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.