Between 1980 and 2010, the number of filling stations in France was almost divided by four, while the number of cars on the road almost doubled. Fuel sales are increasingly concentrated in high-volume stations (such as supermarket car parks). In more remote regions, particularly in suburban and rural areas, there are still many smaller filling stations. For all the players involved, the installation of charging stations is an immediate challenge as the number of electric vehicle registrations soars.
There are almost 3,200 small-scale petrol stations operating in France, independent of the major oil companies or supermarket networks. They employed more than 17,000 people in 2021 (source: ANFA). If we add to this the fuel dispensing stations operating within companies with another initial activity (e.g., car maintenance and repair), the figure rises to more than 5,500 fuel retailers in France (source: FNA). However, they continue to exist in all rural and semi-rural communities and on the outskirts of major cities, where business models based on selling very large volumes of fuel are unsustainable. They form an essential network that is all too often forgotten in the regions: filling stations often combine servicing, repairs, breakdown assistance and vehicle sales, and sometimes add a multi-service business (bakery, food, newspapers, post office) or an automated parcel pickup service (AmazonLockers, La Poste pick-up). They are also an ideal location for those involved in environmentally friendly or responsible forms of transport: meeting points for car-pooling; hire and sales of electric two-wheelers, scooters or bicycles. There are many solutions, and EQUIP AUTO is the melting pot that brings together all the players in this new ecosystem.