Frito-Lay Parent Orders New Tesla Semi Electric Trucks

PepsiCo believes the all-electric long-haul trucks will help it lower fuel costs and fleet emissions.


Doritos, Fritos, and Lays potato chips will be quietly whizzing their way to stores near you in the future, after the parent company of Plano-based Frito-Lay Inc. reserved 100 of Tesla Inc.’s new electric Semi trucks.

It’s all a part of PepsiCo’s effort to lower fuel costs and fleet emissions.

PepsiCo Inc.’s purchase is the largest known order for the new long-haul truck, Reuters reported. The Semi was unveiled last month and Tesla expects it will be in production by 2019.


PepsiCo intends to use the trucks for shipments of snack foods and beverages between manufacturing and distribution facilities and directly to retailers within the 500-mile range promised by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, Reuters said.

That means we’re likely to see quite a few of the trucks on North Texas highways. 

Mike O’Connell, senior director of North American supply chain for Frito-Lay, told Reuters the Semi trucks will complement PepsiCo’s fleet of nearly 10,000 big rigs and that they are an important part of the company’s plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent across its supply chain. 

Tesla is banking on overcoming the trucking industry’s concerns about range and cargo capacity of the electric behemoth. Several transportation firms are holding off on the Tesla for now because of those concerns, Reuters said.

According to a Reuters count, Tesla has at least 285 truck reservations in hand, and that PepsiCo’s 100 trucks add to orders by more than a dozen companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., and Houston-based food service distribution company Sysco.

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