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Frito-Lay Greens Delivery With Electric Truck Fleet

Trucks are a significant advancement in environmental impact and fuel-cost savings.

Don’t get me started with a bag of Frito’s Corn Chips.  Like other Frito-Lay products, I really can’t eat just one.  And now I have an even better reason to eat my favorite crunchy snack.  Frito-Lay’s delivery fleet is going electric!

As part of parent-company PepsiCo’s green initiative, Frito-Lay began a roll out of 176 battery-powered trucks in 2010.  The initial test of the vehicles took place in just three U.S. cities: New York, Columbus, Ohio, and Fort Worth, Texas.  But the test was so successful that the new trucks will be moving into all delivery areas by the end of 2011.

With over 22,000 trucks, Frito-Lay has the seventh largest delivery fleet in the U.S.  That means the initiative will have a major impact, not only the company’s bottom line, but also on the emissions problem as a whole.  Frito-Lay and PepsiCo’s strategic green initiative goal is a 50% reduction in fleet fuel use by 2020.

The battery-powered trucks release 75% less greenhouse gases than a traditional diesel truck, and can go for about 100 miles before needing to recharge.  Plus, they significantly reduce noise pollution as well.

According to a Brandchannel Q&A with Mike O’Connell, national director of fleet capability for Frito-Lay, the biggest challenge for the change-over was retraining drivers on vehicle use.   The new trucks have no start-up noise, simply a green light that says they are ready to go.  Frito-Lay has also engaged drivers to monitor speed and spend less time idling, to reduce waste as much as possible.

While the new trucks, manufactured by Smith Electric Vehicles
, cost about twice as much as a traditional truck, O’Connell said that as battery technology improves, they  will become a more viable alternative.

About Sebrina Zerkus Smith

Professional writer, foodie. Lupus survivor. Loves pugs, wine, days at the beach and good movies. Takes recycling seriously, but not much else. Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.

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