In the digital age, you can order pretty much anything online to be sent to your home, but one exception has always been ordering fuel for your car parked at home or work. Well, that has now all changed with the launch of Zebra Fuel.
Zebra Fuel is a digital petrol station, delivering fuel directly to your car when you need it. Just log into the app, and with three clicks you can set a time for a specialist driver to come and give you fuel, while you carry on with your day.
The service has launched in South West London, regarded as an ideal location due to petrol stations closing down replaced by housing, road congestion getting to and from a station as well as sacrificing a precious parking space to fill up only to find it full when you come back. The convenience of a service that comes and fills up your parked car is ideally suited to London.
A Zebra Fuel co-founder revealed the experience that prompted him to start the company.
“My moment of clarity came when I was driving in Central London one day when I ran out of fuel. I turned on WAZE, found the nearest petrol station which was on Park Lane, and somehow crawled there on fumes. So I filled up my car, and it came to £76. (My car usually costs £60-£65 to fill.)
I thought the meter on the pump was faulty. The cashier said: ‘No, this is one of the most expensive petrol stations in the UK’ I found myself asking can’t we strip out the costs and inefficiencies of a petrol station and have the fuel come directly to us? That was the moment Zebra Fuel was born.
Zebra Fuel is solving one of the highest pain points in daily life: There is not one person who enjoys filling up their car at a petrol station. It is slow, unpleasant, expensive, dirty and petrol stations can be dangerous places at night. Our customer retention rate is close to 70%. People and businesses are not going back to petrol stations once they start using us.”
History of on-demand fuel
Our world has become a world where people are starting to prefer convenience over experience. While some people may still enjoy the experience of going to fill up, some simply may be too busy and find time increasingly more difficult to allocate, hence the introduction of the on-demand fuel industry.
In 2012, a company called FuelMe was founded in Los Angeles delivering fuel to people who did not have time to fill up at petrol stations. A few years later several brands launched offering the same service in different parts of America, such as Filld.co in San Francisco and Booster Fuels in Denver.
Zebra Fuel is the first digital petrol station in the UK, currently focused on London only, but it is expected that this will be the beginning of a new wave of brands that deliver the same service, in much the same way that UBER changed the way people ordering a taxi across the UK.
Why is it happening now?
The fuel retail market is likely to undergo many changes in the coming years, with a changing economic climate, a government push towards electric and new fuel pricing strategies, the next 20 years leading up to the planned petrol/diesel ban of 2040 will no doubt be hard. However, we may begin to see a decline in traditional petrol stations sooner than some think and a rebirth of the way that people buy fuel will change.
For example, we are likely to see the rise of intraday pricing, i.e. where the price fluctuates through the course of the day, in the UK allowing more price flexibility at the forecourt, which is a concept already adopted by some on the continent. In Germany prices at one station can change ten times in a day.
Disruption in the petrol retail market through electric, driverless and connected cars, intra day pricing and on-demand fuel brands like Zebra Fuel are going to mean a lot of change in the next five years, and most of it is beneficial to the consumer.
Key benefits of Zebra Fuel
Zebra Fuel delivers fuel to your vehicle when you choose. You just go through a short process on the app and set a time, and you get your car filled up without having to worry about it. By checking the app, you can see the van and when it is going to arrive and fill up. Zebra Fuel also does deliveries throughout the night, so you can wake up in the morning and drive straight to work on a full tank!
Zebra Fuel is based in the heart of London, allowing driving commuters to fill up during their working day without having worry about getting fuel at rush hour, or when they want to spend time with their family.
The whole process happens on an app which remembers you and your vehicle, so no need to use a computer and having to worry about it affecting your work. The app takes less than 5 minutes to go through so can be done on a lunch or coffee break.
Zebra Fuel is for both consumers and businesses, so if you need to fill up a fleet of cars, or just your own, no need to worry just let Zebra Fuel handle it! At the moment you can only get diesel, but Zebra Fuel is working on petrol and electric charge options that will be live soon.
The prices are low, probably lower than your average cost per litre! All that comes on top of that is a small delivery fee, which is a less than the total savings of the fuel cost.
So why Diesel and London only?
A spokesman for Zebra Fuel told us “We are testing the market with diesel deliveries – from a regulatory perspective this made the most sense. However, we will be delivering other types of fuel very soon. Electric and Petrol are coming, watch this space!”
Zebra Fuel has also confirmed that they plan to launch ZebraBio, a Zebra Fuel exclusive eco-friendly clean diesel that will help to reduce emissions. They are beta testing petrol and electric and plan to bring out hydrogen when the technology becomes more widespread.
Zebra Fuel also told us “We picked London for our launch because so many petrol stations have been and still are closing down all over the city, causing additional congestion. Zebra’s service reduces road congestion: When you take a driver who’s going to the petrol station in central London, they are adding two trips to the total number of trips made in the city that day.
They are probably driving out of his way to the petrol station; they are queuing up, almost certainly with their engine running, and creating a tailback that can have an impact miles away – across town even. So Zebra Fuel eliminates two journeys with one of our drivers. We wanted to test the London market and then scale using London learnings. We plan on launching Paris Q4 2018, and we will be in 4 major European cities by Q2 2019.”
Exclusive Zebra Fuel member offer
PetrolPrices are delighted to be working with Zebra Fuel to help promote their amazing service to members. Zebra Fuel is the first digital petrol station to appear on the PetrolPrices map within London represented as a van icon. By clicking on the van you are not only presented with the price of fuel grades on offer, you can also download the Zebra Fuel app from the map.
Zebra Fuel will also be visible in the regular price alert emails to those who live within the London area with a Zebra price listing and members can click from the price alert to download the app here too. PetrolPrices has also managed to agree to an exclusive member offer, those who sign up to Zebra Fuel, download the app and use the code PP20 will receive £20 worth of free fuel for the first two fills, i.e. £10 off each fill.
Don’t forget to use code PP20 when you sign up.
Please note: Zebra Fuel only currently operates in South and West London, do not try to sign up and use them if you are not located in this area.
So what are you waiting for? Join Zebra now