Electric Vehicles

Frito-Lay Starts 'Charge' on Largest Fleet of All-Electric Trucks in North America

September 20, 2010

PLANO, TEXAS - PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America division is setting the wheels in motion for what will ultimately be the largest fleet of commercial all-electric trucks in North America. New York City will become the first U.S. city to receive its favorite snacks from fully-electric delivery trucks, with five new trucks beginning routes this month.

In total, Frito-Lay will be deploying 21 electric trucks this year. The company projects it will roll out 155 additional trucks in 2011, making Frito-Lay the largest commercial fleet of all-electric trucks in North America. The trucks, designed by Smith Electric Vehicles, generate zero tailpipe emissions and operate for up to 100 miles on a single charge.

Electric trucks reduce fuel consumption, noise pollution and CO2 emissions, compared to traditional delivery trucks. The initial rollout in New York was funded through a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

"Frito-Lay has implemented bold goals for reducing our use of key resources such as fuel to ultimately help us reduce our overall environmental impact," said Mike O'Connell, director of fleet capability for Frito Lay North America. "There are real economic and environmental benefits to electric trucks. Once the planned 176 electric trucks are deployed we will eliminate the need for 500,000 gallons of fuel annually. Each truck emits 75-percent less greenhouse gases than a conventional diesel truck."

The program expands a long-running commitment by Frito-Lay North America and its parent company PepsiCo to environmental sustainability. With the seventh largest privately owned fleet in the U.S., Frito-Lay has set a goal of becoming the most fuel efficient fleet in the country. Electric vehicles give Frito-Lay an opportunity to leverage the latest advances in transportation technology as a significant way to reduce the impact of its fleet.

Frito-Lay is working with Smith Electric Vehicles, the nation's top manufacturer of battery-electric commercial trucks. Smith Electric is a leader in the development of commercial electric trucks designed to operate at peak effectiveness in urban environments. Smith Electric produces the Newton, which is the only all-electric commercial truck on the market.

"Frito-Lay's truck program is a significant step forward in the advancement of electric vehicles," said Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles. "Businesses will improve their environmental impact and see cost savings with the reduction of fossil fuels. More importantly, the insights gained operating in urban environments will be invaluable in extending electric vehicle technology to consumer markets in the future."

Specific benefits associated with Smith's all-electric trucks include:

  • Can run up to 100 miles on a single charge
  • Zero tailpipe emissions
  • Emits 75 percent less greenhouse gas than diesel
  • Operates virtually silently, eliminating noise pollution
  • Provides a long term economically viable solution

Frito-Lay's New York fleet program aligns with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC, which is an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency of cars and other vehicles in New York City.

New York will be the first of three cities in the U.S., along with Columbus, Ohio and Ft Worth, Texas, where Frito-Lay will be piloting electric trucks on regular daily routes. The company has already deployed six electric trucks in Canada.

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