Photo: Clean Fuels Ohio

Photo: Clean Fuels Ohio

Frito-Lay has switched its Ohio fleet to electric and propane autogas-powered vehicles with the support of Clean Fuels Ohio, the largest among the U.S. Department of Energy’s nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions. The Ohio fleet now has 45 propane autogas-powered Ford E350 vans and five electric Newton delivery trucks.

Frito-Lay and its parent company PepsiCo have committed to conserve fuel and reduce emissions of delivery trucks and sales cars. The company is working toward achieving a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2017 through its sales and delivery fleet vehicles.

While testing and selecting the alternative-fuel vehicles and fueling stations that would be located throughout Ohio, Frito-Lay was approached by Clean Fuels Ohio and the Clean Cities program of the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The support and assistance of Clean Fuels Ohio and Clean Cities has really helped to take this effort very seriously,” said Glenn Reynolds, fleet manager for the company’s Mid America region (comprising Ohio, Michigan, and eastern Indiana). “They were also able to introduce us to some options we hadn’t considered up to this point.”

Frito Lay received an Ohio EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant, and the company is using those funds to purchase CNG trucks for the Canton area, according to Clean Fuels Ohio.

Frito-Lay also worked closely with Ford to convert several E-350 vans to run on propane autogas.

“We took the existing technology, and worked with ROUSH CleanTech to refit the vans," said Reynolds. "We worked with Ford on warranty programs, and provided complete training for our technicians. We’ve been able to build a good relationship with Ford and ROUSH on this program."

The company is also looking at clean diesel Sprinter vans for applications nationwide. In addition, Frito-Lay partnered with Smith Electric to secure 15 all-electric Newton delivery vehicles; the fleet deployed five 80,000-kilowatt trucks in the Columbus region. All of Frito-Lay’s fleet sales cars are hybrids today, and more than 200 electric vehicles are currently in use.