alittlebettergasstation, or maybe not

I’m not sure if you are familiar with British Petroleum’s rebranding in the past few years, but they are trying to get away from the word “petroleum” as much as possible. Their most recent marketing tactic can be found on their new website, titled It’s tied in to a “gas station of the future” called “Helios” that BP recently built and is operating in Los Angeles.

Now, back to the website. I’m not sure how much you think about gasoline marketing, but I’m not really that convinced that people really care where they buy there gas as long as it is competitively priced and the station is conveniently located. This website is looks like BP is trying to market gasoline either to ravers or small children, and as taget markets for petroleum products I’m not sure this is a very sound business strategy:

What, exactly, is so “green” about BP? The fact that they made a futuristic-looking gas station in Los Angeles with a few token “green” features? Delving a little deeper into their website, there is a feature called “The Greencurve.” By answering a few questions, the site will give you an evalution of how “green” you are. I was anxious to see what their evalution of my behaviors would be, considering I checked the box for “don’t own a car” on the survey.
I took their little survey and found their personalized advice to be amusing. They suggested I try telecommuting and traveling at less busy times of the day to save gasoline and help the planet. Guess what BP? I DON’T DRIVE A CAR you morons. I ride my bike to work. I can ride back and forth to work and home all day and I’m not going to burn a single ounce of fossil fuel.

Taking advice from a company that has on its record both the deadliest industrial accident in the past 15 years (in the United States) and ownership of the nation’s worst polluting industrial plant probably isn’t the best way to become “greener.” Their website sure looks cool to high school kids on acid though.

By Mark

Mark is an architect in San Francisco.


  1. Why is “actully a much better carbon footprint analysis”? I took the quiz on twice, once saying I was from Canada and once claiming the US as home. I answered the questions the same way both times, and got different results. The test asks things that are subjective like “Compared to people in your neighborhood, how much waste do you generate? Much less, about the same, or much more” and then equates your answer to a mathematical equation which tells how many Earths would be required to help everyone live the same way. Fluff.

  2. I think both these sites have some pretty significant drawbacks. I didn’t really get how the site was calculating my total. My average electric bill is $7.00 a month and I don’t own a car, so I’m not sure how if everyone lived like me we’d be consuming 2 earths.

  3. $7.00 a month??? I think you need to leave your tv on more often and trade in some of those compact fluorescents for good old fashioned incandescents. also, you should probably get a car (preferably one made in detroit). it will make your life more fulfilling and rewarding, AND you can feel good about helping our economy thrive.

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