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Battery-Powered Big Rigs Could Haul the Future of Trucking

By Chris Bentley

Battery-Powered Big Rigs Could Haul the Future of Trucking

By Chris Bentley

Published 05-08-24

Submitted by Frito-Lay North America

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Eric Tutorow in Manteca, Calif., with one of the Tesla electric semi trucks he drives for Frito-Lay. Courtesy of WBUR - Chris Bentley/Here & Now

Originally published by WBUR (NPR), listen to the full segment here.

In Modesto, California, a Dorito is born.

Millions of chips roll out of Frito-Lay’s factory every day, riding miles of conveyor belts through deep fryers, flavor dusters and bagging machines. Once they’re finished, they make the first leg of their journey to corner stores and groceries all over the world on electric trucks.

This 500,000-square-foot factory, one of Frito-Lay’s biggest, replaced its entire diesel-burning fleet with cleaner vehicles last year, from battery-powered forklifts to electric semis, built by Tesla.

Eric Tutorow hauls trailers full of Doritos and Cheetos from Modesto to distribution centers in the region. Inside the cab of his electric truck, the loudest thing besides the radio is the turn signal.

“You don’t hear the engine noise,” Tutorow says. “After driving this many years, it’s kind of nice not to go home with a headache from road noise.”

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Frito-Lay / Quaker logo

Frito-Lay North America

Frito-Lay North America

Frito-Lay North America is the $23 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay's® and Ruffles® potato chips, Doritos® and Tostitos® tortilla chips and branded dips, Cheetos snacks, Stacy's® pita chips, PopCorners® popped-corn snack, SunChips® multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30+ manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada, more than 200 distribution centers and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website,, on Twitter (@fritolay), on Instagram (@fritolay) and on Facebook (Frito-Lay). 

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