facebooktwitterlinkedinyoutube

Hate stopping for petrol? There’s a new app for that

Hate stopping for petrol? There’s a new app for that

If filling up your car is one of your least favourite chores, you can avoid it by using a smartphone app that will bring the petrol pump right to your car.

Bringing fuel direct to you is the idea behind Refuel, a new app which delivers a full tank of petrol or diesel straight to your car.

Refuel is the first leap in technology in the fuel space in decades. The brainchild of Craig Dogon and Ricky Luntz, it combines the latest advancements in technology, safety and security to connect fuel buyers to petrol stations.

Luntz says several factors influenced the development of Refuel. “Time is a precious commodity and customers can now get some of it back.  Refuel saves time and money by not having to find a fuel station as refuelling gets done while you’re at your desk.  Another factor which influenced the development of the app is security and safety.  It’s an unfortunate reality that fuel stations are a growing crime hot spot so there are clear security benefits.”

Luntz says Refuel’s initial strategy was to team up with corporates and office parks to bring convenience directly to office workers. “We are already partnering with several corporates and have extended our service to small business and fleet owners, and for owners of generators which need topping up.

He explains that the price per litre is the same as one would pay at a petrol station, plus a nominal service fee of R20 each time a vehicle is filled up.  “We are partnering with several fuel stations to refill the delivery truck as often as necessary and with the same quality fuel as consumers will find at major filling stations.  As such we are a complimentary service to fuel stations rather than competitors.”

Ordering is easy via the app and is charged to a credit card. When ordering, users have the option of choosing a specific rand value, volume of litres or fill your tank.  Providing a vehicle’s fuel cap is left open and unlocked, the Refuel driver can locate and refuel a vehicle without its owner having to leave their desk. Technology matches the vehicle registration back to an order to ensure the right vehicle is always filled up.  Refuel keeps customers updated throughout the process by letting them know when the refuelling truck is en route, and by sending a notification once the vehicle is refuelled.

Safety and security are paramount.  Fuel is delivered via a custom-designed and built truck, complete with all necessary safety features, which carries both petrol and diesel.  Drivers are fully trained and certified in the transportation of dangerous goods and have the necessary licences.  The truck meets and exceeds all safety regulations and requirements and exceeds municipal guidelines for the safe storage and transportation of fuel.  All tanks are certified by SANS and the City of Johannesburg’s fire department.

“The app was finalised just before lockdown but Covid-19 forced us to pivot from what was initially a consumer offering to one that has far stronger corporate focus, added to which we are now refuelling many fleets, bowsers and generators,” says Luntz.

There are clear financial benefits.  By refuelling on site at the client’s premises, owners can take back control of the entire process which is lost when refuelling at traditional petrol stations due to a lack of oversight of the process.

Fleets are refuelled when it is operationally convenient for clients so there is no down time for staff having to drive to and from petrol stations, and vehicles can be on the road earning the business revenue during operating hours as opposed to losing that time to filling up at petrol stations.

Furthermore, the app offers full business intelligence reporting so fleet managers can view each vehicle’s consumption on a granular vehicle basis, making it easier to identify issues ahead of time.  Via the fully digital automated system, petrol card fraud can be completely eliminated which adds extra weight to the cost-saving element.

Luntz says Refuel is planning to add additional services such as tyre pressure and oil checks and may consider expanding the offering to residential users in time. In addition, the business is busy planning a new Refuel for business app which it hopes to have ready during the first quarter of 2021.

Refuel can be downloaded from either Play or Apple stores. 

“Refuelling will always be a grudge purchase but with this option, we can reduce the grudge and increase some goodwill by giving our users more of their most precious resource: time,” Luntz says.