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Tesla Semi electric trucks to roll into Frito-Lay plant

PepsiCo is introducing 15 Tesla Semi electric trucks at its Frito-Lay manufacturing site in Modesto, California.

15 Tesla Semis are coming to a Frito Lay plant in California.

PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) is introducing 15 Tesla 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

PepsiCo’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 PepsiCo news release.


  1. Bear Murray

    What a joke and how cruel to the American people. We have so many homeless people. So many people out of jobs that can work. All because machines are doing our jobs. The way our country is going. They’re going to kill all the poor and let machines take over their jobs. Such a shame we can have money going into so many other things and you want to take jobs away from people. Not bad enough that you doing it on the inside now you got to do on the outside too. Robots driving the trucks robots loading the trucks so who’s going to enjoy this oh guess the rich only the rich nobody else. Looks like Terminator is getting closer and closer to reality.

  2. Bill Wirtz

    Pepsi/ Fritolay who’s PROFITS are in the billions is receiving half of the 30.8 million dollar cost to reduce their emissions from tax payers? What a joke

  3. Brad Morgan

    It would be kool if you put solar panels on the trailers too with a battery compartment that would back feed the truck so you could do long runs

    1. JR

      That would add several hundred pounds and lower the interior height for loads by several inches.Already have enough range to get a full days worth of legal driving(500Miles) before needing a charge of any type and can stop for their 10 minute breaks and top off batteries for extra travel if they are running hard and fast. So only would help team drivers that only stop long enough to take their breaks and swap drivers. Even then they can charge the truck when they stop. Can nearly fully charge the truck on a DOT required lunch break.

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Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected].