened 10/23/2022 with an 18” base, When my son gets there next week I can give you opening, closing dates and snow pack back 50+ years.

bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Marble

Thank you for another voice of reason! The writer below this post seems to think some snow once in awhile means global warming is bunk.

David Binkley
1 month ago

Cart WAY before the horse.

Bull
1 month ago

In 30 years maybe.

With 12 mm to 18mm per year new vehicles made between now and 2035 most of which will be gas.

Gas will be around A LONG TIME!

Last edited 1 month ago by RV Staff
bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Bull

We still feed horses so you must be right!

Steve
1 month ago

It’s still early in the game of transitioning to electric. I believe gas vehicles will still be serviced in some manner as we progress. I also believe that recharge times will drop as the technology improves the downsides. We may go to total swap stations, old batteries out, new set in. The main thing I’m trying to get locally done is to have NEW gas stations be required to put in charging stations as a condition for permits. There are 12 brand new gas stations within 5 miles of me that, if they had this requirement in place, would now be able to also charge electric cars. This is a once in a century change going on. Not since the battle in the early 1900’s between gas, diesel, steam and electric has a change in transportation been so big. Be ready to embrace the new and you’ll make it thru the next 20 years just fine no matter what powers your vehicle.

Richard Remmele
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Swap stations are not going to happen. I go in with a new battery and get swapped for an old one or visa-versa – plus batteries are not compatible and are too expensive for someone to take the chance.

Terry
1 month ago

Maybe the gas stations will convert to kerosene stations to sell kerosene to light our houses because there will not be enough electricity to charge all the electric cars and light our houses too.

Roger V
1 month ago

LoL!

Walt
1 month ago

There used to be only service stations where one experienced customer service. Fuel, windows cleaned, under-the-hood and tire pressure checks all followed by a “thank you” from the service person. Now one has to do all this themself and if looking for a “thank you and come again”, one needs to go inside the business and buy some jo joes.

J. Kiter
1 month ago

There were once 2 million payphones. New industries and jobs come with change. Gas stations will become fast charge stations with a lingering shopping audience, why not quick full-service overnight RV stops: cafes, exercise equipment, propane, showers? Yes, the

Bye-bye gas/diesel fumes, oil changes, forest fire threats to towns, storm surges, and oil-rich countries recking havoc on the rest of the world.
Hello, a calmer, safer world.

This change has nothing to do with “just some states” since gas stations in the entire world will adapt as businesses do when people’s needs and wants change.
It’s about people and a better life from the horse buggy, to EVs, planes to jets, trains to bullet trains, tv’s to digital streaming, when have businesses never adapted to the needs of the people! It will be just fine.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  J. Kiter

Change is hard.

Bob p
1 month ago

I know it will never happen because you can’t get 3 Americans to agree if the sun is shining, but it looks like there are 18 states that don’t want any part of the millions of dollars RVers spend every year in their state. A simple boycott of those states by RVers and others might change their minds. xxxxxxxxx VOTE!

Last edited 1 month ago by RV Staff
Phil Derr
1 month ago

EVs are an expensive theory of which one factor has yet been overcome…seemlessness. Common sense people do not make drastic changes.. Continue with fossil fuels as technology advances. Putting our country into jeopardy is idiotic. You do not crush the fossil fuel industry by shoving a replacement theory without considering the consequences. Look around. Besides fuel, there are plastics and a miriad of products we need for a quality life. There is fake news and telling us to swallow the Kool Aide of immediate EV or else is a fools errand. Wake up…Please note that it took only one valcano to spew its carbons into the air immediately wiped out all our green efforts. Let’s all take a step back and have a reality check.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Derr

Well, you’re wrong about volcanoes.

Jack
1 month ago
Reply to  chris

Agree, volcanoes are a tiny drip in the bucket, compared to what we pour into the air every hour.

Gary
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

Mt. Pinatubo says hold my beer…

Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Derr

I remember when Mount Saint Helen blew it’s top, it was a huge eruption. Some scientists believe the ash fallout effected the worlds climate by a degree or so cooler over a year or two. And then the gasses contributed to global warming

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