The electrification of the world’s delivery truck fleets is accelerating like a hypermiler – slowly but steadily. Frito-Lay announced on Friday that it will roll out ten new electric trucks in Orlando, Florida. The company will deploy 176 electric trucks this year, making Frito-Lay’s the largest fleet of all-electric trucks in North America.
“The electric vehicle program builds on a long-standing commitment by Frito-Lay North America and its parent company PepsiCo to environmental sustainability,” said Mike O’Connell, Frito-Lay’s fleet director. “With the seventh largest privately owned fleet in the US, we have set a goal of becoming the most fuel efficient fleet in the country, and these vehicles give us an opportunity to use the latest advances in transportation technology as a significant way to reduce our environmental impact.”
The new electric chip wagons are Newtons, made by Smith Electric Vehicles, which has a factory in Kansas City, Missouri, and is planning another in New York City. The Newton has a range of around 100 miles on a charge, and offers fuel costs up to 75% lower than comparable diesel trucks, as well as greatly reduced maintenance expenses. Frito-Lay’s Newton fleet is projected to save over 500,000 gallons of fuel per year.
Frito-Lay’s plan fits in well with Orlando’s Green Works environmental plan, according to Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We commend Frito-Lay for their contribution to the City of Orlando’s commitment to cleaner, more sustainable transportation options. We hope their initiatives – from waste reduction in production to electric trucks for delivery – are a model for other Orlando businesses to adopt similar sustainable practices.”