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2018-3-1 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

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Adding Voltage

Fleet helps power Orlando contractor’s success.

The Chevrolet Volt is known for its range, efficiency, and drivability. But Joe Territo will tell you that owning one is also a smart business investment.

 

Territo, owner of Territo Electric, an electrical contracting firm in Orlando, converted the fleet of vehicles used by his company’s project managers to Volts in 2012, and he hasn’t looked back. The cars, he says, are comfortable and stylish and offer impressive performance and efficiency.

 

“We used to drive pickup trucks, because that’s what construction people did,” Territo says. “We decided to change that and went with electric vehicles. We looked at other types of vehicles—hydrogen and other things. But I have to be honest—I drove a Volt and it’s completely different. The performance of the car was surprising to me; electric cars are very responsive. It’s a fun car to drive, and it handles very well.”

 

Territo graduated from the University of Michigan in 1979 with a degree in electrical engineering. He moved to Florida to help build the pavilions at Disney’s Epcot. He decided to stay in the Sunshine State, and started his company in 1991. The firm focuses on the design and construction of electrical systems, including specialty controls, high-efficiency lighting, data centers, chiller plants, and emergency power distribution.

 

“We pride ourselves on helping our clients find safe, reliable solutions and environmentally sound solutions,” Territo says. “We help them with energy-efficient electrical systems, including lighting, motors, and controls.”

 

Territo’s daughter, Anna, is also an electrical engineer who graduated from Duke University with a certificate in energy and the environment in addition to her degree. She joined her father’s company after finishing college in 2012 and began nudging her dad to consider electric vehicles. “We talked about if it was worth it,” she says. “We looked at the pricing, whether it was the right thing to do.”

 

The company started by purchasing two Volts, and then quickly expanded its fleet. That decision was partially rooted in the Volt’s features and style.

 

“In 2012, they had already incorporated creature comforts that now are more commonplace, like backup cameras,” Joe Territo says. “And the cockpit in the Chevy Volt is very stylish.”

 

Territo says his nine project managers all spend their work days in the vehicles, often logging many dozens of miles as they drive from one work site to the next. The vehicle’s combination of electric battery and internal combustion engine is key to its utility for employees who log a lot of distance, he says.

It changed driving habits—you want to conserve battery and get the most range that you can out of the vehicle.

“We have no range anxiety,” Territo says. “Infrastructure is always an issue you have to be concerned about—where are you going to charge the cars? With the Chevy Volt, you don’t have to worry about that because you can always fall back on gas.”

 

That balance between the two systems is especially appealing in a state like Florida, Anna Territo says.

 

“In Florida, we have hurricanes,” she says. “I really like the Volt in a hurricane situation. If my power is out, I still have that gas tank.”

 

And, as a young woman who often drives at night, she feels safer with the Volt’s battery.

 

“I’m one of those people who drive until they’re nearly out of fuel and then have to stop at a gas station late at night,” she says. “That doesn’t happen anymore.”

 

Territo’s company installed charging stations at the office and at every employee’s house so they can easily charge the vehicles at night.

 

“No one here misses going to the gas station,” Territo says. “We found very quickly that our guys love driving electric, so they wanted to drive electric as much as possible. It changed driving habits—you want to conserve battery and get the most range that you can out of the vehicle. So stopping and accelerating changed.”

 

Those small adjustments in driving behavior have paid off; the company’s project managers routinely get more than the stated range from the battery. And that helps the company save even more on gas.

 

In fact, the company’s purchase of the Volts has proven to make financial sense.

 

“When you look at the initial price of the vehicle, the initial cost is higher than, say, a standard pickup truck that would be used for a construction vehicle, especially because we chose to get the Volts outfitted nicely,” Territo says. “But the tax incentives helped significantly. And we were trading vehicles that got 15 miles to the gallon for vehicles running electric. Even when they run on gas, the Volts get 30 to 40 miles to the gallon. That’s a significant fuel savings for us.

 

“Here’s the bigger thing: We looked at the total cost of ownership,” Territo adds. “There’s the savings on fuel costs. But also, the Volts don’t require the same amount of oil changes. That was a significant difference. They’ve had no mechanical problems, so our maintenance costs were very low. We were very pleased with that. So our total cost of ownership was down significantly.”

 

When Territo was contemplating switching the company’s vehicle fleet, his intent was to look at a range of different vehicles to explore all options. But after purchasing his first two Volts, he dispensed with that plan.

 

“I wouldn’t consider other options; I think Chevy really did have a better product,” he says. “The price was quite a leap of faith. But financially it was a good move. We’re very pleased with our decision.”

Joe Territo's favorite things about the Chevy Volt

Performance: “It was surprising to me. Electric cars are very responsive—your acceleration is immediate. It’s a fun car to drive, and it handles very well.”

 

Styling: “The cockpit in the Chevy Volt is very stylish. The instrumentation and the way it’s set up, the features, the creature comforts—we like it better than all the other electric vehicles we tried.”

 

Convenience: “It’s so much more convenient to plug your car in at night. But there’s still a level of comfort because you know you can fill up at any gas station and won’t get stranded anywhere.”

 

STORY: ALEXA STANARD/PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBERT ADAMO

The Details Matter

2018 VOLT 


POWERTRAIN

Voltec Electric Drive Unit and 1.5L Gas-Powered Electric Generator for Extended Range

BATTERY RANGE

EPA-estimated up to 53 miles

POWER

149 hp, 294 lb.-ft. of torque (extended range electric drive)

300 x 120
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*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • 2017 Chevrolet Volt EPA-estimated 53-mile EV range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic with 1.8L engine and 5-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 1.8L engine and 6-speed automatic transmission 25/34; with 1.4L engine and 6-speed manual transmission 28/37; with 1.4L engine and 6-speed automatic transmission 27/35.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987 – July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learn/tires or see your dealer.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/39 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/38 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. Sirius, XM, SiriusXM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • EPA-estimated 28 City/39 Hwy MPG

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Read the vehicles Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android, Android Auto, Google, Google Play and other marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active OnStar service and paid AT&T data plan. Visit onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated 18 MPG city/ 27 MPG highway 3.6FWD.

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 18 MPG city/ 27 MPG highway 3.6FWD.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • The system wirelessly charges one PMA- or Qi-compatible mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.