Frito-Lay is adding 49 compressed natural gas Freightliner trucks to a test fleet of 18, and will deploy them at upwards of half a dozen locations to gauge their performance.
“Our strategy is to put several units in six or seven locations,” senior fleet director Mike O’Connell told F&F.
Frito-Lay will rely on public fueling, he says, with the exception of a plant in Beloit, Wisc., where it’s evaluating bids to build its own CNG station – also with the goal of gaining operational experience.
The vehicles have 8.9-liter ISL G dedicated-natural gas engines from Cummins Westport. The 67 new trucks are to be deployed by mid-July.
The New York Times reported on the project on April 17. A formal release is expected.
Frito-Lay parent PepsiCo has four liquefied natural gas-fueled Freightliners too, O’Connell confirms, as well as two older Kenworth LNG trucks.
“It’s a win-win for us, both in terms of our sustainability strategy and reducing our costs,” O’Connell told the Times. “The payback for the extra cost of the natural gas trucks is a year and a half, so it’s a little bit of a no-brainer.
“We retire approximately 125 tractors a year, and we plan to replace as many of them as we can with natural gas.”
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