Julio Bazarra, the manager of Bazarra Service Station, asserts that the role of attendants needs to be reconsidered in the context of electromobility.
“Regarding chargers, the role of the attendant is seriously threatened,” states the President of the Galician Federation of Service Stations (FEGAES) in a conversation with Mobility Portal Europe.
Partly, this is due to the fact that charging points are not solely located at petrol stations and do not require assistance from an external person to use.
“As customers begin to benefit from features like automatic refuelling, the need for personnel at service stations diminishes,” he insists.
In an article addressing this issue, he writes: “This decline is also affecting the province of A Coruña.”
According to official data from the Provincial Association of Service Stations (EESS) in A Coruña, five service stations were opened in the province in 2022, bringing the total to 285.
However, despite this increase, the total number of employees decreased slightly, reaching 1,518 workers compared to the 1,627 in 2021.
These figures are also reflected in the Monthly Labor Market Report by Occupation published by the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy.
Meanwhile, in July 2022, there were 4,841 new hires, while in June of this year, there were 3,868. The lowest point was in February 2023 with 1,790 new hires.
Therefore, in an era where the role of the attendant is under threat, Bazarra suggests that the sector needs to adapt and shift its focus:
“The role will completely change. The attendant will no longer need to be there to attend to the car, but to serve the occupants of the vehicles,” he explains.
The President of Fegaes details that the term “attendant” could disappear and be replaced by “salesperson.”
Their function will primarily revolve around the sale of products and services.
Some stations are already adding new services, such as supermarkets, car washes, rest areas, laundries, pet grooming, among others.
All of this is aimed at generating new job opportunities, not only to compete with charging points but also with self-service petrol stations.
Bazarra recommends “getting trained, keeping an open mind, and being willing to adapt and change.”
In the short term, he hopes that both at the regional and national levels, they will review the changes that petrol stations are going through and how they can handle the upcoming investments.
“It’s very difficult to open a service station with a new product and have the market work. It’s not profitable at all,” he asserts.
Meanwhile, he reaffirms that “every environmental measure must be accompanied by a subsidy.”
“What I have aimed to do with the article is to open the debate and anticipate the situation that lies ahead of us. Because an essential service, the service stations in Spain, could be lost,” he expresses.
Dispensers Still Inoperative
In December 2022, Portal Movilidad España reported that 85 stations in Galicia were required to install chargers, as per Order TED/1009/2022, published on November 25th in the Official State Gazette.
The same order stipulated that the installations should be ready by August of the current year.
However, in June, the President of Fegaes revealed, “There are investments in chargers of €45,000 or more stalled due to paperwork for over a year.”
Currently, this situation has not changed:
“Some points have been put into operation, but approximately 80% of the requested installations are still inoperative.”
Therefore, a complaint has been lodged with the national commission for each competition.
This situation not only concerns the owners of service stations but also the customers.
“People with electric cars don’t have enough places to charge, and many places they go to are not operational,” he reveals.