Gas Delivery for Cars Offered in Russian Cities

Inhabitants of Russian cities can now add gas to their list for online shopping, as two startups offer fuel delivery direct to a parked car, Reuters reports.

Such services are already available in North America and Europe, but may have special appeal in Russia given the country’s particularly harsh winters, the agency wrote.

Toplivo v Bak, which translates as “Fuel to the Tank”, and another company called Pump will come and fill up a car’s fuel tank at the curbside on receipt of an order via a smartphone app — even if the owner is not there.

The services are available in four cities — Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Krasnodar.

The companies are riding the trend for on-demand delivery of goods pioneered by U.S. companies such as Uber and Amazon via smartphone technology, which is taking off in Russian cities.

“You can call it ‘Uberization,'” said Alina Kovalevich, general director of Toplivo v Bak. “We see it with taxis and food delivery, in various sectors.”

If a registered user of one of the services is running low on fuel, they tap an order into their smartphone which transmits the location of their vehicle.

The order is received electronically by a courier driving a small van with a fuel tank attached, containing petrol or diesel. When the courier arrives at the car, he pulls a fuel nozzle out of the van and inserts it into the gas tank to fill up the car and then drives on to the next customer.

The services are not yet major players in Russia’s fuel market. Between them, they deliver between 16,000 and 18,000 liters of fuel per day, which is about the same amount a single fuel station would sell in a day.