When was the last time you enjoyed fueling up your car (or fleet)? The dream of the midcentury American Gas Station and the petroliana surrounding it—the neon Mobil signs with winged Pegasus, the smiling gas station attendant, the promise of the open road—has gone the way of the Model T, if it ever existed at all.
In its place is a dystopian fuelscape of contemporary economic problems and logistical dilemmas. How much time will my drivers spend fueling? What is the most efficient route and way to top off the tank? What type of fuel do I even need—gasoline, CNG, electricity, or a plug-in hybrid solution?
At least the alt-fuel cars look like cars again, unlike the millennium-style moonlanders first put out by entrepreneurs and major manufacturers. Elvis has finally left the building.
“You can’t stop progress” is a misnomer—there are all kinds of ways to stop progress. Stopping tech, however, is a whole other ball game. And today’s tech can help ease your fleets’ anxieties about when, where, how, and how much?
Seven years ago, Bryan Frist had an idea.
In business school, Frist saw friends and colleagues taking advantage of the new app-based food services. Following Amazon’s lead, other companies and industries started looking at how to service customers via mobile devices.
“There are many pain points with the existing gas station model—it’s often inconvenient, or the weather is bad, or you’re in an unsafe part of town or somewhere you don’t know,” he says. “We saw an opportunity to improve the entire fueling ecosystem by offering more choices for fleet owners and the end consumer.”
Frist created a mobile app, upfitted a fuel truck, and began fueling up customers. Seven years later, Yoshi has 125 employees and covers a wide territory from New York state south through Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Texas, all the way down to the Gulf. To date, Yoshi has secured investments from automotive heavy hitters such as Exxon-Mobil, General Motors, and Bridgestone. The company continues to grow rapidly, and today, Yoshi’s services include fuel delivery, vehicle inspection, preventative maintenance, and more.
“We often know more about the car than the fleet manager because we both touch the vehicle regularly and also have massive amounts of data through our telematics integrations with Toyota Connect and General Motors’ OnStar platforms,” Frist says. “So for fleet owners who want to maximize their drivers’ time, minimize labor costs, and improve reliability, Yoshi is a no-brainer.”
Yoshi’s typical fleet customer has 25-100 vehicles. Yoshi recommends overnight service, saving all the rigamarole typically reserved for drivers to handle during the day.
“Yoshi allows fleet drivers to enjoy their jobs more and to focus on what they’re hired to do; they’re not hired to take care of the mundane aspects of vehicle ownership. They’re not hired to fill up the vehicle with gas and risk further exposure to liability.”
But why the name Yoshi?
“Oh yeah,” Frist laughs, “for those of a certain age, Yoshi was one of the most popular characters in the Mario games. In Japanese, however, Yoshi roughly translates to ‘keep moving, let’s go, good luck.’ That’s our tagline—Keep Moving.”
Coincidentally, it was a Japanese gentleman named Bowser who invented the gas pump in 1910. All these years later, who knows? Maybe Yoshi will be the one who changes the game with a simple, convenient, cost-saving solution that comes to you.
Fleet Cards & Telematics
At Shell Fleet Solutions, robust fleet card technology coupled with the endless torrent of telematic data and upgrades help fleets make the most of every mile.
The Shell Fleet Card provides savings of up to .6 cents per gallon and is accepted at the largest network of nearly 13,000 Shell service stations across the U.S.
“The Shell Fleet Card provides detailed information on fuel expenditures and gives fleet managers the ability to control and track fuel purchases, helping prevent fraud and misuse,” says Jim Perkins, director of sales and marketing at Shell Fleet Solutions.
“Fleet cards can offer data to provide foresight into future fuel planning and help determine opportunities to make fleets more efficient.”
Perkins also stresses just how much telematics can inform responsible fuel management for fleets of any size. A Frost & Sullivan analysis says that 31% of transportation and logistics fleet owners use telematics in more than 75% of their fleets—a seemingly high number save for the fact there are millions upon millions of fleet vehicles in the U.S., meaning countless vehicles are running without any data to help their owners realize their full potential.
“Shell Telematics can help fleet owners lower fuel expenses with the ability to monitor driver behavior and optimize fuel routes and fuel consumption,” Perkins says.
And he has the data to back it up. Perkins says fleet managers can take further steps by utilizing telematics to monitor and enable active, real-time coaching to avoid idling, assist with route optimization, and to help find and fix issues costing fleets dearly at the pump.
“According to findings from our customer database, Shell Telematics helps our customers reduce fuel consumption by 14% and helps fuel efficiency,” he says. He then quotes a survey conducted by CarAdvise in which Shell Maintenance Hub—in addition to its telematics solutions—helps customers save up to 26% on standard services and labor.
As fuel prices fluctuate and alternative fuels grow increasingly close on the horizon, Perkins says Shell Telematics and Shell Recharge Solutions will help EV customers make the same informed decisions regarding route optimization and recharging when out on the road.