Tesla Semi Electric Trucks Roll Into Frito-Lay Plant

PepsiCo PEP is introducing 15 Tesla Inc TSLA Semi electric trucks at its Frito-Lay manufacturing site in Modesto, California, as part of a broader plan to replace diesel-powered freight equipment with zero-emission and near-zero emission trucks.

The rollout comes after the company ordered 100 Tesla Semis in 2017 and  is part of the brand's mission to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030, the company said in a news release.

Rush on electric trucks

Pepsi's EV purchase caps an eventful week in the big brand electric vehicle space.

Earlier this week Anheuser-Busch announced it was entering California's electric truck demonstration race with 21 BYD battery-electric beer delivery trucks.

Anheuser-Busch  has also ordered 40 electric Class 8 trucks from Tesla and is one of the biggest customers awaiting delivery of  hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks from Nikola Corp.

The Frito-Lay plan

Pepsi's multi-faceted plan aims to turn the Modesto facility, one of Frito-Lay's largest in the U.S., into a sustainability showcase featuring zero/near zero-emission vehicles, more solar panels and storage and on-site charging stations. 

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is contributing half of the $30.8 million cost of the project through a grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which taps into a statewide cap-and-trade program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from major corporations, utilities and other sources.

In a statement, Michael O'Connell, vice president of supply chain at PepsiCo said, "The Modesto project is indicative of our commitment to sustainable business practices that lead to innovation, increased productivity, operational excellence, and business growth."

O'Connell also stated, "We are grateful for the support of San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, CARB and CCI in making this important project happen. We hope this work will become an operating model for all of our facilities across the U.S., and that we can act as the catalyst to accelerate adoption of alternative fuel vehicles across the industry."

The project will be completed by 2021, according to the Pepsi news release.

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