Frito-Lay has announced it will add a fleet of 67 trucks that will run on compressed natural gas (CNP). Eventually, the a majority of the company’s fleet will run on CNP. The fleet will be deployed in July. The company says it will save more than 900,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
The good news is that it’s a win-win for us, both in terms of our sustainability strategy and reducing our costs, Michael O’Connell, senior director of fleet capability at Frito-Lay, said in an interview. 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.
O’Connell said it could take six to seven years to convert all of the company’s tractor-trailers.
According to the New York Times, the CNP-powered trucks would save $2.50 a gallon and reduce emissions by 23%. The company currently has 18 trucks that are powered by natural gas.
In 2010, Frito-Lay pledged to add a fleet of 176 electric box trucks. Keeping good on its promise, the company says their electric box trucks are now in service and have traveled more than 1,000,000 miles.
On certain drive cycles the electrics work extremely well, Mr. O’Connell said. We’re currently finalizing the purchase of 100 additional 24-foot electric box trucks from Smith Electric. And we’re testing trucks from Electric Vehicles International.
Frito-Lay, a division of Pepsi Co., operates the 7th largest fleet of trucks in the U.S.