October 7, 2019. Parent company PepsiCo, Inc. is replacing the fleet of diesel freight vehicles that service its Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, California with zero-emission and near-zero emission vehicles. The upgrades are coming to the central California facility thanks to funding provided by the state-funded Zero- and Near Zero-Emission Freight Facility Project.

“The Modesto project is indicative of our commitment to sustainable business practices that lead to innovation, increased productivity, operational excellence and business growth,” said Michael O’Connell, vice president of supply chain at PepsiCo. “We hope this work will become an operating model for all of our facilities across the U.S., and that we act as the catalyst to accelerate adoption of alternative fuel vehicles across the industry.”

The project curiously blends zero emission and renewable natural gas-fired vehicles for a hodgepodge solution that will put vehicles from numerous manufacturers to the test in a variety of applications. The equipment to be implemented as part of the project include:

  • 15 fully electric Class 8 Tesla Semi trucks
  • Tesla Semi truck charging infrastructure
  • Large-scale Tesla PV solar system
  • 6 fully electric Class 6 Peterbilt e220 straight trucks
  • 3 fully electric BYD yard trucks
  • 12 fully electric BYD forklifts
  • 38 Volvo trucks fueled with ultra-low carbon renewable natural gas
  • Two Tesla Powerwall energy storage systems to be used for peak shaving and in support of vehicle charging
  • A publicly accessible American Natural Gas (ANG) renewable natural gas fueling station

Half of the funding for the $30.7 million project comes from state Cap and Trade funds through the California Climate Investments (CCI) program while the other half of the funds are being put up by project stakeholders Frito-Lay and ANG in cash and in-kind contributions from Cafe Coop.

Due to the complexity of the project involving significant new efforts and products from a number of different vendors, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) expects the various solutions to trickle into the facility at different times over the next few months. The full project will wrap up in early 2021 and includes a significant amount of tracking and data logging to ensure the learnings from the projects can be built upon by those who come after.

“Thank you, Frito-Lay, for being leaders and showing other businesses in our state and beyond how to thrive when good public health through clean air and climate solutions is a company value,” Alexander Sherriffs, M.D., CARB board member and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board member said. The Modesto project directly supports Frito-Lay parent company PepsiCo’s goal of reducing absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by 2030.