Propel Fuels Plans EV Charging Network

Biofuels company embraces EVs as part of ‘low-carbon transportation’ strategy
Photograph courtesy of Propel

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Propel Fuels, which made its name in low-carbon liquid fuels, is expanding to electric-vehicle (EV) charging.

Founded in 2004, Propel has built a network of 33 Flex Fuel sites selling E85, the 85% ethanol blend, and 31 HPR diesel sites in California and Washington. It is now adding EV charging to the offering by testing the first locations of its new Propel Power EV charging network in California by fourth-quarter 2019, with plans for a wider, statewide rollout in 2020.  

“People are leaving fossil fuels behind, finding better value in low-carbon liquid fuels today, and EV is next,” said Rob Elam, CEO of Propel Fuels, Sacramento, Calif. “We have been closely watching the EV market evolve for 15 years and feel it has turned the corner toward the mainstream. Leveraging our expertise serving low-carbon consumers, we see the opportunity to help remove the barriers and anxiety, providing a valuable, customer-first charging experience to help EVs truly break through.”

In support of the new charging network, Propel points to California’s current EV fleet of about 450,000 vehicles, and a target set by former Gov. Jerry Brown to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030.

Propel has developed a proprietary, low-carbon retail platform that has provided it insights into the demographics, behaviors and values of its customers. It has invested in site selection technology, carbon tracking and cloud-based network operations to assist in its rollout of the EV charging network.

Propel will expand its E85 and diesel site offer at the same time it grows the Propel Power network “beyond the traditional fuel station environment,” according to the company. It is now in the request-for-proposal (RFP) process with EV charging station manufacturers.

“EV charging opens up a new universe of location opportunities for Propel, and we intend to innovate with the goal of providing a superior customer experience emphasizing convenience, value and support,” said Elam.


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