By Jessica Mize
University of Houston Auxiliary Services is now partnering with FuelMe to offer the UH community access to a new, on-demand gas delivery service that will be exclusively available to vehicles parked in on-campus surface lots.
The brainchild of Wisam Nahhas and Nour Baki, products of the C.T. Bauer College of Business’ Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, the company is a start-up with one main service – bringing fuel to people’s vehicles while they’re at work, in class or even running errands.
The two got the idea for the company after a particularly unpleasant experience at a gas station that caused them to miss a flight, so they quickly began doing their research into how they could make those stops a thing of the past. Two business models and a couple of years later, Nahhas and Baki are ready to share FuelMe with the world.
“For the last year and a half, we did a lot of market testing in California,” said Baki, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 2013. “The response was great, so we figured it was time to bring it back home and give it a go.”
A pay-as-you-go service, FuelMe has no membership fees and charges customers only for the gasoline they use, as well as a $5 delivery fee. The company’s fuel charges are dependent on the average price for gasoline in the area and can sometimes be up to five cents cheaper than nearby gas stations. Individuals who are interested in placing an order for gasoline to be delivered to a vehicle parked in a lot on campus –parking garages are off-limits – can do so by downloading the free FuelMe application, available in both the Google Play and iPhone app stores.
“We have designated four trucks to service the UH campus this summer,” said Nahhas, a member of the Bauer graduating class of 2011. “Each truck pulls a trailer that contains four 100-gallon tanks of gasoline, half of it being 93 octane, the other half 87.”
Once an order is placed, the trucks will make their way to the vehicle within the timeframe requested by the user. To keep users updated from the time they place an order to the time the fill-up is complete, the application sends out push notifications.
The University of Houston is the first college campus in the country to have a service like this available to its faculty, staff and students.
“We are excited to partner with FuelMe to offer this service to the campus community,” said Deborah Davis, director of Auxiliary Services. “We hope the many commuters we have driving to and from the University each day will find it to be a nice, convenient option.”