Frito-Lay and its parent company PepsiCo are known for their sweet beverages and salty snacks, but also for being the first owners of Tesla’s much-anticipated and long-awaited Tesla Semi all-electric truck.
But as it turns out, the American snacks and beverage maker didn’t just want some Semis for publicity – it’s actually part of a much bigger initiative from PepsiCo, which aims to become net zero by 2040.
In a recently-published press release, Frito-Lay revealed that the transformation of its 500,000-square-foot facility in Modesto, California into a sustainable business is almost complete. And it offered some interesting stats to back up this claim,
The American company made some significant modifications to the site, including building a 1-megawatt solar carport with energy storage capabilities, an on-site battery storage facility with a capacity of 2.7 megawatt-hours, and seven dual-head electric vehicle charging stations capable of topping-up 14 employee EVs at the same time.
In addition, Frito-Lay has deployed a fleet of zero-emission and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for its deliveries and on-site freight movements, spearheaded by Tesla’s Semi and Megachargers:
- Electric Tesla over the road semis and four Tesla 750kW charging stations to provide the semis with up to 400 miles of range in 1 hour of charging. PepsiCo and Frito-Lay are now the first company to have a commercial fleet featuring the electric semi.
- Three BYD 8Y electric yard tractors improve operations efficiency, and the associated tailpipe emission reductions contribute to our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain. Each yard tractor operates 20 hours per day and moves more than 150 trailers while only charging for two hours every day.
- 12 Crown Li-ion forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries to improve energy and time efficiency.
- 38 Volvo VNL compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors fueled by CNG with RNG attributes from a nearby, public access CNG fueling station owned and operated by Beyond6.
- Six Peterbilt 220EV electric box trucks that provide zero emission last mile delivery into the Modesto community, reducing tailpipe emissions and allowing Frito-Lay to deliver products directly to retail customers.
What’s interesting is that the snacks maker says the so-called Megachargers are capable of providing up to 750 kW to the Semis, a piece of information that was unknown until now. Previous reports mentioned that the chargers are capable of up to 1,000 kW (1 MW), but didn’t mention how much exactly.
With all these changes to the Frito-Lay Modesto facility, the company has been able to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 91 percent, with PepsiCo Foods CEO Steven Williams saying that “If the standard 4-person compact SUV drives on average 15,000 miles per year with an average MPG of 25.5, this reduction is the equivalent of removing just over 1,000 standard compact SUVs from the road.”
Additionally, the Modesto site achieved sourcing all of its electricity from renewable sources in 2021, with up to 20 percent of the power provided by on-site solar panels.
According to the company, The Frito-Lay Modesto project was supported by the “California Climate Investments” (CCI) initiative in conjunction with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The total grant of $15.4 million covered a portion of the Frito-Lay transformation and the placement of a publicly accessible CNG station owned by Beyond6, formerly known as American Natural Gas. The grant share for Frito-Lay was $12.2 million and the match funding required $13.5 million in cash and in-kind services.