New software threatens peak time fuel hikes

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

LCV operators could be hit with higher fuel prices at peak times under plans being considered by fuel retailers and supermarkets.

Software capable of changing the price of fuel based on demand at the pumps “is ready to go”, according to Martin McTague, director of a3c, the company selling the algorithms.

McTague claimed his firm “is in advanced discussions with supermarkets and other large retailers” about bringing the software to the UK.

Originally reported by the Daily Telegraph, similar software is already used in Germany and America, where fuel prices can bounce up and down up to 10 times a day.

“The technology is working – there’s nothing unique about UK fuel pumps,” Mctague said but declined to name which brands he is talking to at this stage. He claimed the software is capable of changing the pump price of fuel by up to 2p a litre depending on demand.

Drivers would not be given any notice about when the price of fuel could change but it is likely fuel prices would be higher during the working day and lower during the night. Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuel UK campaign, slammed the technology, saying drivers would be “easy pickings to be gutlessly exploited at will” by fuel retailers.

But McTague claimed the innovation could save fleets thousands of pounds a year by allowing them to buy fuel at the cheapest times.

 



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