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100 More Smith EVs for Frito-Lay

May 12, 2012 in CNG, Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

With a Million Miles Logged, Firm Vows to ‘Quickly Accelerate’

Pure battery electric trucks operated by PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division “have charged their way to a million miles,” the company said May 10, noting that 176 vehicles from Smith Electric Vehicles have eliminated the need for approximately 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel – and will be augmented by 100 Newton Series 2000 Smith EVs this taking the all-electric fleet to more than 280 units.

Frito-Lay also operates Daimler Freightliner M2-chassis battery trucks from California’s Electric Vehicles International (the EVI-MD; F&F, March 26).

Frito-Lay said May 10 that it will purchase 100 Newton Series 2000 all-electric commercial vehicles in 2012 from Smith Electric Vehicles, bringing the total number of its electric fleet to more than 280. Frito-Lay electric truck in New York in 2010 is shown here -- note charger by Clipper Creek.Frito-Lay has the seventh-largest privately owned fleet in the U.S. – more than 20,000 trucks – and wants to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption by half by 2020.

CNG Deployment Plans Reiterated

“The first million miles with the electric trucks have been a journey of understanding and refining both how and where we use these vehicles, as well as providing input to help improve upon the performance for the next generation vehicle,” Mike O’Connell, senior director of fleet capability for Frito-Lay North America, said in a release. “We are now in position to more quickly accelerate our strategy and grow the electric vehicle fleet.”

“As we push to make Frito-Lay’s fleet the most fuel efficient commercial fleet in the U.S., we need to continue to build on our current strategy and look for options to address other types of trucks in the fleet – one of which will be compressed natural gas for our tractor fleet,” O’Connell said.

Frito-Lay is already adding 49 CNG-fueled Freightliners to an existing test fleet of 18 (F&F, April 23). They are expected to reduce GHG emissions by 23%, and eliminate the need for more than 900,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.

The CNG vehicles will be used at seven Frito-Lay North America distribution centers, including: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Irving, Texas; Phoenix and Casa Grande, Ariz.; Frankfort, Ind.; Charlotte; and Beloit, Wisc. – where a company fueling station is planned.

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