Elio Motors
  • Elio Motors
  • Elio Motors

  • Elio Motors
  • Elio Motors

  • Elio Motors
  • Elio Motors

  • Elio Motors
  • Elio Motors

  • Elio Motors
  • Elio Motors

  • Elio Motors
  • Elio Motors

  • elio motors three-wheeler
  • elio motors three-wheeler
  • elio motors three-wheeler
  • elio motors three-wheeler
The story of Elio Motors goes back many years, but it has managed to stay well below the radar, mostly because there hasn't been much news. This has changed.

Back in 2009, a reader pointed out that Elio was looking for DOE funds, but since then we haven't hears much about the company that apparently thinks the Corbin Sparrow is a good vehicle to copy. This week, it was announced that Elio has reached an agreement to buy an old General Motors plant near Shreveport, LA and is now taking reservations. Elio claims it will hire 1,500 workers by April to build funky-looking, three-wheeled, high-efficiency vehicles. How efficient? The company website talks about 84 miles per gallon for a price of just $6,800. We've heard a ton of promises in the green car world in the past, but those numbers are certainly noteworthy – should they ever be reached.

The plant in question is the GM Shreveport Assembly and Stamping plant in Caddo Parish and the Detroit Free Press says Louisiana will likely provide some financial help to get the non-union shop started. The first deliveries of the tadpole-style vehicle (possibly called the Trikke) are supposed to take place in July 2014. Company SEC documents (available here) show that last year, Elio raised $150,00 (out of a hoped-for $10 million). The car will come with a three-year, 36,000 mile warranty.

The Elio trike will apparently be available with either a manual or automatic transmission and have some creature comforts like airbags, air conditioning and ABS brakes. That's much more than most motorcycles (which is what the Elio technically will be) but not as much as many cars today. Elio also says it expects to get five-star crash ratings, but motorcycles don't get crash tested in that way, so we're not sure what this means.

There are two videos about Elio below.

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      Andrew B
      • 2 Years Ago
      They're pronouncing there own company incorrectly. It's not (ee-li-o) it's (l-e-o). I should know because its my father's name.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew B
        No. It is ELO. Don't bring me down....
      Neil Blanchard
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks reasonable - it is front wheel drive, but there are no details on the engine. It reminds me of a tandem Zap or the Myers Duo. No specs that I could find, other than it is FWD, has an 8 gallon tank, and comes in a choice of 7 colors... They are saying it is a motorcycle, so if your state requires a motorcycle license, you will need one. Though, you will be able to take your driving test in the Elio, so no worries. Massachusetts requires a motorcycle license. The price would be a breakthrough - I hope they can do it. Apparently the $100 deposit is *non*refundable, so I think prudent skepticism is in order. I hope they are legit, and come out with more technical details, and how they tested for the 84mpg claim, etc.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hm, if this thing has a gas engine, it could stand a chance. But i think that the cabin is way too narrow. Comfortable for 2 stick figures?
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      The business model for this vehicle type has repeatedly failed. How do these people keep getting investors? Is this guy special in some way that he will succeed where others with far great assets have failed?
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Yes, he is special. The green gods have sprinkled their magic sales dust on him ;) You're right though, arcimoto and aptera are both recent examples of tadpole trike 3 wheelers being basically vaporware. I believe that if this thing is powered by a gasoline engine, it could stand a chance. It could be the American equivalent of Japan's Kei car. Which as you know, are pretty popular out there now.
          noevfud
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Aptera was not vaporware, they had many working vehicles. It took the skill of incompetent car industry idiots like Paul Wilbur and Marcus to come in and take over the company and demolish it.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          They had working vehicles but had not figured out the problem with tadpole trikes and body flex. Remember how the door swung open during a turn? Even the bicycle industry is just figuring out how to deal with this problem and it's 2013 now.. Just because you have cars that roll along the road doesn't mean that you have something ready for sales to the general public. I know the term vaporware is a bit harsh but this car does meet the definition. Shame that it couldn't have been worked out, it was a good idea.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Arcimoto is still plugging along, having finished their sixth generation prototype and now building a production line for the initial run of 41 vehicles. Aptera was an aerodynamic marvel killed by incompetent management. I also wonder what magic allows this Sparrow-clone to be made for a third the cost.
        LEONARD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        $6800 bucks i see it selling like hot cakes i think all other ventures were price more than a chep compact car this is priced less than some motorcycles or bicycles?
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @LEONARD
          Dude, $6800 is just one of the promises. How much do you want to bet it will actually sell for that?
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        I think the others were just fishing for investors to swindle. This guy might be too. If he has all the money then it might work, but if he needs investors, forget it.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          "but if he needs investors" applied for $280 Million from the AVTM (and that's matching funds)
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's see if the price is actually $6800 at the time of sale and that is actually performs even close to advertised.
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks like their website crashed today. I don't know if that's a good or a bad sign.
      • 1 Year Ago
      They need to let you know who are going to sell this product. Right now I keep thinking Tata Nano, a bunch of hipe and never a sale. Also some years back there was a big fraud when some guy who sold himself off as a Female automotive engineer and had a one off like this and took GM to the cleaners. Turns out the engineer was a Bravo Serria artist, took the money and ran. Oh by the way they never caught him/her.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Happy Dan Review :) cheap (first car to ever get a :) for cheap) :( aero :| performance :| light weight (no mention, but corners of Dan's face are twitching) :( gas powered Rating - one Happy Dan, but with upside potential.
        danfred311
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        It must have half decent aero given the size and sleek body. Several things could be dramatically better though but some aero must be there. They don't seem to state weight and judging from the power and acceleration it's not light for its size. maybe 500kg
      • 1 Year Ago
      @Bryan~It will fit two people, but in tandem, not sociable, configuration. Several state legislatures are considering bills creating a class of vehicle called the 'autotrike' with the Elio and any imitators in mind. One will not need a motorcycle endorsement, just an ordinary driving record.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      1) Wow! Looks Much Better! 2) Great Prices = Winner.
      LEONARD
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the right track! the price is awesome!!! even if you went full ev your talking less than $11k close to one of my designs but fits three ; )
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @LEONARD
        Actually I think it only seats 2 people in tandem, jet cockpit style. I like the audi e-tron city concept with offset tandem seating a little better. I wish em luck though - there are a lot of people who could use a cheap efficient commuting vehicle.
          LEONARD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          I meant my design fits 3 ; )
      RomanM
      • 2 Years Ago
      I reserved mine, just hoping they will build it. I don't need a cheap commuter, I just think its cool.
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