Hybrids – Vehicles, Battery & Hydraulic Technology

PepsiCo Expands Hybrid Fleet

July 2009, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Cheryl Knight - Also by this author

Since 2005, PepsiCo’s commitment toward creating a greener fleet has continued to grow. The company now operates more than 1,250 hybrid vehicles, the second-largest non-government hybrid fleet in the U.S.
The company’s sustainability policy includes steadily improving environmental, social, and economic aspects of the world in which it operates. Topping three EPA lists (The Top 25; Fortune 500 Challenge; and “100 Percent Green Power Purchaser”), PepsiCo will continue to add hybrids to its fleet.

Fuel & Emissions Cut

Since 2007, PepsiCo tripled the number of hybrids in its sales fleets, decreasing overall emissions by approximately 10-12 percent per vehicle.
“Our commitment to hybrid company cars is part of our overall commitment to corporate sustainability and reducing our fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Pete Silva, director fleet procurement, PepsiCo.

The Prius averages about 45 mpg, a significant improvement over the PepsiCo fleet’s previous mid-size vehicles.

PepsiCo works with suppliers to overcome challenges hybrids present, such as longer order lead times, in addition to analyzing how other options can help the company’s fleet.

“We do end up with occasions where our hybrids don’t fit the form and function of certain jobs, and we had to create an exception policy,” Silva said. “We have had a very limited number of exceptions so far, which shows that our drivers understand what we are trying to do.”

Research Continues

PepsiCo’s vehicle fleet, now more than 21,000 units (from 18,000 in October 2006), includes company cars, service vehicles, and light, medium, and heavy delivery trucks. Vehicles are replaced on schedules that vary by vehicle size, use, and company division. Company cars are replaced every three years.

Fleet models include Toyota Prius and Ford Escape models, in addition to a hybrid delivery truck at Frito Lay, tested with assistance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Frito Lay fleet engineers, led by Joe Gold, continue to research solutions  to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions, and deliver good lifecycle metrics. Frito Lay has been purchasing Dodge Sprinter Vans for delivery vehicles. The Dodge vans significantly improve fuel economy.

Frito Lay will test electric delivery vans and use hybrid refrigerated delivery trucks in select divisions. In addition, PepsiCo has signed an agreement with GreenDriver to begin training sales and delivery drivers on fuel-efficient driving techniques.

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