Propel Fuels To Launch EV Charging Network In California

FEB 8 2019 BY MARK KANE 14

Propel Fuels volunteered to build a charging network

Propel Fuels, California’s low carbon fuel retailer, has become convinced that electrification is reaching the mainstream market and announced a plan of launching its own fast and affordable charging network.

The plan is to begin testing of the Propel Power network by Q4 of 2019. Broader roll-out targeted for 2020.

We guess that at least in the beginning, the fast chargers will be installed at existing low carbon fuel stations.

There are no details about what kind of chargers we could expect, but anything below 150 kW would be disappointing at this stage of electrification. Propel invites interested technology partners and says it’s “currently engaged in the RFP and technical evaluation process, working with EV infrastructure manufacturers to combine Propel’s best-in-class fuel consumer experience with new EV technologies”.

“California’s EV market has grown to roughly 450,000 vehicles in 2018 with a looming state mandate of 5 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2030. Over 100 plug-in models are projected to be available by 2022 as auto manufacturers such as VW, Ford, Nissan, and GM continue to announce more affordable and practical EV options. Additionally, with innovation in EV technology, EV charge time is starting to match the speed and efficiency of liquid fueling.

For more than a decade, Propel has focused on mainstreaming low carbon transportation technologies across its network of low carbon fueling stations. The company counts thousands of daily customers for its Renewable Diesel and Flex Fuel E85 products. Propel has unprecedented success serving hard-to-reach low carbon fuel constituencies, including California’s designated disadvantaged communities.”

Propel CEO Rob Elam said:

“The move to low carbon transportation is well underway. People are leaving fossil fuels behind, finding better value in low carbon liquid fuels today, and EV is next. We have been closely watching the EV market evolve for 15 years, and feel it has turned the corner towards the mainstream. Leveraging our expertise serving low carbon consumers, we see the opportunity to help remove the barriers and anxiety, providing a valuable, customer-first charging experience to help EVs truly break through.”

“It is very important to Propel’s mission that everyone in California has access to the low carbon economy and its benefits. We’ve always believed your choice for cleaner fuels shouldn’t be determined by your income, but rather your values,” continued Elam. “We’re encouraged by strong commitments to EVs by automakers, and believe our charging network can bring these technologies to everyday Californians.”

“EV charging opens up a new universe of location opportunities for Propel and we intend to innovate with the goal of providing a superior customer experience emphasizing convenience, value, and support,” continued Elam.

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14 Comments on "Propel Fuels To Launch EV Charging Network In California"

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Not low carbon, but No Carbon. Trying to peddle Natural Gas isn’t good enough and is way too expensive.

California (the subject of the article) has committed itself to transitioning to 100% fossil-fuel-free electricity generation by the year 2045. Natural gas is already on its way out.

Ethanol. Not natural gas. I don’t particularly want to get into the weeds about well-to-wheel emissions of ethanol or whatever. But in theory, ethanol can be zero net carbon.

They also have a fancy not-biodiesel biodiesel. It’s been more than a decade since I followed the biodiesel tech developments. On the plus side, if they can solve the low temperature gelling issue, they have a very compelling product. On the minus side, if they are still using some kind of transesterfication process, I don’t see how they can get around using methanol.

I think that ethanol is needed at least as a transition until more EV’s are available.
Currently in the US without ethanol we would be using 10% more petroleum fuels.
There suppose to pass a law that would allow 15% ethanol to be used year round. This has been going round for several years now the oil lobbyist are fighting against it and farmers are fighting for it.
The additional 5% won’t drop gasoline sales by much; but I rather support the farmers even though they voted for Trump. The tariffs are hurting the farmers.

Problem with Ethanol (and other bio-fuels) is that according to many sources, it likely has a net negative effect on CO2 emissions… Especially the corn ethanol popular in the US.

It’s not biodiesel. It’s made from the same kind of ingredients, but by a different process (“advanced hydrotreating”). It meets the ASTM D975 diesel specification, and avoids the (significant) problems of biodiesel.

More about it here:

Right on! Thank you Propel!

I didn’t read one word about natural gas in this article. So what are the other commenters complaining natural gas.

Hopefully they are all 150kW+…
I would love to see 175kW units popping up all over the place, and/or 350kW ones.
If we could get 8-stall 175kW sites at every truck-stop in CA, that puts us right where we need to be for electric trucks like Rivian and such to compete head-to-head with ICE trucks…

EV Charging Industry needs to develop an APP similar to a Gas Buddy but better.

One that would use your destination.
The amount of charge left on your battery.
Locate the most economical charging station along your route when you need to be charging and at the time you would be arriving.
If a station didn’t have available charging stations provide estimated wait time and the next best option station.
Seems like something all the utilities would need to provide and update charging rates automatically to the APP.
Utilities would be able to provide lower rates during non peak hours.
EV’s would need to have location tracked by APP.

I tried Propel diesel once, because I got a $10 free card in the mail. It was a promo for the week where they had people at the station answering questions. As I was filling, I asked about their “low carbon, renewable diesel” I was putting in my tank, and they replied “biodiesel, made from soybeans”. I never went back. I’d rather take electrons from the sun than food stock from a farm to drive my cars. Since I got my PHEV, I hardly drive the diesel any more.
Glad to see them moving to electricity. I only hope it is 100% carbon free electricity.

Whoever you talked to wasn’t giving you good information. It’s not biodiesel.

From their website, “Propel Diesel HPR is not biodiesel, however, it is manufactured from similar renewable biomass sources including recycled fats and oils. Refined from renewable biomass through advanced hydrotreating technology, Propel Diesel HPR meets the toughest specifications required by automotive and engine manufacturers. This allows Diesel HPR to be used by any diesel vehicle.”


“The California Air Resources Board classifies Diesel HPR, also known as renewable diesel, as an ultra-low carbon fuel. The fuel can achieve a 40-80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil diesel. In addition, Propel Diesel HPR reduces NOx emissions by up to 14% and particulates (PM 2.5) by 34% compared to petroleum diesel and is sulfur-free, aromatics-free and virtually odorless, in 100% renewable diesel form.”


“Diesel HPR outperforms Biodiesel B20, delivering more power and lower emissions. Diesel HPR is made from 98% renewable content, while B20 biodiesel is 20% renewable and 80% petroleum. Unlike biodiesel, Diesel HPR provides uncompromised cold weather performance.”

We ethanol and biodiesel for planes and ships.
There’s plenty of work being advanced biofuels that don’t use food grains for ethanol and biodiesel.
Right now in the US ethanol and biodiesel have the largest effect on reducing petroleum fuels. It’s at around 10% now.
If in 5 years if we can get to 10% electric and 15% renewable fuel for vehicles that would be a win.
In 10 years 20% electric and 25% renewable fuels.
Remember planes and ships use petroleum fuels.

Great another card to carry around…