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A Million Carb-Light Miles Makes Frito-Lay Crave More

Frito-Lay Electric Truck
One of Frito-Lay's all-electric delivery trucks, with the New York City skyline in the background, 2010. The trucks were rolled out in New York. Photographer: David Goldman/AP Images for Frito Lay

By Christopher Martin

That bag of salty snacks in the pantry that blows your daily carb budget is helping Frito-Lay stick to a low-carbon diet. The company's fleet of electric delivery trucks surpassed one million miles this month, part of a drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption 50 percent by 2020.

The 176 Smith electric trucks have saved the largest snack food maker 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel over the past two years, and Frito-Lay on May 10 ordered 100 more to replace their noisier, polluting cousins.

With all 280 electric trucks delivering potato chips, pretzels and Doritos from distribution centers across California, New York and Texas this year, fleet director Mike O'Connell expects to cut fuel consumption by 500,000 gallons annually. ``The first million miles with the electric trucks have been a journey of understanding,'' he says.

Frito-Lay also committed to overhauling their fleet of tractor-trailers with a purchase of 67 Freightliner trucks that run on compressed natural gas, instead of diesel. Those trucks will cut consumption of 900,000 gallons of diesel annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent.

The vehicle program's success means something O'Connell told me about electrics a year and a half ago remains true: They "are quiet, don't pollute, and vibrate less than diesels. Our sales reps are fighting over who gets the next one."

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-0- May/21/2012 17:14 GMT

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