Frito-Lay has approved a preliminary joint marketing venture and acquisition of lithium-ion powered electric vehicles from Hybrid Technologies. (Earlier post.) Frito-Lay, with more than 15 $100-million brands such as Lays and Fritos, is the $10 billion convenient food division of PepsiCo, Inc.
The multinational will purchase and take delivery of models of the Lithium Mini Cooper model as well as the Daimler Chrysler Smart Car Lithium version from Hybrid Technologies. The first Frito Lay vehicles are scheduled for delivery by Q1 2006.
The Hybrid Technologies Smartcar offers speeds in excess of 75 mph, with a range of 120+ miles at highway speeds. Slower speeds will extend that to more than 150 miles.
Eighty lithium-ion polymer cells in series offer 30 kWh of power with nominal voltage at 280V; the battery pack weighs 400 lbs. The lithium cells have a cycle life of more than 1,000 charges at full discharge. Charge time with a 6,000-watt battery charges (220V) is four hours at 90%, 5.5 hours at 100%.