PALO ALTO, Calif. --On-demand fueling services aim to eliminate the weekly trip to the gas station by bringing the gas station to the car. One startup is seeking to bring even more convenience to the process, by making even the ordering process automatic.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based WeFuel launched this week, and it is currently servicing the Palo Alto and Menlo Park markets.
Similar to other on-demand fueling services, WeFuel users order a fill-up via a smartphone app (iOS for now), provide vehicle information, choose the type of fuel—regular or premium-grade gasoline--and payment details. WeFuel then dispatches a truck to deliver fuel within less than a half-hour.
The company’s tagline: “Gas, Unstationed.”
“Technology has transformed our lives, but we are buying gas the same way we did more than 100 years ago,” said Ale Donzis, the co-founder and CEO of WeFuel. “A new level of convenience is long overdue, but creating a connected platform to replace the gas station in a safe, secure and scalable fashion is not trivial. Our solution, which is executed perfectly from the start, features the highest standards for safety and customer service.”
The service says it uses Department of Transportation-approved tanks and Weights-and-Measures-approved meters for dispensing fuel. Its drivers have commercial licenses and HAZMAT endorsements and undergo additional safety training.
WeFuel is also reportedly developing new technology that would enable a technician to fill up a vehicle without the owner being present. The Internet-enabled WeFuel Driveo device would transmit the fuel tank level to WeFuel, identify the vehicle location and automatically open the fuel hatch for refueling. WeFuel also plans to offer the ability to order “common convenience-store products” such as snacks from its app later this year.
WeFuel was recently accepted to Stanford University's non-profit accelerator program, StartX, and has signed on strategic advisers who specialize in disruptive technology.
“What attracted me to WeFuel are the same business, technology and cultural transformations that inspired us to create Beepi,” said Ale Resnik, CEO of Beepi, an online peer-to-peer car marketplace, and strategic advisor to WeFuel. “It’s a giant market, hungry for innovation and a direct connection with consumers.”
WeFuel plans to expand into the San Francisco area by this summer, and across the Bay area by 2017.