Monday, February 4, 2013

Laundromats & Gas Stations

Only a nostalgia buff could love the experience of a Laundromat.  I will grant you that they did serve for some as a “Mix and Match Dot Com” where true love was found along with the odd homeless single sock. In the romantic sense, Laundromats are far superior to gas stations.  

Most of us cheered the day when we had ascended in life to the convenience of having our very own personal washer and dryer. We could do laundry whenever we wanted, as much as we wanted, in the security of our home. We promised ourselves in silence, to never go back to the Laundromat. 

Gas stations are just like Laundromats, a mandatory drudgery that needs to be undertaken once a week during which you get to spend $60-$75 for the privilege of sharing with your community, a gas pump.

If only the price of gasoline were as stable as the prices at the Laundromat. The smell of soap far more pleasant than that of oil and gasoline. The chance for the gas station, forget it. At the gas station they charge you $4.00 for the gas to drive 25 miles.
Yesterday, the lines at Costco for gas
Following on the heels of the great inventions; the personal washer and dryer, now emerging is the personal fueling station. 

The personal fueling station is installed in your garage allowing you to fill up the car in the safety and security of your own home. You can fuel whenever you want, as much as you want. When you ascend in the convenience of your life thus having your own personal fueling station, you promise yourself in silence, to never go back to a gas station.

Once installed your own personal fueling station cost you $0.75 or less to drive 25 miles.  If you’re really adventurous,  you can make the fuel on the rooftop of your garage via sunshine for $0.40 to drive 25 miles, 1/10th the cost of buying an equivalent gallon of gasoline at a gas station. This cost is essentially fixed in price for the future.

How much does this personal fueling station cost? Far less than the average cost of a washer and dryer.  

What do I have to do to prepare for a personal fueling station? The hookup is similar to a washer or dryer.

The gasoline car and gas station are beginning to look very antiquated. 

Peder 70,000 Sunshine powered miles.


  1. 8 kw to drive 25 miles at $0.045 a kwh (off peak) = $0.36 for me. Then I get half my power at work for free, so then it works to $0.18. Good sunny days I could do it for free, but I prefer to collect the $0.37 cents from the man when I sell them back my sunshine.

  2. As you say Jack, with Solar PV, if you arbitrage off peak charging cost and on Peak sales back to the grid. You can drive for free.

  3. But don't forget the power grid infrastructure (generation, delivery, last mile etc.) must be their to support the personalization of "fueling stations". Unfortunately, solar PV is not the silver bullet since not power output from the solar panels at night.

  4. A few points here. nothing that cost is truly free.

    Assuming the traditional infrastructure required to deliver electricity to dwellings from the power plant all the way to the home is in place, then the added infrastructure cost for the solar PV home is relativity minor consisting of from the home to the local transformer only. Not all the way up the food chain back to the power-plant.

    The arbitrage point is that the electricity is far more valuable during peak hours and the market pays double to five times the price for that electricity. In the middle of the night is has little to no value as baseline production exceeds demands thus the very low price.
    Put the two together and you have a winner for the EV charged at night.

    The question is, is the benefit created by Solar PV (for example less peaker plants needed and less need to buy expensive energy during peak) greater than the cost of the added infrastructure required? Arguments can be made for both sides.

    What is true is that the utility looses a high rate paying customer and they don't like that very much.

    1. He didn't say it would be free. He said it would be worth it.

  5. A very good combination of laundrymats and Gas Station.

  6. Thank you Edwin and I am glad your enjoyed the piece.