New Fueling Innovations Drive Efficiency and Emissions Gains for More Fleet Operators

By Mary Riddle
May 31, 2024 10:45 AM ET
A large vehicle driving down the road
(Image: Level/Adobe Stock)

Originally published by TriplePundit

Fueling corporate vehicle fleets is complex, and getting it wrong can cost millions in excess labor and energy costs for fleet operators. This challenge is only growing as operators balance multiple fuel type needs and alternatives such as renewable fuels come to market. The energy delivery company Booster has developed a digital-first solution to handle this complexity. Operators who previously had no other option but the gas station can now start every shift ready to go, saving time and money while reducing fossil fuel needs.

Booster serves everyone from small service businesses like local landscapers up to the largest fleet operators in the world, such as Amazon, to power transportation more sustainably. However the company got its roots back in 2015 serving consumers at large office parks. "Before I founded Booster, my family had designated me as the ‘chief fueling officer’ because no one wanted to go to the gas station,” recounted CEO Frank Mycroft. “That’s when I realized the need for a better solution. We launched service at top-tier corporate campuses like Facebook, Paypal, Cisco and Genentech, which required us to build the highest bar of quality, trust, digital-power transparency and service. We call this the purple promise, and it anchors our game-changing fleet service today.”

The pandemic steered Booster to focus on its business fleet clients, but to do so in a digital-first, self-service model that had never existed before in the industry, and enabled more complex last-mile fleets to adopt mobile energy delivery.

Because Booster was the first company in the United States to offer mobile gasoline refueling services to last-mile fleets, this creation of a new industry sector came with its own set of challenges. “Booster had to work closely with regulators to build this industry,” said Puneet Bawa, the company’s general manager for Southern California. "Every element of our systems, from the digital services to the hardware, is engineered with technology to meet the strictest regulatory standards to deliver renewables and gasoline with the lowest emissions.”

Mobile gasoline refueling services were not permitted in most regulatory codes when Booster was founded. So, the company had to collaborate with government agencies in states like California, Texas and Washington, presenting the company’s training, technology, and business model plans that worked to eliminate emissions and hazards. “We co-authored multiple new laws and regulations,” highlighted Shenna Bradshaw, the company’s head of policy. “Booster was the first in this game.”

Booster creates a more sustainable way of fueling fleets 

Booster delivers conventional and renewable fuels, as well as hydrogen and electric vehicle services in select markets. The company’s dual-product delivery assets serve complex, multi-product client needs efficiently. Booster also works with partners to offer EV charging for fleet EVs and leverages its team of talented commercial drivers to deliver hydrogen within the company’s partner network.

“We are focused on eliminating the number of miles driven to gas stations and living up to our credo of increasing sustainability and reducing our customer's carbon footprint,” Bawa said.

Booster is also betting big on renewable diesel. “In 2024, California is going to mandate that all off-road vehicles and equipment must use dyed renewable diesel. The challenge here is access. Booster has partnered with some of the largest renewable suppliers on the West Coast,” Puneet shared. “We are in a strong position to lead the charge in renewables conversion, both on- and off-road. Our systems are nimble and flexible, coupled with tech to predict demand autonomously, making us the most versatile and viable solution.”

Moving toward more alternative energy solutions aligns with Booster’s sustainability goals, Bawa said. “In addition to renewable diesel and mobile electrification through a third-party partnership, we have supported mobile delivery of hydrogen around the Port of Los Angeles,” he explained. “And we are exploring avenues where Booster could partner with other companies to facilitate the delivery of alternative fuels.”

Booster saves companies time and money

In the San Diego area, 35 percent of Booster’s clientele are landscape companies. These companies generally send out crews of four to six workers in pickup trucks and trailers every day and often need refueling services before each new day can begin.

“We optimize cost efficiencies for companies by mitigating the need for four to six individuals to be present in the vehicle during fueling at a gas station, resulting in significant savings on labor expenses,” Bawa explained.

Even more critical than cost savings is employee safety. Bawa got an up-close view as to why in his prior role managing the insurance program for another company’s corporate fleet. “Two out of three preventable accidents our fleet had were from being backed into at a gas station,” he said. “Simply being parked at a gas station or fuel stop is one of the biggest causes of accidents. We provide our customers with peace of mind.”

Booster is also able to pass on savings in direct fuel costs. The branded gas found at most gas stations is generally more expensive than unbranded fuel, and Booster participates in many unbranded fuel contract deals that allow it to offer clients better prices. The company also spends little on advertising, which further drives down pump cost for customers. “Our biggest competitive advantage is word of mouth,” Bawa said.

Booster is leading the industry in new directions

The logistics industry has dealt with tremendous volatility since 2020, Bawa shared. Booster’s procurement methods and internal efficiencies allow the company to provide stable and competitive solutions that help customers manage and reduce the impact of the macro-environment on profitability, he said. “We closely monitor the markets,” Bawa told us. “Every penny holds significance both for us and our customers. We have effectively taken these elements and turned them into a competitive advantage, allowing us to outperform our peers in the industry.”

Booster says it’s laser-focused on creating a more sustainable and economical fueling sector. By creating partnerships with third-party providers, the company helps to ensure that renewable fuels, hydrogen and electricity are all available in the fleet fueling marketplace.

“When I first started here, I was skeptical about sustainability, but now I have seen firsthand how this process works, and I see our work as something that is changing the landscape of this industry for the better,” Bawa said. “We are cutting out the middleman, cutting carbon emissions, and accelerating the adoption of renewable alternatives. It’s a one-two approach: wean customers off the gas station, then off of fossil fuels entirely. It is inspiring to me, and I hope it inspires others to do their part for a better future.”

This article series is sponsored by Booster and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team.