Gas Stations in America and why gas prices fluctuate
The first gas station to be brought to America was in 1913 in Pittsburgh. In 2012, the US Census Bureau calculated that there were 114,553 gas stations, it is difficult however to calculate exactly how many gas stations there really are.
In 2011 the statistics showed that out of 151,282 convenience stores 121,658 of them sold fuel to the public. As of September 2016 America hit an all-time high for the amount of fuel consumption it took with the drivers taking in a whopping 405 million gallons of gas a day as of June. This is the most fuel calculated since 1946.
What is the reason for the gas consumption increase?
It’s a fact that the price of gas has decreased significantly from 2016 readings. The price has decreased by almost 40% from the previous two years. Due to these low prices more people are wanting to fill up their gas tanks and more often too. It is possible that now there are more energy and fuel efficient vehicles, causing the level of fuel consumption to decrease as well, as people will need to fill up their tanks less; This is the same for the larger vehicles. It was originally just the small cars that were made to be fuel efficient and the technology was not quite there yet to make the larger cars the same, but now that it is. People will eventually be needing to go to gas stations less and less.
Why so many gas stations?
The simple answer is supply and demand. Previously, the number of vehicles on the road combined with fuel guzzling engines presented a perfect situation for gas stations to start popping up everywhere. In major cities it is pretty much impossible for you drive a mile without coming across two or three if not more brightly colored gas stations that are nearly always full with cars.
Why are they so close together?
Retailers locate to areas that will maximize their revenue, meaning they want to find the best location for their customers and be right in the center of it. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a gas station monopoly so you can’t settle wherever you want and expect customers to come to you. The long and short of the story is to make money you need to be in the area with the biggest flow through and all the gas station retailers would have had this exact same idea. The result of this being all the gas stations end up being in the same competitive area. All you have to do is simply to be the best one.