Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are gas stations slowly vanishing?

With the rise in eco-cars, this is exactly what is happening in Japan. The gas stations there are going bust.

More than 2000 gas stations have been closing down annually in recent years but this figure might increase with more Japanese opting for green cars that run on less fuel or no fuel at all.

The Federation of Petroleum Product Dealers Associations (Zensekiren) estimates that if eco-friendly vehicles account for half of new car purchases and 20% of all vehicles in fiscal 2020, annual demand for for gasoline will plunge to 40.88 million kiloliters, down 29% from fiscal 2008, while demand for light fuel oil will fall 15% to 28.66 million kiloliters. And if eco-friendly vehicles such as electric and gas-electric hybrid cars catch on even more than Zensekiren expects, filling stations could face an even bleaker future.

What the Japanese are worried about is how it will affect the remote villages there. These villagers rely on the gas stations for their supply of kerosene and fuel for their farm equipments. But if there is still a demand for gas stations in the villagers then what is the problem, why would they go bankrupt? If they are losing business from passing cars which are eco-friendly, then they should have revamped and cater to the needs of the eco cars right. Installing chargers for them or repairing green cars perhaps? I think its a good thing for Japan that most of the people are buying eco cars. And they should look at the bright side, with the supply of oil decreasing and prices going up, they don't need to be so independent on it. They can use their precious oil for other purposes.

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