Bentley strikes deal with gas elves to get tanks filled wherever owners park
Bentley and Filld have teamed up to give owners the luxury of freedom from gas station stops, and I've tried out their new service.
Wayne CunninghamManaging Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Electric-car owners never need to visit a gas station, and can wake up to a full charge every morning. Now, through a partnership with gasoline delivery company Filld, Bentley owners can experience similar convenience.
Using the Filld for Bentley app, a Bentley owner indicates the location of their car, then chooses a time period in which to have the car's tank filled. The Filld service sends out a truck (typically a full-size pickup with special tanks mounted in the bed), fills the car and charges the owner through the app.
So I could try out this new service, Bentley loaned me a Flying Spur, one of its sedan models, and I loaded up the Filld for Bentley app on my phone. After burning up half a tank on a drive along the California coast, I parked the car on the street near my San Francisco residence.
Turning to the app, I indicated the car's location on a map screen, then was presented with a couple of time periods when Filld could come by. It was Saturday evening, and I could choose between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. that night, or the same timeframe the next night. I picked the former, and went home. Filld Vice President of Software Michael Eggers says that the company currently makes its deliveries every night between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., and only does daytime deliveries on weekdays.
Sometime in the night, the elves showed up and filled the Flying Spur's tank, because the gauge showed full when I got in the next morning. As a means of reassurance, the Filld for Bentley app was updated with a note telling me when the car was filled, how much fuel it took and how much it cost.
With the Bentley partnership, Filld certainly sounds like a posh service, one blue-collar folks might deride as unnecessary. However, Filld is cost-conscious enough to set its per-gallon price based the lowest of the three closest gas stations to where the car is parked -- not that Bentley owners are going to sweat a nickel or two per gallon. Filld also tacks on a pretty modest delivery charge ranging from $3 to $5, depending on timing and location of the fill-up.
Filld will actually take your business even if you don't own a Bentley, through its standard Filld app. However, through this partnership, Bentley employs unique integration that lets the Filld service employee remotely open the car's filler hatch so owners don't have to leave it open.
In my trial of the Filld for Bentley app, the Filld service was able to locate and take care of my car at a street parking location. Filld says that if you park the car in a garage, you can leave a note when making the fill-up request including an access code for a gate, or other instructions. The company notes that its specially trained and certified drivers use delivery trucks with 50-foot hoses, so they should be able to fill up cars in most locations.
Eggers says that Filld can usually deliver to cars in paid garages as well, such as airport parking garages, as attendants will usually let its trucks in to service a car.
At the moment, Filld serves San Francisco and Silicon Valley, but the so-called "Uber for gasoline" has plans to expand to other markets.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to show that Filld charges customers the lowest, not the average, per gallon gasoline price from the three closest filling stations to where the car is parked.