Presumably at premium prices

Wefuel is an app (iOS only so far) that enables the stranded or lazy (or both) driver to have gasoline delivered to wherever his vehicle happens to be, assuming that it’s in their service area. For now, it’s strictly a San Francisco Bay area thing, but if it finds customers, it’s sure to expand.

I’m not quite sure what I think of this. I am far more often lazy than stranded, but I have a schedule structured enough to hit up a Shell every other week. (Road trips aside, I drive maybe 7,000 miles a year.) On the one hand, I have to agree with Pete Bigelow of Autoblog:

There are two kinds of people: those who like to save money and those who like to save time. Wefuel will appeal to the latter. The app lets workers fuel up while sitting at their desks rather than adding time to their commutes. It allows them to plan for the road trip without making a special trip to the gas station to fill up.

Then again, I can also see the point being made by Sebastian Blanco of Autoblog:

Wefuel is the epitome of Silicon Valley nonsense. No one needs this (emergencies excluded), but now some people will want it. Silicon Valley wants us to think that our phones will solve all of our problems, but when that “solution” means that you get lazier and someone else does your work for you while adding extra pollution to the air, that’s an easy pass. Still, it makes someone else do your work for you, so Wefuel will undoubtedly be a tremendous hit.

Wait a minute. Our phones won’t solve all of our problems?

I’m thinking, we don’t flinch at paying $3 (plus a tip) to have $30 worth of pizza delivered. I’m pretty sure we won’t flinch at paying something comparably nominal for $30 worth of gas. And now I wonder if they can do custom octane blends.

If this premise has any possibility of hitting it big, there should be a rival, right? Here it comes.

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3 comments »

  1. fillyjonk »

    28 January 2016 · 9:26 pm

    It would be a brilliant thing for emergencies, but how often would one run out of gas IN a city (I presume, the service will only be available there). I remember one trip to NW OK, where I adopted the policy of “get gas when you can get gas” because it seemed like there were ages and ages between towns, and I feared what would happen if I ran out somewhere on beyond Anadarko.

  2. CGHill »

    28 January 2016 · 9:47 pm

    Southern New Mexico and adjacent west Texas are like that, only maybe a little more so. (The Mojave in southern California is even more so.)

  3. McGehee »

    29 January 2016 · 7:36 am

    One could find more gas-station-free places in Alaska if there were more roads, but on the roads there are, any roadside emergency will draw offers of help.

    If mine, en route the Arctic Circle 20 years ago with my wife and my 70-year-old wheelchair-bound mother, had been merely lack of fuel, or the loss of only one tire rather than two, we likely could even have made it to our intended destination rather than turning back as soon as I tightened lugs on the replacement tires.

    My mother was very gracious about the adventure, seeing as how it had ended up okay, and at a time when she’d thought adventures were a thing of her past.

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