Valero Energy Corp. is planning for the gas station of the future — or perhaps the term should be “fuel station” of the future. As Valero builds new stores, it will design them to handle alternative fuels, including natural gas as well as E85, a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gas that it has already been added at a few locations.
“In certain markets they're already consuming natural gas in vehicles,” CEO Bill Klesse said, and the San Antonio-based company will add natural gas pumps in Texas if there is market demand.
Valero already has some stores capable of dispensing natural gas in Colorado. The San Antonio-based refiner and fuels marketer will do the same in Texas “if there is market demand,” he said.
The first Texas Valero station with natural gas dispensers will be built at Interstate 10 and UTSA Boulevard near the company's headquarters, Klesse said at the annual shareholders' meeting Thursday.
Also, where a Valero station has enough land, electric charging stations might be added “to help people get home.” But Valero's chief seemed less enthusiastic about adding charging stations, saying electric power is “problematic.”
The company now sells E85 at five stores in Texas: two in San Antonio, two in Dallas and one in El Paso. The fuel is soon to be added at a Valero near Lewisville Lake in North Texas.
Valero's marketing network includes 5.800 retail and branded wholesale outlets in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.