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Future mobility

GS Caltex to showcase drone delivery, future gas stations at CES 2021

Jan 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

A screenshot of the video GS Caltex will present at the CES 2021 trade show.

GS Caltex Corp., a South Korean oil refiner aiming to become a serious logistics player by navigating hard-to-access areas for delivery, is looking for a solution in the sky.

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it is taking part in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for the first time in 2021 to introduce its drone technology and models for future businesses to customers and investors online.

This year’s tech exhibition, set to open on Jan. 11 for four days, will be online only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GS Caltex has already submitted three videos showing its visions for the future of gas stations to CES operators for a review.

The company’s video footages show its futuristic gas station and a series of demonstrations held last year across Korea showcasing its drone delivery services.

In one demo footage, a drone flies hundreds of kilometers from a GS Caltex gas station to deliver purchases from a GS25 convenience store, run by GS Retail, to an elementary school on Geumodo Island, off Yeosu, South Jeolla Province.

Drone delivery services, demonstrated by GS Caltex in 2020

Drone delivery services, envisioned by GS Caltex

Another piece of footage shows the company’s vision to transform gas stations into mobility and logistics hubs, where the brick-and-mortar operations function as charging stations for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles and a stopping point for car-sharing services and drones.

As part of such efforts, GS Caltex opened its first futuristic gas station under the new brand Energy Plus in southern Seoul in November.

GS Caltex will present its vision of future gas stations at CES 2021.

The company’s move to transform into a future mobility provider comes as oil refiners are reeling from the pandemic and amid a global transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Local refiners posted more than 5 trillion won ($4.6 billion) in losses in the first half of 2020 alone.

“We will transform GS Caltex gas stations into drone logistics centers, also providing an infrastructure base for electric cars and charging stations,” GS Caltex Chief Executive Huh Se-hong said in his New Year speech.

Write to Jae-Kwang Ahn at ahnjk@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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