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September 14, 2023

When it Comes to Conventional Fuel Dispensers, what is the Cost of Change?

Despite the move towards decarbonization, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are still prevalent in most markets and, according to some reports, will be in use long after 2030. However, motorists continue to embrace greener transport, with many drivers considering which clean fuel is best for them, while fuel retailers are wondering which investment is best for business. With so much change, why is replacing conventional fuel dispensers so important?

The answer? Aging dispenser equipment will eventually need to be replaced to avoid breakdowns, as normal equipment wear and tear could lead to nozzles becoming inoperational, resulting in forecourt congestion and queuing. New dispenser equipment would also ensure retailers are able to provide motorists with the best technology and user experience to cater and adapt to increasing consumer expectations.

In terms of longevity and low total cost of ownership (TCO), offering a mix of both clean and conventional fuels on one forecourt is a sure-fire way to satisfy consumer trends while staying one step ahead of the competition.

For modern businesses, change is not only healthy but essential for success; however, managing change comes at a cost. So, what is the cost of change should you decide to replace your conventional fuel dispensers?

When it Comes to Conventional Fuel Dispensers, what is the Cost of Change?

What is the Cost of Change?

Simply put, the cost of change is how much money you will need to pay to change or upgrade your service station. When it comes to fuel retailers, they will have to take into consideration the costs associated to install new equipment, remove old equipment, as well as any impact to revenue (e.g., due to out of use dispensers, etc.).

No matter the industry, cost of change is something many will have had to take into consideration at one point or another, however, the change and uncertainty associated with the energy transition, as well as consumer trends, make the cost of change more prevalent.

It’s important to compare the potential costs of change versus not implementing anything at all. While it can seem easier to maintain the status quo rather than cause upheaval, the reality of doing nothing or delaying action could end up costing you more money in the long run.

Another way to look at it is this – can you afford to not keep your service station relevant, welcoming and operational at a time when your competitors are making investments to ensure longevity?

Why it is Important to Look at Alternatives?

In recent years, the energy sector has seen a dramatic increase and focus on sustainable and clean energy sources, such as electric and hydrogen vehicles.

Although there are more electric vehicles (EVs) on European roads today than a decade ago, the population of electric cars is only predicted to be around 17% by 2030 (according to the 2022 European EV Charging Infrastructure Masterplan). In addition, hydrogen has only recently been introduced as a strong choice for long-haul, heavy duty vehicles and other commercial transport in the last few years.

This means that over the next 10 years, there will still be many motorists who haven’t yet made the switch to cleaner fuels. In turn, this will result in the need for many petrol and diesel nozzles to remain in operation to refuel the remainder of the car population. Can fuel retailers be expected to effectively serve customers well into 2030 without replacing fuel pumps?

While developments in clean fuel infrastructure continue at pace, there is still a place for traditional fuels on the forecourt, particularly as the average lifespan of an EU ICE car is 12 years. Even though ICE car sales are decreasing, it’s pertinent to note that 2022 sales remained strong, with 52.8% of passenger car sales registered as petrol or diesel across the continent.

Fuel retailers will be required to carefully balance the needs of their customers during this period of transition and will have to invest in the replacement of aging conventional fuel dispensers at least once during this period, alongside their clean fuel investments.

Replacement of conventional fuel dispensers are needed to bridge the “gap” as motorists’ transition to cleaner fueled vehicles; thus, driving the need for the fuel retail and convenience industry to tailor their offering to match the evolving car population and mobility needs.

Challenges and Calculating the Cost of Change?

When it comes to replacing fuel dispensers, it’s not always a straightforward process. There are many things that should be taken into consideration, such as how best to secure a new dispenser to the ground. For example, what installation frames already exist and how easy will it be to anchor a new dispenser? And how does the new dispenser connect to existing systems, such as the point-of-sale?

In this section, we look at some common challenges when it comes to cost of change, and how the new EMEA DFS dispenser ranges – Tokheim Quantium®, Wayne Helix® and Wayne Century™ 3 fuel dispensers – solves these challenges.

Civil works - Dispenser Footprint

Problem: Dispenser size matters when evaluating options to replace an aging dispenser, as big differences in footprint might lead to an increased cost for civil works.

Solution: Each dispenser in DFS’s new product range has been optimized with a small footprint to ensure an easier on-site fit, wherever needed.

Advantage: This eliminates the need to break out existing pump islands to install a new pump cradle, limiting installation costs for low TCO.

Civil works – foundation cradle

Problem: Replacing an aging dispenser with a new fuel pump could lead to additional costs to install a new pump cradle.

Solution: The new DFS dispensers have an optional adaptor plate which ensures secure fixation into the existing space – both for legacy DFS dispensers, as well as other dispenser models.

Advantage: This eliminates the need to break out existing pump islands to install a new pump cradle, limiting installation costs for low TCO.

Pump Island Pipework – inlet connections

Problem: Replacing an aging dispenser may lead to increased costs to modify pipework for inlet connections to the new dispensers. A new replacement dispenser might not connect to existing systems.

Solution: The new DFS dispensers have been engineered so inlet positions are similar to legacy DFS dispensers and other dispenser models available on the market.

Advantage: This eliminates the need for pipework modifications in the island, resulting in minimal installations costs for low TCO.

With DFS dispensers, every little detail is taken into consideration to minimize site downtime and installation costs, making the process (and cost) of change as streamlined as possible. Little things really do make a big difference.

When it Comes to Conventional Fuel Dispensers, what is the Cost of Change?

Why Change to a DFS Dispenser?

Engineered with field-proven global components and corrosion resistant materials, the new EMEA DFS dispenser ranges offer exceptional reliability, accurate fueling, enhanced safety and low TCO. Retailers looking to upgrade can rest assured they are investing in a dispenser built to last.

Minimal Drift

Fuels differ from country to country and can attack component materials and seals, causing leakage or dispenser breakdowns. The robust design of the new DFS dispenser ranges utilize high fuel resistant materials, so no special meter is required for harsh fuels. This makes the Tokheim Quantium®, Wayne Helix® and Wayne Century™ 3 dispenser ranges incredibly versatile, as the meter can handle a broad range of fuel types and is more likely to continue to deliver optimal performance as fuels evolve when compared to other dispensers available on the market. Additionally, all three dispenser ranges have certified accuracy and exude superior stability for minimal drift with all fuel types over the lifetime of the dispenser.

Reliable Quality and Performance

Constant day-to-day operational use can cause dispenser components to wear over time, leading to breakdowns and nozzle outage, which in turn reduces trading capacity, however, DFS dispensers are built to last. Engineered with high-quality materials and field-proven components, DFS dispensers also encompass strong corrosion protection to deliver reliable performance time and time again, ensuring nozzle availability for full trading capacity – not to mention less maintenance requirements for low TCO.


Limited maintenance access or complex methods for field interventions can lead to higher costs for parts and labour. The Quantium®, Helix® and Century™ 3 fuel dispensers are specifically engineered to maintain accuracy, requiring less maintenance and service interventions over the dispenser’s lifetime. In fact, these dispensers have been designed to make maintenance both safe and efficient for shorter service interventions. Each model in the new EMEA dispenser range benefits from quick-hose connectors and DFS patented double bump pipework connections to provide less impact on trading capacity and minimize maintenance costs from less parts and shorter labour times.

Safe and Secure

Manoeuvring and handling of new dispensers during installation can pose a major QHSE (quality, health, safety and environment) risk, but the new DFS dispenser range helps mitigate that risk, as each model in the Quantium®, Helix® and Century™ 3 dispenser range has been engineered with embedded lifting holes in the base frame. This helps facilitate the safe and efficient manoeuvre of dispensers during installation.
With other dispensers, lower quality sealing components have a higher risk of developing leakage, again causing a QHSE risk. The DFS Piston meter is specified with a high-quality elastomer seals, and the pumping unit and filter-pot is specified with high-quality flour silicone seals and o-rings for increased durability. This provides a strong resistance to ever-evolving fuel grades, energies and additives to prevent leakages from developing, as well as lowering the QHSE risks and maintenance callouts.

Improved User Experience

When motorists go to a service station it can often be busier than expected, with many drivers parking up at the nearest available dispenser to refuel – whether the fuel tank is on the same side as the dispenser or not. Often, great force is required to pull out a hose retraction mechanism to properly reach the tank inlet on the opposite side of the vehicle, so users can adequately refuel.

The Quantium®, Helix® and Century™ 3 models have been designed with the end user in mind. With a range of different hose reach mechanisms available, long hose reach with less pull force can come as standard. Not only does this make it easier for motorists, it ensures optimal forecourt flow as motorists can park and fill up from every pump island position.

When it Comes to Conventional Fuel Dispensers, what is the Cost of Change?

Balancing Change

Investing in change is not always an easy decision to make, especially with so much uncertainty in relation to global decarbonization and net zero goals. For many, it will be simpler to forgo change altogether until industry direction becomes clearer; however, this might come at a high cost – from mounting maintenance fees and dissatisfied consumers facing more and more dispenser breakdowns to aging equipment or disappointment from lack of availability of clean energies. For many, change - and the cost of change - is daunting, but if fuel retailers wait too long to leverage the technology needed now, they are going to fall behind competition and risk not being part of the future forecourt.

If fuel retailers must replace aging equipment, then many will want to invest in a dispenser range designed to last – a range that provides reliable, long lasting quality to ensure less service interventions for low TCO. DFS is committed to providing leading products and solutions to its customers, regardless of which energy they choose to distribute and retail.

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