LA Times Seems Surprised That PRC’s Gas Phase-Out Will Harm Small Businesses

The majority of gas stations across the country are owned either by single store owners or small businesses with a bunch of locations, who are licensed as franchises. Just like most fast food places. Will these small business gas station owners be able to survive only as convenience stores? Maybe they could have a few EV chargers, but, those really won’t pay the bills unless they mark the price up….hmm, did not one ever consider that companies will install charging points and mark the cost of energy up?

California’s gas-car phaseout brings turmoil to mom-and-pop gas stations

unintended consequencesIt was hailed as a landmark decision for the environment: The California Air Resources Board voted in August to require that all new automobiles and light trucks sold in the state be zero emission by 2035.

The move, aimed at tackling climate change, has been cheered by many. Just not mom-and-pop gas station owners.

In interviews with The Times, independent gas station owners said the state mandate will expedite the demise of their businesses. And they make up a significant part of the state’s fueling infrastructure: A little more than 5,000 such stations are scattered across California, according to National Assn. of Convenience Stores data.

“Most of the independents will be put out of business — completely out of business,” said Charles Khalil, who owns two gas stations in the L.A. area and is bracing for a shakeout ahead of 2035. “We are all going to suffer through it.”

He and other owners predict many mom-and-pop operators will, in the years ahead, sell their properties to real estate developers or large gas station chains that can afford to upgrade the sites with electric vehicle chargers. Space limitations and the high cost of installing chargers — a high-capacity version can cost $150,000, including all associated expenditures — make it infeasible for some owners to update their properties for an electric future.

But, will they want to purchase those businesses? They probably have till about 2040-2045 for selling gas, because people will still have gas powered vehicles, plus, big trucks. However, there’s not guarantee that the People’s Republik Of California won’t mandate away all sales of gasoline. They are that bugnuts insane. Further, those big companies might offer pennies on the dollar for the properties.

How many mom-and-pop gas stations might California lose in the years ahead?

Using five years of annual data from the National Assn. of Convenience Stores, McDonald estimated that nearly half of the state’s 5,081 mom-and-pop gas stations would close by 2035. NACS defines these stations as those that include a convenience shop and are owned by a single-store proprietor — hence the “mom-and-pop” designation. (A caveat about the estimate: McDonald’s model assumes stations will begin closing at a rate of 3% annually, increasing to 6% a year — but over the next 13 years the loss of stations is unlikely to be linear.)

Which also means all those convenience stores go away. And it is not cheap to dig up the gas tanks to rejuvenate the properties. Big companies may do this. But, hey, it’s a small price to pay to save the world from climate doom, right?

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4 Responses to “LA Times Seems Surprised That PRC’s Gas Phase-Out Will Harm Small Businesses”

  1. Dana says:

    I’m shocked, shocked! to think that you see putting food on the table today is more important than saving Mother Gaia 80 years from now!

  2. Professor Hale says:

    We don’t haver to guess what will happen. We have seen it in recent history. When Cuba could no longer import cars from North America, they created a restoration industry that could keep the older models on the road longer.

    So, although no new cars will be sold in California, there will be a thriving aftermarket in used cars even to the point of bringing newer “used” cars in from out of state. Those mom and pops will be in business until long after retirement age.

    WRT 150,000 charging stations. Why would anyone buy those? The economics never balances. There aren’t enough hours in the day to recoup the investment in the normal retail prices of electricity at gas stations. You would need to have an astronomical increase in markup to just break even.

  3. alanstorm says:

    LA Times Seems Surprised That PRC’s Gas Phase-Out Will Harm Small Businesses

    Of course. We’re not talking Mensa members here. Plus they’re not even trying to compete with Salon or The Nation as far as comedy.

  4. Dana says:

    The last time I was in the Keystone State, in December of 2021, I stopped at the Wawa at the junction between Pennsylvania route 61 and I-78. There were around 20 gasoline pumps, and people were waiting their turn to get fuel. That was no surprise. Fortunately, I didn’t need fuel: I had stopped there to get some K-cups of Wawa coffee for my wife and older daughter, who like Wawa coffee, plus a cup of coffee for myself.

    What was a surprise was that there were six Tesla fast charging stations. One of the stations was blocked by a beater car parked there, and the other five were empty.

    Wawa is a convenience store, a fairly large one, but not a place you want to sit for 45 or 75 minutes waiting for your Tesla to recharge. I s’pose that they’d sell more of their prepackaged sandwiches, or maybe open a Subway or McFood in the store, but really, who wants to do that?

    I will admit it: I am a fast traveler. When I stop for fuel, I’ll grab a drink, and maybe a sam’mich or chips, but then it’s back on the road, and I eat and drink while driving. Perhaps I’d have less tolerance for hour-long charging stops than a liberal soy-boy or warmunist.

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