Charging Stations Overtake Gas Stations: The Future of Fueling in Shenzhen

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Charging Stations Overtake Gas Stations: The Future of Fueling in Shenzhen

Recently, Shenzhen released data revealing that the number of supercharging stations now surpasses traditional gas stations. Additionally, the number of charging nozzles exceeds that of fuel nozzles. This trend is not unique to Shenzhen; nationwide, the pace of gas station closures is accelerating. Charging stations are rapidly replacing gas stations. So, what does the future hold for traditional gas stations?

Key Statistics

Let’s examine three crucial sets of data:

  1. Motor Vehicle Ownership As of the end of 2023, there were 435 million motor vehicles in China, an increase of 18 million from 2022.
  2. Total Road Mileage In 2023, China’s total road mileage reached 5.441 million kilometers, up by 91,000 kilometers from 2022.
  3. Apparent Consumption of Gasoline and Diesel
    • In 2023, the apparent consumption of gasoline was 149.102 million tons, an increase of 11.3%.
    • Diesel consumption reached 203.652 million tons, up by 12.3%.
  4. Number of Gas Stations According to the “Blue Book of China’s Petroleum Distribution Industry Development (2023-2024),” the total number of gas stations in 2023 was approximately 105,800, down by over 1,800 from the previous year.

While vehicle ownership, road mileage, and fuel consumption have all increased over the past year, the number of gas stations has decreased.

Reasons Behind the Decline

Around the year 2000, China had over 90,000 gas stations, far exceeding the demand at that time. Over the following 20 years, the number only increased by about 20,000, indicating market saturation and intense competition. Consequently, less profitable stations are exiting the market.

International examples support this trend. The United States, with the highest per capita vehicle ownership, saw gas station numbers peak at 200,000 in 1992, then decline to 130,000 by today. Similarly, Japan’s gas stations peaked at 60,000 in 1994, dropping to 27,000 today.

The Impact of New Energy Vehicles

The rise of new energy vehicles (NEVs) is accelerating this trend. China’s commitment to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 underscores a significant shift. NEVs, which don’t require gasoline, reduce oil demand. Even hybrid vehicles, like BYD’s fifth-generation DM-i technology, significantly cut fuel consumption.

In 2023, NEVs reduced finished oil consumption by approximately 17 million tons, with only 20.41 million NEVs on the road, accounting for just 6.07% of all vehicles.

Projections for 2024 suggest NEV production and sales will reach 13 million, growing by about 40%, with overall market penetration exceeding 40%.

The Shift to Electric Construction Machinery

Another area of interest is the electrification of construction machinery. Electric machines offer zero emissions, low noise, high efficiency, and reduced fuel costs. For instance, a traditional 320 diesel excavator consumes 16 liters per hour, costing 2,600 yuan daily, while its electric counterpart uses 66.7 kWh per hour, costing less than 1,000 yuan daily.

The widespread electrification of construction machinery will further decrease oil demand.

Future Projections for Gas Stations

Experts predict that by 2040 and 2050, the number of gas stations in China will drop to 81,000 and 37,000, respectively. This will be a fierce elimination process, especially impacting private and individual gas stations. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and foreign-invested stations, despite being in a better position, will also face challenges.

The Transformation to Comprehensive Service Stations

Future gas stations must evolve into comprehensive service stations. Currently, many gas stations offer more than just fuel, including convenience stores, dining, car washes, and repair services. For example, China Petroleum and China Petrochemical have both started integrating charging services into their gas stations.

In Anhui, China Petrochemical built its first super integrated energy station, offering fueling, charging, battery swapping, photovoltaic services, energy storage, shopping, dining, card issuing, charity, and leisure.

Conclusion

While charging stations pose a threat to traditional gas stations, they also offer new opportunities. The transformation to comprehensive service stations can enhance service quality and competitiveness. The sooner gas stations adapt, the better their chances of survival. Time is running out for traditional gas stations to evolve and embrace the future of fueling.

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