Gas to Go?

What Amazon did for books, Filld hopes to do for fuel

SAN FRANCISCO -- “Here’s to never having to go to the gas station again!”

filld gas delivery service (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

That’s the promise of Filld, a new on-demand gasoline delivery service that is being piloted in the Silicon Valley of California by Filld LLC, San Francisco.

How it works: Users download the Filld iPhone app and apply to open an account. Once approved, they provide billing information, address and information about their vehicle. To order a fillup, they select a delivery window and drop a pin on the app’s map to indicate the vehicle’s location. Filld will send an alert via the app when its driver is on the way and confirm an estimated time of delivery. The driver arrives, fills up the tank—no topoffs—and then e-mails a receipt.

The vehicle owner just needs to remember to leave the gas tank cover open.

Filld bases its gas price on the average in the area, according to the website. There is a $7 delivery charge and minimum gallon purchase. The service is currently only offering 87-octane regular unleaded gasoline, although it is working on adding premium and diesel, and may someday even offer alternative fuels such as hydrogen and electric charging. And it will fill anything with less than a 25-gallon tank, including lawnmowers.

The company is currently approving accounts on a first-come basis. During the pilot, it is only offering two, seven-hour delivery windows: the “day shift,” which is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the “night shift,” or between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., although Filld hopes to ultimately offer fueling within a few hours.

The company also claims to follow all local and state safety and quality control regulations, and says its drivers have a commercial driver’s license, insurance and hazmat training.

According to an interview with Filld co-founder Scott Hempy on The Verge.com, the service is currently running one fuel truck to service the southern Silicon Valley towns of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City. “We see it as something that will capture users when they are in a pinch,” Hempy told The Verge. “Cutting that 15 minutes out of my life every 10 days is a lot of value.”

The service is profitable for Filld because it buys gasoline at wholesale and does not have the overhead of a gas station, said Hempy. It’s a model that The Verge interviewer first compares to Uber, the app-based car ordering service. “This is more like Amazon,” Hempy responded. “Who needs a physical store? What they did for books, we can do for gas.”

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