Frito-Lay is Adding 100 More Smith Electric Trucks

Some people associate bagged snacks with “junk food,” but you probably would not make that connection based on how healthy Frito-Lay’s Web site says its products are – and in any case, the company is mirroring this ethic in how its delivers them as well.

Specifically, Frito-Lay North America is making strides in its commitment to earth-friendly delivery vehicles, having logged one million emission-free miles in its growing fleet of all-electric vehicles.

And according to, the company has ordered 100 additional Smith Newton 2000 electric trucks to add to this already sizable fleet.

Not to be confused with Harry Potter’s flying Nimbus 2000 broom, these EVs are just as magical for the environment.

The plug-in Newton 2000 Chassis Cab relies on lithium-ion batteries and a “Smith Drive” electric motor to deliver a specified range of 40-65 miles. For route deliveries where they can return and recharge, this is considered suitable mileage for vehicles that can be spec’d to a gross vehicle weight rating of 16,500-26,400 pounds.

The trade-off compared to diesel vehicles has been positive, Frito-Lay says. So far it has avoided having to pay for and burn 200,000 gallons of diesel and expects to cut consumption by a half million gallons per year.

For heavier duty usage, the company is also planning to introduce 67 Freightliner tractor trailers powered by compressed natural gas. The payback for these vehicles to be launched soon is 23-percent CO2 reduction and sparing the use of 900,000 gallons of diesel per year.

Seven Frito-Lay North America distribution centers will use these CNG trucks now that the company has successfully experimented with 18 CNG vehicles in an initial pilot project.

As for the Smith electric route trucks, Smith says they and the CNG vehicles are intended to help Frito-Lay’s fleet become “the most fuel efficient commercial fleet in the U.S.” according to Mike O’Connell, senior director of fleet capability for Frito-Lay North America.

Aside from that, the company’s marketing efforts portray all manner of initiatives to prove its products are good for your health,
while its means of making and delivering them are good for the environment.