How important is it to find a gas station near me? Gas stations are one of the most important establishments in the world right now because we are now living in an era where cars, trucks and PUVs rule the streets. You can find filling stations almost anywhere you are. Even if you are in the middle of nowhere, as long as there are roads where cars can enter, you will always find a gas station.
When you are driving in a town or city, you can always find a gas station nearby. A quick search in Google for “Gas stations near me” will help you find what you need almost anywhere. Let’s take a closer look at how these gas stations started and some important information about them.
A Brief History of Gas Stations
Gas stations have been operating for many years, but of course, they started after the first automobile was created. The first places that sold gasoline for automobiles were pharmacies, as a side business. It may seem funny right now because pharmacies, as we know it, are selling medicines, but who would have thought that they were selling gasoline back in the day?
The first filling station was in Wiesloch, Germany and it was a city pharmacy. Bertha Benz refilled the tank of the first automobile during its maiden trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim in 1888.
Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, decided to sell automobiles that the middle class can afford and this move fueled the increase in automobile ownership and of course, an increase in the demand for filling stations.
The first purpose built gas station in the world was constructed in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905 at 420 S. Theresa Avenue. The second one was constructed in 1907 by Standard Oil of California (which is now Chevron) in Seattle, Washington. The very first “drive-in” filling station made by the Gulf Refining Company opened to the public in Pittsburgh on December 1, 1913. Before this, automobile drivers were actually pulling into any general or hardware store to fill up their tanks.
In Russia, the first gas stations actually appeared a bit later than the U.S. in 1911 when the Imperial Automobile Society actually signed an agreement with the partnership “Br. Nobel”. In the year 1914, almost 440 gas stations were operating in major cities around the country.
Since then, gas stations started to pop up almost anywhere in the world. The demand is high and the profit is also good so gas stations are pretty much a good business if you are in the right location.
Did you know that the largest gas station in the world is believed to be in San Marcos, Texas with an astonishing 60 pumps and very few queues!
The Design of the Filling Stations
Most of you are probably asking why almost all gas stations have the same design architecture. Fueling installation would be underground, pump machines in the forecourt and a point of service in a building. There is an explanation behind the design and it is very much related to safety.
Gasoline is flammable so you can’t place them in the forecourt so the design of the gas stations is directly related to safety concerns. Local regulations and environment concerns may actually require a different method, but the design is pretty much the same across filling stations.
Fuel is offloaded from a tanker truck into the tanks with the use of a separate valve, which is located on the perimeter of the gas station. Fuel will then travel to the dispenser pumps through the underground pipes.
Are Gas Stations a Good Business to Run?
This is something that a lot of people have been asking lately; especially those who are planning to have their own business. The first thing that you need to know is that gas stations require a huge amount of capital. It would depend on how you plan to start a gas station business. You can get a franchise from popular gas station companies or you can simply start a small and independent gas station yourself.
Getting a franchise would be extremely expensive, but it would be more profitable, given the fact that you are using the name of a popular gas station. Some vehicle owners pay attention to the brand of the gas stations and you can earn more profit from that.
Starting an independent gas station may not be a bad idea, but competition would be very high, unless you decide to bring the price of your gasoline down compared with your competitors, which is not a good idea since you won’t earn a decent profit.
A gas station business relies on many factors, but it is primarily related to the price of gasoline in the market. The price goes up and down so you will have to know how to make the right price or you could end up bankrupt.
It is a profitable business, but you need to know your options and you need to have an idea what you are facing. You cannot simply run a gas station business without knowing the numbers.
The Factors that Affect Gasoline Prices
Since we are already talking about gas stations, let’s take a look at some of the factors that can affect the price of gasoline.
In 2012 in the United States, approximately 233 million registered light-duty vehicles traveled almost 2.7 trillion miles on U.S. highways and each licensed driver drove an estimated 12,579 miles every year. Based on these statistics, consumers purchased about 124 billion gallons of fuel. Can you imagine this amount of fuel consumption? And take note, this is only in the United States. If you are one of those people who are traveling a lot within a year, don’t you want to know what factors affect the prices of gasoline?
The price of every gallon of gasoline that you buy includes tax – federal, state and local taxes. Since 1993, federal exercise tax remained at 18.4 cents per gallon. State gasoline taxes are about 24.17 cents per gallon. It means that every gallon of gasoline you buy, you are also paying taxes.
Seasonal and Weather Effects
In the United States, the seasons of the year can affect gasoline prices. In the spring, the price will begin to go up because U.S. refineries usually conduct their maintenance at this time of the year. It means that gasoline production will drop and supply will decrease. Once the supply decreases and the demand remains the same, the price of gasoline will increase.
In warmer temperatures, the government regulations usually require a different gasoline formula and the additives for such formula can increase the production cost. During the summer, almost every family in the U.S. travels to different places so the demand for gasoline will significantly increase. For colder temperatures, it would lead to savings because people travel less and the winter formula in some areas is less costly as well.
This is pretty much related with tax because federal and state gasoline taxes different depending on where you are currently residing.
This is the primary driver of gasoline prices in the United States and almost anywhere in the world. According to the EIA, almost two-thirds of the price of gasoline is because of crude oil and refinery costs. Crude oil is sold by the barrel and every $1 change in the price of barrel of crude oil will result in about 2.4 cents change in a gallon of gasoline.
In summary, fuel for our vehicles, whether it be plain Gas, Diesel or some other modern variety, is currently supplied exclusively from a Gas station. Knowing where your nearest Gas Station is at any given time, is vital to keeping your wheels moving. So break out your mobile device, click on Google and type in ‘GSA Stations Near Me’ to solve all your refueling problems.
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