Electric-powered fleets expand nationwide

Corporate leaders use renewable energies as part of their freight sourcing and distribution operations. Rather than use traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, some organizations are working with the public sector to employ electric vehicles as well as more fuel-efficient autos to reduce operating costs for a business.

Beginning in 2016, Illinois will require 25 percent of new state vehicles to run on alternatives to regular gas, according to The Quad City Times.

The measure is expected to increase the number of electric cars on the road as the state's main purchasing agency signed a contract with a Chicago electric car dealer. The contract is worth almost $1.6 million as the state's vehicle fleet will roll out 60 new vehicles.

Officials could buy as much as 2,300 additional vehicles running on electric, compressed natural gas, liquid petroleum gas or liquid natural gas within the next three years.

Anjali Julka, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, said incorporating electric vehicles is better for taxpayers compared to using gasoline as the state could save almost $6,000 per vehicle.

Frito-Lay adds electric trucks to New York fleet

Snack producer Frito-Lay is increasing the number of electric vehicles in its fleet, according to The New York Times.

Frito-Lay is adding 20 electrics trucks to its New York fleet - boasting a total of 35 trucks - and is working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to install charging stations. NYSERDA will work with Frito-Lay to collect data from the charges to evaluate the effect of electric trucks on the power grid.

"We've learned a lot of lessons, including which routes work best for these vehicles," Steve Hanson, senior manager of fleet sustainability for Frito-Lay, told The New York Times. "The biggest challenge, as we change routes, has been getting some drivers to go back to conventional trucks after they've been using the electrics. It's a neat testimony to how far we've come."

The snack maker has 249 electric trucks for its distribution operations nationwide. Hanson said the electric trucks are almost equal to conventional diesel vehicles regarding reliability and there is a chance they can be even more reliable.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a new incentive program, which is helping to fund $19 million toward purchases of vehicles running on electric and compressed natural gas. After this partnership with Frito-Lay, the state government hopes other companies will expand their fleets with electric vehicles.

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