We got an announcement today about WeFuel, a new app-based gas refueling service that some are already calling the "Uber for gas." Details like cost are nonexistent yet and it's only available in a few Silicon Valley areas (expanding soon to the entire Bay Area), but we already know enough to form opinions. Those of us in the Autoblog virtual office today didn't agree on the value of this service, and so we decided to hash things out in public.

The App Built Exactly For Me (Pete Bigelow)

Don't want to stand in the rain? Don't want to get gasoline all over your hands on the way to work? Don't want to stop listening to that song on the radio? Now there's an app for that.

That's right. If you need gas, you can order it straight from your smartphone. WeFuel, a new Silicon Valley company, promises a gas truck will deliver gas to motorists at the location of their choice within a half hour of receiving notification. It's not quite the "transportation transformation" its marketers have trumpeted, but it is absolutely helpful.

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.

Much like mowing the lawn, pumping gas is a waste of time. New Jersey and Oregon figured that out a while ago, and have laws on the books that eliminate the need for this mundane task. Those two states got it right. For everyone else, there's WeFuel.

wefuel logo
A Solution Looking Too Hard For A Problem (Sebastian Blanco)

There are so many things wrong with the whole WeFuel idea it's hard to know where to start. I'll admit from the get go that there are some edge cases where having someone refuel your gas tank for you would be useful. Those mini emergencies aside, WeFuel is exactly the kind of thing that encourages laziness and continued, unthinking consumption of gasoline.

On top of that, I can't ignore the extra emissions and wasted gas that WeFuel conveniently forgets to mention in its press release (available below). Just getting gasoline to your local station is already a dirty affair. Adding a few miles of extra driving in a pickup truck loaded with fuel just feels wasteful.

There's already a solution for people who don't want to hassle with refueling a car: plug-in vehicles. If the few seconds it takes each day to actually, physically charge at home it too much, then you can invest in an aftermarket wireless charging option. It's techy like an app-based solution, but so much cooler.

In the end, 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.
Show full PR text
WeFuel Launches The First Fully-Realized On-Demand Gas Delivery Platform; All Speed Bumps Eliminated!

New Start-Up Will Provide Highest Level of Convenience and Security for Drivers;
Innovative "WeFuel Driveo" Device for Added Time-Saving Will Soon Follow

Palo Alto, CA (January 26, 2016) – WeFuel, a new on-demand gas delivery start-up that fuses the ultimate advancements in technology, safety and security, announced today its official launch in the "transportation transformation" marketplace.

WeFuel works as simply and elegantly as the on-demand services to which consumers have grown accustomed. Using the WeFuel iOS app, (an Android version will be available in the spring), users select their choice of fuel and choose their payment option, and a professional WeFuel delivery truck will arrive within a half hour or less to fill their vehicle. WeFuel is using only Department of Transportation-approved tanks and Weights and Measures-approved meters for dispensing fuel. Currently servicing Palo Alto and Menlo Park, WeFuel plans to expand its services to San Francisco by summer 2016 and across the entire Bay Area by 2017.

"Technology has transformed our lives, but we are buying gas the same way we did more than 100 years ago," said WeFuel Co-founder and CEO Ale Donzis. "A new level of convenience is long overdue, but creating a connected platform to replace the gas station in a safe, secure and scalable fashion is not trivial. Our solution, which is executed perfectly from the start, features the highest standards for safety and customer service."

WeFuel has several further developments in the works. The company will be introducing the innovative "WeFuel Driveo," a proprietary internet-enabled device that will allow a WeFuel technician to refuel any vehicle without the owner being present. The patent-pending device will transmit the fuel tank level, identify the car's location, and automatically open the fuel hatch. Want some refreshments waiting for you when you get to your car? WeFuel also has plans to add common convenience store products including snacks to its app menu, later this year.

From prestigious incubators to successful entrepreneurs, WeFuel is attracting serious attention. "We're pleased to share that WeFuel was recently accepted to StartX, Stanford University's non-profit accelerator program," said WeFuel Co-founder J.P. Freijo, from Stanford GSB. "We couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to be part of this esteemed and respected program as we look to grow WeFuel and become a major player in this emerging category."

The start-up has also attracted advisers who have disrupted adjacent industries, including Ale Resnik. "What attracted me to WeFuel are the same business, technology and cultural transformations that inspired us to create Beepi," said Ale Resnik, CEO of Beepi and strategic advisor to WeFuel. "It's a giant market, hungry for innovation and a direct connection with consumers."

As part of its commitment, WeFuel is only employing experienced drivers with commercial licenses and HAZMAT endorsements. The company is also requiring additional safety training for its drivers and hired Ronny Coleman, former California Fire Marshall and Chief Deputy Director of Forestry and Fire Protection for the State of California, as its Safety Advisor to develop its internal safety codes.

For additional information about WeFuel, please visit www.wefuel.com or download the app here.

About WeFuel, Inc.

WeFuel provides convenient delivery of gasoline to consumers through its mobile on-demand service. Co-founded by Ale Donzis and J.P. Freijo, the Silicon Valley company is disrupting the traditional gas station model with convenient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly on-demand services. WeFuel leads its emerging industry with 100% regulatory compliance and a full-time staff of HAZMAT-trained drivers, not contractors.

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