Elio Motors

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Elio Motors
Industry Automobile
Founded 2009
Founder Paul Elio
Headquarters Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Number of locations
3 Shreveport, Louisiana; Livonia, Michigan; Phoenix, Arizona
Area served
United States
Key people
Paul Elio, founder and CEO
James Holden, Board Member
David C. Schembri, Board Member
Kenneth L. Way, Board Member
Stuart Lichter, Board Member
Hari Iyer, Board Member
Products Three-wheel motor vehicles
Owner Paul Elio
Website www.eliomotors.com
A white Elio viewed from the side
Side view of 3rd generation Elio prototype
Paul Elio sitting in the P4 prototype of an Elio.
Elio Motors Prototypes with the first of the E-Series vehicles

Elio Motors is an automobile company founded by Paul Elio in 2009. The three-wheeled Elio P4 is engineered to attain a highway mileage rating of up to 84 mpg with regular features such as power windows, a power door lock, cruise control, and air conditioning, all in an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. The vehicle is also equipped with a safety system that includes multiple air bags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, steel unibody frame, and crumple zones. Elio's first manufacturing site will be Shreveport, Louisiana.


Elio Motors plans to manufacture a three-wheeled vehicle (two wheels in front, one in back) with a $7,450 base price ($7,300 for people with reservations). It is projected to achieve up to 84 mpg-US (2.8 l/100 km) on the highway and up to 49 in the city. As of June 2017 there are five prototypes and three validation vehicles (codename E1-A, E1-C, and E1-D) to test for safety, aerodynamics, and durability. Even though the E1-C is not used for testing, it is significantly closer to a production model than P5, with updated interior and a cosmetically-evolved engine. It was also produced using 80% soft-tooling. [clarification needed] The testing phase is concluded, and the company is going to build 100 pre-production fleet vehicles at its Shreveport, Louisiana, manufacturing facility in 2017.

The vehicle will be equipped with standard features such as AC/Heat (manufactured by RedDOT), AM/FM stereo, power windows/door lock, cruise control, three airbags, a reinforced steel roll cage, side intrusion beams, stability control, and disc brakes with ABS. Continental AG has created a tire specifically for the Elio. The Elio is designed to meet motorcycle standards because as a three-wheeler it is within the U.S. government's motorcycle classification. The company has lobbied, in most[1] states, to alter regulations that would otherwise require drivers to wear a helmet and, in many[1] states, to remove the requirement for operators to have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver license.[2][3]

The design specification includes a target curb weight of 1,350 lb (610 kg); three-wheel anti-lock disc brakes; an inline 0.9 liter three cylinder (designed especially for Elio by IAV), 55 horsepower (41 kW) engine; and front-wheel drive, with a top speed of 107 mph (172 km/h) and an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in approximately 10.8 seconds.[4] The vehicle has an overall length of 160.5 inches (4.08m) and an overall height of 54.2 inches. The front track is 66.8 inches with a wheelbase of 110 inches. The trunk space is 27 × 14 × 10 inches, enough for an airline carry-on bag or a golf bag with the rear seat down (47+ inches).[5]


Elio Motors is based in Phoenix, Arizona and is preparing to manufacture its vehicles in Shreveport, Louisiana, using a portion of the former General Motors 3.2 million-square-foot plant.[6] It is estimated by the company that upwards of 1,500 will be directly employed at Shreveport facility plus an additional 1,500 at the supply base. In addition, Elio Motors is targeting 90% North American parts for its vehicle.[7]

100 pre-production fleet vehicles were scheduled to be produced in December 2016, however, CEO Paul Elio recently stated targeted production of the fleet vehicles had been postponed until late 2017. As of July 4, 2017, production on the first 100 has not started. The anticipated official service provider for Elio Motors is Pep Boys which can provide a nationwide network for vehicle service with more than 800 service centers and 7,500 service bays in 35 states. The company started accepting customer reservations on its website in January 2013 and has received 65,341 as of June 20, 2017.[8]

Date Pre-Orders Date Pre-Orders Date Pre-Orders Date Pre-Orders
5/2015 42,410 12/2015 48,325 7/2016 55,950 2/2017 64,708
6/2015 43,188 1/2016 49,202 8/2016 57,769 3/2017 65,236
7/2015 44,126 2/2016 50,414 9/2016 59,468 4/2017 65,351
8/2015 44,962 3/2016 51,286 10/2016 61,166 5/2017 65,325
9/2015 45,634 4/2016 52,404 11/2016 62,582 6/2017 65,341
10/2015 46,036 5/2016 53,542 12/2016 63,428
11/2015 47,311 6/2016 55,021 1/2017 64,308

Criticism and controversies[edit]

Elio Motors has delayed the release date, which was originally in 2012. Since then, the date has been pushed back each year.[9] In December 2016, the date was announced to have moved to 2018. [10] This date has made automotive analysts question the company's ability to deliver this car on time or at all. In an effort to secure a Department of Energy loan, Elio is offering advance reservations where the buyer can reserve a spot in line to possibly purchase a vehicle for a base price of $7,300.

According to KTBS news, the car company had $123 million in debt with $101,317 in the bank as of Sept. 30, 2016. [11]

See also[edit]


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