Editor in Chief, PEI Journal
2018 PEI CONVENTION AT
THE NACS SHOW
Las Vegas drew 1,766 paid registrants to the 2018 PEI Convention at the NACS Show - that’s
9 percent more than 2017 in Chicago and 8 percent more than 2015, the most recent year
the show was in Las Vegas. This year’s show ran Oct. 7-10.
In addition, the 2018 convention included three
sessions conducted entirely in Spanish on vapor
recovery in Mexico and Latin America and the
history and future of secondary containment.
The sessions are results of PEI’s Latin American
One hundred ninety-four PEI member companies
exhibited, and the Fuel Equipment & Services expo
showcased 633 booths. Attendees and booth staff
said show floor traffic was busy.
Several PEI members invited me to their
booths to tell me more about their companies and
Gilbarco Veeder-Root announced from the show
floor that it will sell electric vehicle (EV) chargers.
The company announced it made a minority
investment in Tritium, an Australian maker of DC
fast chargers, and will sell all Tritium solutions,
including the Veefil-PK high-power charging (HPC)
systems that can fully charge an EV in five to 10
The charging systems have liquid-cooled technology
that allows for less wear on internal parts.
The chargers also have a smaller footprint than
At the Source North America booth, Joe O’Brien,
vice president of marketing, showed a 3D model of
the company’s brand-agnostic Source University
fuel site replica. When the Arlington, Texas, facility
is completed, it will include many ways to get
trainees’ hands dirty: underground storage tanks,
submersible pumps, variations of piping and
sump fittings, underground dispenser and spill
containment, dispensers, hanging hardware and
electronic monitoring systems for training. Half
of the training center will resemble a typical U.S.
fueling site, and the other half will meet California
requirements. A connecting classroom will
be built, too. O’Brien said the training facility will
provide value to inspectors, fire officials and engineering
firms especially, in addition to PEI member
companies. The setting will allow products to
speak for themselves, he said.
At the Leighton O’Brien booth, CEO Reed
Leighton said the fueling industry has two choices:
adopt new time- and cost-saving technologies
or get left behind. “IoT will be eating people up,”
Leighton said. “The availability of data allows us to
do so much more than ever before.”
Leighton O’Brien projects the fueling industry
could save $1.5 billion by using its technologies to
detect issues such as leaks and theft in real time
and correct those problems sooner.
Another perk of real-time technology, Leighton
said, is staffing. “You don’t need a team of 20
looking after your stuff — you only need one.”
The OPW booth featured the company’s ElectroTite
tank sump that comes with conduit ports
and the electrical wiring junction box. Because the
features come pre-installed, the sump avoids the
introduction of potential leak points.
State of the Industry
PEI Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Rick Long presented the annual State of the Industry,
which included results from a survey of PEI
distributer and manufacturer members.
On a scale of 1 to 10, distributors who were surveyed
ranked current business conditions a 7.45,
with construction, EMV upgrades and testing and
compliance performing especially well. More than
14 percent of surveyed distributors said everything
was going well.
Manufacturers rated 2018 a 7.49, citing upgrades
and replacement of aging infrastructure as
the year’s brightest spot.
More than 80 percent of distributors and
manufacturers described themselves as extremely
optimistic or optimistic about their businesses
during the next three years.
Long said PEI members reported finding
fewer skimmers this year than last year. He also
shared a slide showing the level of interest PEI
distributors have in installing electric vehicle (EV)
chargers. “Distributors are saying, ‘I’m going to get
in the game,’” Long said.
Of surveyed distributors, 3.5 percent said they
are actively engaged in installing EV chargers, 15.8
percent plan to install EV chargers, 52.6 percent
are considering involvement, and 28 percent
said they have no plans to get involved with EV
The next PEI Convention at the NACS Show will be
Oct. 1-4, 2019, in Atlanta. More information will be
posted at www.pei.org as it becomes available