Frito-Lay purchases Stockton, Calif.-built electric trucks

Electric Vehicles International is at it again.

The Stockton, Calif.-based company has inked a deal with Frito-Lay North America that will send an additional five of its electric-powered EVI-MD delivery trucks to the snack food giant. Frito-Lay completed a test of one of the trucks in Alameda, Calif. and plans to use the additional trucks on routes in Northern California.

“The EVI electric vehicles give Frito-Lay another promising option to help meet our long term goal of being the greenest fleet in North America,” says Mike O’Connell, senior director of Fleet Capability at Frito-Lay, in a statement.

This is just the latest from EVI, which has been creating electric powertrains for the past 20 years. In August 2011, the company finalized a deal with UPS for 100 delivery trucks, and it hasn't slowed down. In January 2012, it expanded its California manufacturing operation with new equipment and 30,000 square feet, and in March the company announced it opened an office in Southfield, Mich., which is 15 miles north of Detroit.

However, another deal hardly makes a trend. Charis Michelsen of says, "It’s definitely a promising start, but let’s wait to see how far Frito Lay North America goes in converting its massive fleet to something cleaner and greener." As evidenced by Michelsen's story, the deal did get attention. Expect the clean energy press to be watching closely.

For Frank Ferral at the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, expansion of EVI is a good thing because he says the company hires local. Ferral is also a board member of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization.

Frank Jenkins, EVI vice president of sales and Marketing, acknowledges the potential of the most current deal. “Frito-Lay is a leader in the adoption of zero emission delivery vehicles and is the ideal customer and fleet application for our medium duty, return-to-base trucks,” he says.

EVI, which has been producing such powertrains for 20 years, says its all-electric drivetrain in the Frito trucks is "seamlessly integrated" in a Daimler Freightliner M2. The truck offers a 90-mile range and top speed of 65 mph. It uses a 99 kilowatt hour lithium phosphate battery system from Austin, Texas-based Valence Technology.

Other stories of interest:
Stockton electric truck company scores big with UPS