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Startup that refills your car at work or home hits Silicon Valley

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Mike Blake/Reuters/File

(Read caption) A Shell gas station is shown in Encinitas, California (January 25, 2016). A new startup called Booster Fuels seeks to bring the fuel-up experience to drivers at home or at work, reducing the need for trips to the gas station.

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A major perk of driving an electric car is never having to visit a gas station, since overnight home recharging is simple and convenient for most.

Now a new startup company hopes to offer that same perk to drivers of gasoline-powered cars.

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Booster Fuels is a fuel-delivery service that allows drivers to order a fill-up using a smartphone app.

Users simply park their cars, request fuel delivery using the app, and leave the gas cap unlocked. A fuel truck is then dispatched, and the car is left ready with a full tank when the user returns.

Booster previously operated only in Texas, but recently expanded operations to Silicon Valley--and moved its headquarters there.

It just raised $9 million in Series A funding, which it plans to use to expand operations in both Texas and California.

Operations currently focus on providing fuel to corporations that have large campuses or office parks, but the company's long-term goal is to make it so "90 percent of people or more," never have to visit a gas station, Booster Fuels co-founder and CEO Frank Mycroft told TechCrunch.

Booster Fuels already provides fuel at "dozens of corporate campuses," with more than half of employees at many of those locations using the service, according to a company press release.

About 60 percent of employees of California-based Chegg use the service, Booster Fuels claims.

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The company also claims its fuel prices are competitive with gas stations, and may be lower because it buys its fuel in bulk.

Both regular and premium unleaded are offered, and all of the company's drivers undergo background checks.

Right now, Booster Fuels views its service as a perk companies can offer to their employees.

Particularly in Silicon Valley, locations that are unreachable via alternative forms of transportation are reportedly at a disadvantage in recruiting employees.

But presumably, having to commute by car in California's notorious traffic would be less onerous if you could get a fill-up while you work.

In that sense, Booster Fuels could be a lot like the electric-car charging stations many companies install to attract environmentally-minded workers to their facilities.

Yet while it may now operate in the green-tech haven of Silicon Valley, Booster Fuels appears to do nothing to advance a low-carbon ethos.

This article first appeared at GreenCarReports.


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