Filling up your gas tank has gotten a little easier in Dallas. The San Francisco-based company Yoshi offers a delivery service that pumps gas into your parked vehicle while you’re taking care of more important matters in your day. Yoshi has expanded to over 20 metro areas since forming in 2015, with DFW being one of the most recent additions in late summer 2018.
By downloading the Yoshi app, users are able to join for a monthly $16 subscription fee. Then from your phone, users schedule a time for a Yoshi truck to stop by and fill their vehicle with the cheapest ExxonMobil gas in a two-mile radius of their service destination. The field technician will require subscribers to leave their normally locked gas tanks slightly open to allow service, but users are not required to be present. Users are also able to request a “fuel vault,” a magnetic flap Yoshi offers to allow for secure future Yoshi visits.
Co-founders Nick Alexander and Bryan Frist were looking for a business venture that fit their interests while they attended Harvard Business School. While the rest of their classmates were seeking careers in finance or consulting, Alexander and Frist had the entrepreneurial bug to create something of their own. The duo added third co-founder Dan Hunter to work on the design of the delivery trucks, and shortly thereafter, launched within two weeks of having the idea.
“I was actually the first driver,” Frist says. “And Nick built up the first app. We did that out in Palo Alto. And we flew out in between classes and graduation. When most of our friends were going on big trips, international trips and stuff, we went out and started filling people up with gas, which was exciting, and a lot of our classmates thought we were kind of crazy.”
On average Frist observes customers request a weekly fill-up, proving to be the most commonly requested service, but Yoshi has added a variety of options that can be included with the added benefit of gas discounts. Now your vehicle can have its tire pressure checked, detailed and washed, or even an oil change while you never leave the office during a work day.
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For the future, Yoshi is forming a partnership with OnStar, allowing subscribers to have the needs of their vehicle taken care of the moment service is required.
“Now through OnStar the car itself can order,” Frist says. “Forget about getting the app, you just set a threshold. Let’s say it’s a fourth of a tank or eighth of a tank, when your tank hits that, we dispatch a truck. We know your exact latitude and longitude, we know not only your gas level, but your oil life, if your front right tire has low pressure, we’ll fill it up.”
Yoshi sees these services not only as a convenience for DFW residents looking to save time in their busy day, but also a way to lower their carbon footprint by having properly maintained vehicles on the road for less time. The goal for Yoshi in their aggressive rollout of new cities is to continually lower emissions, and at the same time, offer new jobs and opportunities to changing marketplaces.
“The first driver or field technician in each market we see as a city lead,” Frist says. “They’re very experienced, most of them have been truck drivers over the road. This is a nice lifestyle change for them. Instead of being on the road 27 out of 30 days, missing their kids growing up, they can work 9 to 5 and be local.”