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I wonder what the lifespan of an investment in a gas station is? Like do they expect to get 20 or 30 years out of them? How long does it take to pay off the loan and start making a profit off it? Because while they aren't there yet, it's possible to think that in about 15 to 20 years electric cars will start to disrupt that business. And based on how long cars tend to last, we could see a really substantial, terminal decline in the number of gasoline powered private vehicles in about 25 to 30 years. To put that in perspective, 25 years ago was 1995 and it seems like most of the newer gas stations from that era still exist.

 

I know that sounds radical, but between 2030 and 2040 many developed countries in Europe and Asia are going to ban new internal combustion automobiles. Even if the US never passes a similar rule, chances are the world's biggest automakers like Toyota and VW and Ford won't sink a lot of resources into continuing development of new engines just for our market and instead we'll get more and more electric models anyways. That will probably the tipping point - in 15 years battery tech is probably going to be both more advanced and also a lot cheaper. And because they'll be mass producing a larger number of electric cars they are probably going to drop in price to start matching gas powered ones. Just remember that 15 years ago we didn't have smartphones or facebook but now they have penetrated the market and are an inexpensive default possession that even relatively poor people own, analogous to owning a refridgerator. And for those wondering about charging infrastructure, it only took about 24 years from the introduction of the Model T to the first Autobahn being built in Germany and the first parkways being built around Los Angeles and New York.

Edited by zaphod
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Gas stations don't really make a profit on gasoline. Gross margin on gas on a good day is 10 cents per gallon. A gasoline tanker hold something like 4,000 gallons. If a station gets a tanker every day, that's 120,000 gallons per month, or $12,000 gross margin from gas. Stations cost about a million dollars to build, the last time I saw any data, plus the land. The real money is from sales of tobacco, alcohol and other items. That demand will still be there when EV's are more prevalent.

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Yeah but the captive audience will start to go away. People buy tobacco, alcohol, and other items at gas stations because it's convenient. If you're not getting gas, then suddenly that gas station becomes a lot less convenient for those items.

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Sure. I'm not saying convenience stores attached to gas stations aren't useful, I'm saying they might be less convenient (depending on their location) if you don't need to get gas. A good location for a traditional corner store is not always the same as a good location for a gas station.

 

This location is an interesting one, because there's lots of residences nearby, but no grocery store, drug store, liquor store, or convenience store nearby. There's also a car rental place and a tire shop right next door, so it's likely to be extremely convenient for quite some time. 

 

But that doesn't mean it's not *also* a missed opportunity for something better.

 

Edited by Texasota
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I wish I understood gas station economics better. I heard someone is developing a site at the corner of 45 and W Dallas. I don’t know how that land underwrites for c stores, but don’t imagine they would develop such a high value site without understanding c stores well. 

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now *that* is hugely disappointing. what a waste of that location.

 

A new, urbanish format Buc-ees (like WaWa has done) might be the best case scenario, but it still wouldn't be great.

Part of what makes Buc-ees great is how good it is under the circumstances. You can easily get a better version of everything that's good at Buc-ees within a mile radius of this location. 

Edited by Texasota
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If they really heard it was a "Buc-ees" then it is most likely a Bucky's. The giant travel stop that we all know and love, Buc-ees, would never choose a location like this. The other Bucky's is a midwest gas station/convenience store that has been expanding across Houston in the past year. They have new locations at Beltway and Westview and Hammerly and Gessner. Wouldn't be surprised if this is one of theirs as well. 

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