DALLAS - PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America division announced it will deploy 171 electric trucks by 2011, with the first 21 electric trucks rolled out this year and a projected 150 additional trucks in 2011. The trucks, designed by Smith Electric Vehicles, generate zero tailpipe emissions and operate for up to 100 miles on a single charge.

New York City will become the first U.S. city to begin routes with five of the new trucks this month. The initial rollout is funded through a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The program expands a long-running commitment by Frito-Lay North America and its parent company PepsiCo to environmental sustainability. New York will be the first of three cities in the U.S., along with Columbus, Ohio, and Ft Worth, Texas, where Frito-Lay will be piloting electric trucks on regular daily routes. The company has already deployed six electric trucks in Canada.

"Once the planned 171 electric trucks are deployed, we will eliminate the need for 500,000 gallons of fuel annually," said Mike O'Connell, director of fleet capability for Frito Lay North America. "Each truck emits 75 percent less greenhouse gases than a conventional diesel truck."  

Frito-Lay's New York fleet program aligns with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC, which is an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency of cars and other vehicles in New York City.