Quo vadis, gas station – where are you going?

With the development of cars were also Fuel filling stations created. In the early days, refueling was done with a hand pump and a glass piston meter; later, electric pump systems with flow meters were added. This gave rise to the gas pumps at gas stations that we all know today, as well as the associated calibration laws for these systems.

Beginnings of gas station development

In the early days of gas station development – in the 20s and 30s – the average storage volume was 2.000 – 3.000 liters of gasoline. The operators of these gas stations were grocers, hardware stores and village blacksmiths.

Car owners at the time - there weren't many in Europe at the time - could refuel here without any problems. The sales point employees also refueled the vehicles. A tranquil time when driving was still something special. After all, owning an automobile was generally unthinkable for the common man.

The large truck and bus companies that emerged later often had their own Gas stations for fuels and oils. At the same time, the first oil companies began to build their own larger gas stations on the trunk roads and new motorways. This enabled them to easily cope with the ever-increasing number of vehicles. In addition to these gas stations, restaurants often opened to provide travelers with food and drinks.

old gas station

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/tankstelle-oldtimer-alte-tankstelle-1665193/

At the beginning of the 50s, the decade of the economic miracle – everything changed. Cars and trucks were produced in ever larger numbers. The car became a status symbol for the majority of Germans. And the gas stations became “refueling stations”. People enjoyed going there, being noticed and seen. On the other hand, drivers often had to drive to a gas station. The Vehicle consumption was enormous. 12 liters were cheap, but 16 to 20 liters per 100 kilometers was the rule. The gas station operators couldn't get new fuel fast enough.

In the 70's were in the economically leading countries in the world Safety requirements for gas stations standardized. The oil companies outdid each other with their refueling temples: even bigger, even more services, even more employees. Cost didn't matter. 30.000 to 50.000 liters of daily sales at gas stations were not uncommon. The gas station operators and the oil companies were doing really well. The market seemed to want to keep growing forever. Gas stations popped up like mushrooms. Even in small towns there were several providers.

Then came the 90s and with them a paradigm shift. The Environmental Protection came into people's consciousness. The new eco-tax led to an increase in fuel prices. Car manufacturers developed new engines that consumed less fuel. While consumption initially fell by 10 percent, savings in the 2000s were up to 40 percent. The rosy times for Gas station operator were over. Sales fell. The overall market shrank continuously. As a result, many gas stations had to close. Often these were village gas stations with stable but low sales.

Things became more complicated in the 2000sthat many people no longer see a car as a status symbol. It is a commodity that you no longer have to own, but can simply use as needed via car sharing. 30 to 50 percent of people under 30 today don't even get a driver's license. They use public transport and also refuse to use a private car for ecological reasons. Scientific studies on nitrogen and carbon dioxide pollution or fine dust prove them right.

More and more countries are following this assessment. Japan, the third largest economy and the fifth largest CO2 emitter in the world, has decided from 2030 no vehicles with combustion engines to allow more, but only electric cars and vehicles with hybrid or hydrogen drives.

Another important aspect of gas stations is environmental protection.

In the 60s and 70s of the last century the word “Environmental Protection“absolutely unknown. Consequently, at that time they were generally single-walled underground storage tanks in gas stations used. Today we have tens of thousands of gas stations worldwide with corroded tanks. The sad result is huge environmental damage.

Today's industry standard in highly developed countries are double-walled above-ground tanks. No intelligent designer in the industry today will use double-walled underground fuel storage tanks on long-term projects.

Although these versions are approved, from a safety perspective they cannot be seen from the outside because they are in the ground and cannot be checked for possible corrosion damage.

Above-ground double-walled steel storage tanks are different. Visibility is essential here because this is where the new technical findings come into play.

Electric car charging station

Quelle: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/ladestation-e-mobilit%c3%a4t-lades%c3%a4ule-5212924/

The existential concerns for traditional gas stations will continue to grow.

The reason: the development of alternative drives for motor vehicles based on electricity (solar energy) or hydrogen.

In the next few years there will be completely new ones highly effective electric battery systems introduced in the automotive industry. The era of dangerous, highly flammable lithium batteries will then come to an end. This increases acceptance as well as the number of new registrations of electric cars. This will make the Fuel sales at gas stations collapse further. The dynamics of technological change can only be estimated cautiously. But it could be as explosive as the introduction of the cell phone.

Another influencing factor in relation to the development of the gas station business are supermarkets and shopping malls – the new temples of consumption. It was only the automobile that gave rise to the Shopping Center or large Supermarkets on the edges of cities. Today, it is only thanks to the car that you can drive to the markets quickly and easily and do your bulk shopping. And more and more supermarkets are offering their customers the opportunity Refuel the vehicle right there – be it with fuel or electricity. This purchase may also be rewarded with bonus points. In addition the customer saves the trip to the gas station and therefore time and money.

What conclusions can be drawn for the gas station business of the future?

  1. Motorway gas stations and gas stations on busy trunk roads will continue to exist and be authorized. Fuel sales will remain relatively stable.
  2. Truck filling stations in the country that offer a complex service for drivers and vehicles have a great future. Such gas stations can be found every 50 to 100 kilometers. Your fuel sales will continue to be high.
  3. Normal gas stations in cities and villages are expensive to operate and inflexible. The profit margin is low due to small sales volumes. The business is or will become unprofitable.
  4. The development of a modern supply network of buffer tank systems in rural regions is essential. This is the only way smaller quantities can be transported profitably to the customer. Due to the existing infrastructure, the buffer tank farms should be positioned next to truck filling stations if possible.
  5. Fuel supply logistics – from the refinery to large tank farms, buffer tank farms and regional filling stations – must be automated. This is the only way to plan effective supply routes for tankers. This requires fully automatic monitoring and remote signaling of the fill levels in all tanks and tank trucks.
  6. Tank volumes in the province will be 2.000 to 5.000 liters per medium.
  7. Fuel will be delivered to vehicles via automated payment systems. Service personnel are no longer required.
  8. The refueling units are containerized. They consist of a tank and a tap unit. They are mobile and can be replaced if necessary.
  9. When designing gas stations, the focus in the future will be on functionality, not primarily on appearance. There will be a demand for state-of-the-art, functional, mobile units that can take on all fuel logistics tasks.
  10. The new gas station systems are highly secure, double-walled and fully electronically monitored. They are mounted in an ISO container frame with CSC approval. They have fully electronic access control to the tank chambers and the back office. They enable efficient fuel delivery.
  11. In the new gas station systems, hardware and electronics are one unit - one module. Through precise sizing, these modules can be adapted to changing needs.
  12. Thanks to the modular structure in the container frame, these modules can be easily replaced and, for example, completely overhauled.
  13. If there is no longer a need for fuel filling stations in the respective region due to the technological change towards electric cars, they will be dismantled and transported to a new location.

Krampitz gas station containers and their areas of application

Krampitz offers different Gas station modules
(above-ground, cubic storage tanks instead of tank farms according to DIN 6616).

1.) Task: Large gas stations with a high volume of customers (cars and trucks) on trunk roads

Solution: KCU universal modular system

Up to four vehicles can refuel here at the same time, or six to eight vehicles if additional dispenser platforms are used.

Two-chamber and three-chamber variants are possible for up to three media and volumes of up to 40.000 liters. An Ad Blue tank can be combined with this.

Large gas station

2.) Task: Truck stations – large gas stations

Solution: KCU gas stations-Construction kit combined with one Large buffer tank farm.

Both trucks and smaller tankers that supply the region are refueled.

50.000 or 100.000 liters of fuel per medium are temporarily stored in the buffer tank farm. The buffer tank farm automatically supplies the KCU gas station.

Gas station with large buffer tank farm

3.) Task: municipal filling stations for cars

Solution: KCM series

Two vehicles can be refueled at the same time. Volume: 40.000 liters.

Car gas station

4.) Task: rural micro-gas stations for cars and tractors

Solution: KCC gas stations

Only single-chamber versions are used. The modules have volumes of 2.000 to 5.000 liters.

Each module is equipped with a fuel pump for one medium. Billing/payment takes place at the petrol pump terminal.

Micro gas station

What does the forecast of gas station development mean for the sales activities of oil companies?

  1.  Oil companies consider their economic activity as Gas station operators restrict. Instead, they act as a producer and supplier to third parties.
  2. Small gas stations in the area will close, meaning that oil companies as fuel suppliers will have to change their logistics. That would be conceivable Construction of buffer tank farms, for example next to existing company-owned gas stations. Smaller tank trucks are filled here and deliver the fuel Micro gas stations.
  3. There new ones Fuels like hydrogen become more important, oil companies are becoming increasingly involved in this area. So reports Handelsblatt.com on September 29.09.2020, XNUMX: “Shell wants to become number one for green hydrogen”. And the company BP writes on its homepage: "BP's goal is to replace all fossil-produced hydrogen in the long term and thus contribute to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions in fuel production." Consequently, in addition to production, distribution and sales (filling station technology) to end customers must be developed and set up.

What is a modern gas station module?

What technical features characterize a modern gas station module?

  1. Double-walled steel tank bodies with Vacuum leak monitoring – a modern, safe one Leak monitoring system.
  2. CSC-approved container frame (instead of round tank according to DIN 6616) – important for smooth international transport and acceptance.
  3. Electronic content displays – Remote monitoring of fill levels from the central office.
  4. Use of high-quality, electronic overfill protection in conjunction with inlet motorized ball valves to close the filling lines – safely avoiding overfilling when refueling.
  5. comfortable PLC central control with touchscreen – Easy to set up, monitor and retrieve all gas station data.
  6. Electronic door locks – secure remote monitoring and access control.
  7. Use of Detonation fuses and ATEX approved equipment at petrol filling stations – avoiding explosions.
  8. Installation of Anti-lifting device in suction lines.


The future of the well-known gas stations is difficult. Traditional gas stations are too expensive to maintain and therefore unprofitable. The sales generated no longer match the building and the required service personnel. Technical solutions are required here Generate profit despite small sales. This is just with modular fully automatic gas station units possible in the area. Because diesel and gasoline will continue to play a role as fuel in the next 20 or 30 years - as demand declines.

The Gas station units You can do this in villages as well as in supermarket parking lots set up and operate. Customers will perceive this offer as a fair and intelligent service concept.

Fully automated gas station units with a central, automatic supply concept are the only profitable technical solution for this Fuel Supply in the next decades.