How to Open an Alternative Fuel Gas Station

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Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) fueling stations are scattered across the United States. The fuel provided at an alternative fuel gas station can run the gamut from biodiesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), ethanol and E85, electric, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Before choosing a place to set up a fueling station, look around the area to see who your customers will be. Look for large fleets that use alternative fuels that you can count on as your main source of income. There are also individual customers driving flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) that can run on E85, gasoline or a combination of the two.

Things You'll Need

  • Gas station
  • Skids
  • Tanks
  • Compressors
  • Alternative fuel
  • Credit card machine
  • Decide which alternative fuels you wish to offer based on the need in your community. Consider including E85 to receive a substantial tax incentive.

  • Select a location and set up a small station to keep costs down. You can choose a former gas station or set up a new one.

  • Check with your local business licensing department to see what licenses are needed to set up an alternative fueling station.

  • Purchase above ground tanks on moveable skids to keep your setup costs to a minimum.

  • Buy a couple of compressors: One to pump the gas and one to have on hand in case the main one breaks down.

  • Purchase your fuel.

  • Set up a merchant account and accept all major credit cards. There are a limited number of customers so you want to make sure that lack of payment options doesn’t deter them from your station.

  • Contact the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center for technician training and support in setting up a station.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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