Motorcycle Views Poll 034 - Would you be willing to put down a deposit ($100, $250, $500, or $1,000) to reserve an Elio motorcycle/car?
By Walter F. Kern
First some background before you answer the poll.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Let me assure you that I have NO financial interest in Elio Motors. I'm just interested in the concept and how Paul Elio has been leading the effort to make his idea come to fruition. It's an American story that deserves notice and support. You can decide for yourself. I'm only telling you what I know so far.
Elio Motors is a startup automobile company founded by Paul Elio. He's been working at this since 2008, building a series of prototypes to introduce the concept at various shows around the country. This is a 3-wheel car with one wheel in back. Technically, the Elio is a motorcycle in most states.
The Elio Mission statement is:
"To provide a fun-to-drive, super-economical personal transportation alternative, based on a list of consumer focused "must-haves" that keep our vehicles affordable, safe, and environmentally friendly. We are committed to the American dream, creating American jobs, and bringing American automotive ingenuity to every vehicle we build."
Paul Elio has a set of objectives for the car and he is driving all his technical people to get as close to achieving these objectives as is humanly possible:
Elio is American made, built in an American factory by Americans, targeting utilization of 90% North American content
Up to 84 MPG Highway
Engineered to deliver the highest safety standards
All for an unheard-of targeted $6,800 base price (Starting MSRP excludes options, destination / delivery charge, taxes, title and registration.)
I have been looking at this car for some time. It basically is half the width of a car with only two tandem seats. It comes with a 3-cylinder engine designed and manufactured specifically for the Elio. It has a manual transmission or available automatic transmission, heat/air conditioning system, a Safety Management System that includes three airbags, a reinforced roll-cage frame, Anti-Lock Braking System, 50% larger crush zones than similar vehicles, AM/FM stereo radio, Power windows, and Power door lock. There is only one door. The Elio uses a steering wheel.
I have become very accustomed to riding a Gold Wing Motor Trike. The Elio is also a trike but in addition, it has weather protection and crash protection. Elio has purchased an ex-GM fully equipped factory in Shreveport, LA. They have just listed stock on a new stock exchange allowing them to sell stock up to 50 million dollars. They have applications in to obtain financing for the remaining 200 million they need. They are taking reservations to put you in line for the first vehicles off the production line. They already have more than 50,000 people standing in that line. They are soliciting more reservations with a payment of $100, $250, $500, or $1,000. These can be setup as "I want in" (refundable), or "I'm all in" (non-refundable). They seem to be moving rapidly to make this all happen but bear in mind that this is not a done-deal and you could lose your investment.
Currently, they are projecting that the first cars will come off the line in late 2016. However, last year they were saying 2015 and the year before that they were saying 2014. It could well be 2017 or later. Now, they just announced on March 11, 2016 that they would be selling 100 pre-production Elios built in their Shreveport factory to one or more fleet customers before the end of 2016.
So, look at the pictures and go to their website for all kinds of information including progress reports, complete specifications, color choices, and videos of Elio test drives. You can get on their mailing list and receive an email whenever there is progress to report. I've been getting one or two emails from them almost every day.
They are also on Facebook where you can ask them any questions you may have and read comments from their customers.
Maybe your next "motorcycle" could be an Elio.
Now, answer the poll.