Local News

With on-demand fuel, gas comes to the customer

Posted September 17, 2015 5:20 p.m. EDT

— When Steven Huels' truck is running low on fuel, he doesn't go to the gas pump. The gas pump comes to him.

He's one of the beta testers of a new business called Phantom Fueling, an on-demand fueling service launched by John Kitto.

“We thought, wouldn't it be cool if, in your neighborhood at night, a truck would come through and fill everyone's cars,” Kitto said.

For a flat $5 to $7 fee, plus the day's average cost of gas in Raleigh, Kitto will fuel your vehicle while you're doing something else.

“You can request a fill from your phone at any time,” he said. “You'll hear from us in two minutes, like Uber or a ride-sharing app.”

Phantom Fueling is part of the on-demand economy - a new trend where technology allows customers to connect with directly with businesses.

“In society, we have this expectation that our companies are there for us all the time, whether they are or not,” said Karen Mishra, a business professor at Meredith College.

Mishra says the on-demand trend also helps business make better use of their resources.

Huels says he's willing to pay a little extra for that convenience.

“I don't worry about, did my wife fill up the car, did I fill up the car? I know it's just taken care of,” he said.

Phantom Fueling's beta-testing stage ends next month. Kitto said he's planning to offer service to Raleigh and Cary.