Walkers crisps are set to be transported around the UK more sustainably following a deal with Swedish freight technology firm, Einride.

Einride

PepsiCo, owner of the Walkers brand, has signed up to become Einride’s first commercial UK partner. Einride provides digital, electric and autonomous technology, and is perhaps best known for its Einride pods - cabless electric trucks that can be controlled autonomously or by remote drivers.

The three-year deal will initially see Walkers using electric (but not autonomous) Einride trucks between its manufacturing sites in Leicester and Coventry. According to PepsiCo, the new electric fleet will replace more than 750,000 miles of fossil-fuel-powered haulage, eliminating more than 1,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“At PepsiCo, we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our business, with a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2040 as part of our PepsiCo Positive agenda,” said Archana Jagannathan, head of Sustainability at PepsiCo UK. 

“Our partnership with Einride is a small yet important step towards that ambition, one that will help us drive meaningful progress in sustainable transport. With this initial deployment, we’re looking forward to better understanding the potential role electric trucks can play in our transport operations.”

Einride’s UK freight ecosystem will operate on a grid that is planned and monitored through the company’s Saga digital platform. The company plans to establish this regional freight mobility grid along the M1, M5 and M6 between London, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. Its starting point will be the Midlands’ ‘golden logistics triangle,’ which lies within four hours’ drive of 90 per cent of the British population and is also home to a significant share of the country’s logistics and warehousing facilities.

- Einride

“The UK has always been at the forefront of transport history,” said Robert Falck, founder and CEO of Einride. 

“The efficient and innovative movement of goods has consistently been integral to the growth and prosperity of the UK, with the British pioneering both the railway system and canal networks. We’re honoured to be here, teaming up with local partners to further establish the UK as a transport pioneer and help the country meet its net zero goals.”

Founded in 2016, Einride already operates fleets for companies including Maersk, AB InBev, Lidl and GE Appliances. In 2019 it became the first company in the world to deploy an autonomous, electric vehicle on a public road and was granted approval to operate the vehicle on a US public road in 2022.