CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The company behind some of our favorite snack foods is going electric.
Tuesday, Frito-Lay announced its southwest Charlotte Product Exchange Center is the company’s first 100 percent electric-vehicle site.
The company says it is using this location as an example for its plans at other locations across North America.
“This was the right location with the right route design and types that allowed us to convert to 100 percent electric, so we did,” Frito-Lay Chief Sustainability Officer David Allen said.
There are 28 trucks, traveling around 800 miles, that depart from the Nevada Blvd. location daily. Allen says electrifying the fleet will eliminate 260 metric tons of greenhouse gas emission each year.
“That is really exciting,” he said. “It is more reliable. It is a better asset for our teams to use to deliver product into market, and it means we are making a positive impact on air quality in Charlotte, so that is a win-win.”
In order to go fully electric on the vehicle front, the snack company partnered with Duke Energy, which provides the transformer for power.
“The customer can take and run individual wires to each one of these chargers and it allows them to be able to plug into their truck and have electricity flow from the pole to the transformer, to the charger, to the vehicle,” explained Emily Henson, Duke Energy’s vice president of Integrated Grid Strategy.
The company is also partnering with an EV charging company, based in Huntersville, that designs and builds the infrastructure.
“It was exactly what they needed for this depot, which was highly reliable charging infrastructure, large scale energy management and that’s what we do fundamentally as a company,” CEO of Atom Power Ryan Kennedy said.
Kennedy created the company with his co-founder while students at UNC Charlotte back in 2014.
Today, it creates state-of-the-art EV chargers for companies across the country. Thanks to grants from the state and Mecklenburg County, Atom Power will add 205 new jobs by 2027.
“So, the journey has been pretty incredible,” Kennedy said. “We have grown to around 100 employees today, we started off with two. Actually, zero at first if you look at not getting paid for a while, but have now grown to about 100 people.”
Frito-Lay says it plans to deploy 700 electric vehicles by the end of the year.