Oscar Gomez is on the road a lot. The owner of a residential home development company, Gomez recently invested in a Prius due to the amount of time he spends driving back and forth for work. But one annoyance still remained—his fuel tank. When his gas light came on at the end of a long day and he didn’t feel like stopping to fill up, Gomez knew it was time for Yoshi.
Yoshi, a gas delivery company that arrived in the Triangle this summer, has changed the way locals fuel and service their cars.
“We do everything right on site,” says Yoshi co-founder Bryan Frist. “We can wash your car, change your oil, inflate your right front tire and fill your tank with gas. We now see ourselves as a complete car care provider.”
Frist and co-founders Dan Hunter and Nick Alexander started Yoshi, which has its origins in Silicon Valley, in 2015 after taking a long, hard look at a big industry that hadn’t been touched by innovation in quite some time.
“In 1910, the modern-day gas pump was invented,” says Frist. “And, really, the gas stations looked no different than they do today. If anything, the experience has probably gotten worse as cities have become more congested.”
Yoshi, which now operates in 20 cities and 14 states, has found a way to eliminate the hassle of pulling up to a pump with a simple app. So how does it work?
Although the gas delivery service has been called “Uber for gas,” Frist says that, operationally, the two companies don’t actually have all that much in common. Yoshi customers sign up for the service for $20 per month, a fee that includes gas delivery among other options. If you sign up for additional services, such as an oil change, then you get per gallon price discounts on fuel. Most customers schedule fuel service once a week through their app. Customers then get a delivery window and a notification from their field technician when their service is complete.
“Ninety-nine percent of our users are not hitting a button and requesting a service for one time,” says Frist. “It’s very much not an Uber for gasoline. It’s pretty much schedule and then you never have to think about it again.”
Since its launch this summer, the Triangle has become the fastest growing of Yoshi’s 20 markets, eclipsing the formerly leading city of Nashville.
“We’re putting new trucks on the road and new mechanics on the field on an almost a daily basis,” says Frist. “You have tons of commuters in the RTP. There are a lot of big companies. There are a lot of dynamics there that have gone really well.”
Yoshi partners with auto industry mainstays ExxonMobil and General Motors, an arrangement that Frist says is partly responsible for the company’s quickly realized success. Yoshi pumps top tier Synergy™ fuel from ExxonMobil, so customers always know what will fill their gas tanks. With GM, Yoshi has linked its technology into GM’s Connected Car, which streams data at all times.
“We can predict when you need to fill up,” says Frist. “We know your exact latitude and longitude. You would link your OnStar account through our app. We’ve fully integrated with GM, but we’re working with Ford and some others to do some more things down the line.”
While Yoshi doesn’t eliminate the need for any and all car services—the company can’t repair your engine or rotate your tires, for instance—it does make daily living easier for those who don’t have the time or patience for gas stations.
“For most people, your car is just sitting there in the parking lot all day at work,” says Gabriel Iocco, an office manager for a local logistics company. “Why not have someone come fuel it up for you and take care of it and save yourself a trip to the gas station after work?”