For prospective buyers of Elio Motors' super-fuel-efficient vehicle set to debut next year, one day may cost you $250. For a car that costs $6,800, that's a decent chunk. You've been warned.

For a limited time, Elio Motors will match half of a customers' non-refundable reservation fee for its three-wheeler that the company says will get 84 miles per gallon. With folks able to put down as much as $1,000 for the vehicle, Elio will give a discount of $500. But that's only until September 1, after which that "match" percentage drops to 25 percent. It may not sound like much, but the $250 difference could mean as much as about 5,700 miles worth of gas in an Elio.

Elio was founded in 2008 and says more than 25,000 people have plunked down deposits ranging from $100 to $1,000 for the high-efficiency vehicle. That's up from more than 15,000 customers three months ago and from 10,000 as of late February, so there's pretty good momentum going on here. The company is trying to get more of a groundswell through a 33-city tour that stops in Reno this week and hits Detroit in mid-August.

The company has said the super-light vehicle will be built well enough to receive a five-star crash-test rating. And in April, Elio came up with a rather creative pitch by noting that 20,000 miles of driving in an Elio will produce fewer greenhouse gases than a year's worth of gaseousness from a typical cow. Yummy. Check out Elio Motors' most recent press release below.
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Elio Motors' 50 Percent Reservation Reward Program Coming to an End Sept. 1

Consumers who go "All In" for Elio still have time to get 50 percent match to reservation payment

Phoenix, July 28, 2014 - Elio Motors fans who want to reserve a spot to purchase the 84 MPG, $6,800 vehicle have until Sept. 1 to take advantage of the early adopters reward - a 50 percent match to the non-refundable reservation payment for the vehicle slated to launch in 2015.

Reservations can be made at Eliomotors.com and range from $100 to $1,000. Through Sept. 1, a non-refundable or "All In" reservation provides customers with an additional discount worth 50 percent of the initial deposit (a $1,000 deposit would receive an additional $500 toward the price of a vehicle at the time of purchase). Beginning Sept. 2, the company will change the reward to 25 percent for new non-refundable reservations.

More than 25,000 people have put money down for reservations so far, underscoring the customer demand the vehicle will fill.

"Our low cost and high fuel efficiency combined with unique styling and fun driving characteristics has created a legion of enthusiastic fans," said Paul Elio, founder and CEO of Elio Motors. "We knew we were on to something special when we designed this vehicle and the intense and loyal reaction from future customers has reinforced our commitment to building something great."

For Elio, the 50 percent reward program has been a way to provide something special for those who showed faith and support for the project early on.

"Elio Motors fans don't simply buy into a new vehicle," Elio said. "They buy into our entire philosophy. They understand the mission we are trying to accomplish, and they have been incredibly supportive of our efforts. While all our customers mean a great deal to me, I have been profoundly impacted by our early believers."

While the aerodynamic body and unique front-to-back two-person seating give the vehicle an airplane-like feel, its design is important to the vehicle's functionality. While it is nearly as long as a traditional mid-size passenger vehicle, its body is half the width. This creates less wind drag at highway speeds, and will make the Elio one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road when it goes to production.

About Elio Motors

Founded by car enthusiast Paul Elio in 2008, Elio Motors Inc. represents a revolutionary approach to manufacturing an ultra-high-mileage vehicle. The 3-wheeled Elio is engineered to attain a highway mileage rating of 84 mpg while providing the comfort of amenities such as power windows, power door lock and air conditioning, accompanied by the safety of multiple air bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. Elio's first manufacturing site will be in Shreveport, La., with plans for the first production vehicle to roll off the assembly line in 2015 and significant production, sales and distribution during the next two years. For more information, visit www.eliomotors.com or www.facebook.com/ElioMotors.


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  • 62 Comments
      • 4 Months Ago
      If powerhouse car companies that also build motorcycles, like BMW or Honda, decide to market something similar to the Elio, then Elio will have a hard time competing against such well established companies. I hope for Elio's sake, the company has something else that it has yet to reveal to the public. Next generation hybrid and battery technology will allow cars to get over 50 MPG, and ranges for your average EV will be over 200 plus miles. Good luck Elio.
        • 4 Months Ago
        All very true. The different between this creation from Elio and a BMW version would be about $45k. Elio's goal is pretty unique in that he wants the "and" market and not the "or" market (I am butchering his take on this). Meaning, he wants to create a commuter car that people buy in addition to their larger, gas-guzzler. This is precisely why I put my non-refundable deposit down. I can park my truck at the office and make my 26-mile (one way) trip to work in this $8,000 fuel efficient Elio. Sure, I could buy a Prius or a Fit to do this but not for $8k or less. So, yes...Ford and everyone else could easily and quickly copy this guy if his creation gains market share. We all know they would not attempt to do it in this price point. They're too busy flooding the market with $40k+ trucks to worry about a little gnat like the Elio.
        • 4 Months Ago
        But give it a chance, Henry Ford said he would Fords for $500 and look at FMCO today plus every cycle company already sells in the Thousands???
      • 4 Months Ago
      i saw an orange elio car buzzing around downtown los angeles on july 28th. there were no camera crews around and the car was not marked. i figure it was a test run. elio should've put their website address and phone number on the car since not everyone is familiar with elio. and yes, i signed up for a car last year.
      Spec
      • 4 Months Ago
      I hope this doesn't go down in flames with lots of people losing their deposit money.
      James
      • 4 Months Ago
      Vaporware.
      • 4 Months Ago
      When it comes to energy efficient cars, ... Wait if you can... Bike to work if you must. The prices will keep dropping... Just like electronic goods, such as computers etc. besides, looking at it, I would rather ride a motorbike to work... Motorbikes are mechanically simpler, from the looks of it. If you think some cars are unreliable, wait till this newbie car rolls out from newbie production line.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Ronald is correct. I've been reading about this car for years now, and it's true that the dates keep sliding...and sliding...and sliding into infinity. I don't usually capitalize but I have to here:JUST WHEN IN THE HELL ARE THESE CARS GOING TO BE PRODUCED!
      Arthur
      • 4 Months Ago
      Whoa, sounds like a desperate company. They aren't matching anything until you buy the car. But since you can't buy the car now, so all they are doing is giving people a come on to give them money. For nothing. Consider if you give them money today, you would be the 25,001 person on the list to get a car. That's potentially many YEARS away and then only if they succeed, which IMHO is appearing doubtful.
      • 4 Months Ago
      what's up with all the "no power steering" concerns? i had a '72 subaru wagon (front wheel drive) and a '78 toyota starlet (rear wheel drive). neither one needed power since the both cars were so light weight. i haven't found a spec sheet on the elio, but, i can't imagine it being more than 1,800 lbs. to each their own, and, people used to laugh at elon musk when tesla was still in pre-production. musk got it right by building electric cars aimed towards the wealthy. tesla will be building a new model aimed towards the middle-class. and i'm sure in the future, elon musk will be designing an electric car that's comparable in price with a corolla or a yaris. it's all about building a brand. paul elio is just as much of a visionary as elon musk and both of them understanding engineering and both want to help the environment. the big difference between the two is that paul elio wants to build cars for folks on a very limited budget. even one of the proposed finance plans (involving gas credit cards) will make the elio affordable for practically everyone with a driver's license.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Yep, power steering is only an issue if you aren't moving, or have a very heavy vehicle. This is a very light vehicle and chances are, you won't ever need to steer when not moving.
          TIMMAH!
          • 4 Months Ago
          Actually looking forward to non-assisted steering. Had it in my '81 Scirocco and it was a blast to drive. Great handling and road feel from the wheel.
      • 4 Months Ago
      First off Elio is a 2 seater (inline),as for the claims of crash rating not an issue because of tube frame design. Think formula 1 or stock car..and to that the various air bags....doable. As for whats left after a crash...think write off. The notion that riding a CAN AM being safer..? This one has seat belts and the prior mentioned tube cage and bags..yes even some flimsy body work. Can Am..? Oh and I do ride on two wheels all the time unless its ice and snow season (working on that too). As I recall it is comparable to a current Caddy 4 door in length. two in a parking space..doubt it..door still swings open. Now for all who ponder scam or rip off because of Can Am's trikes..etc. ELIO wants this listed as a CAR so no special license or helmet would be required in ALL 50 states. It does have reverse unlike most bikes . The lack of a rear window I will venture a guess is an issue with DOT and the FEDS. The price will make it affordable to many a commuter as will the gas mileage....And if you want weird or strange cute looks..check out the Hammacher Schlemmer Fall Supplement catalog. In it you will find being offered Reproductions of the PEEL Trident 3 wheel micro car..gas and electric....$25.000.00 and no assurance it can be legally driven in all 50 states... Go ELIO !
        • 4 Months Ago
        You're ....... Just saying!
          GoodCheer
          • 4 Months Ago
          I assume he wants to deprive you of your stupidity by winning it from your in a bet.
      Steven
      • 4 Months Ago
      Elio is one of the coolest ideas we have seen in transportation. I've reserved mine. This little vehicle wins in price, mileage and fun. It is just too good of a deal to pass up and I am grateful that Elio is able to do this and without all that useless corporate overhead that inflates prices and dilutes innovation in so much of what we buy.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Production dates keep sliding.. 2012, 2013, 2014 and now into MAYBE 2015.. Plant not ready to produce any vehicles. No engine running yet from a totally new design.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Nothing, absolutely nothing positive from Elio on WHEN they will guarantee starting to build these vehicles. Price has increased even though they keep talking the $6800 price and will NOT GUARANTEE THAT PRICE either. New motor?? No mention that the new design has even run yet?? I love the idea and the enclosed "motorcycle".. NO money until they actually start to build these things. The comment below is accurate: VAPORWARE.. Lots of talk and no action..
        2 wheeled menace
        • 4 Months Ago
        Elio motors has also been around since 2008. I'd say that's long enough to get the proper funding. I've been following their facebook page for a while and it looks like the only thing they're really interested in doing is promoting and getting more reservations. I really want to believe that they're a real company and will produce it, but all signs are pointing to 'no'. With something like 25-50 million dollars on hand, you'd think that they could start producing some of these already on a smaller scale, instead of starting at hiring 800 people and buying a hummer plant.. Tesla started small. All other car companies before the 1970's started small. If they aren't willing to start small, i don't see the point. You can't bank on it being such a blockbuster that you need a hummer plant to crank them out. That's just unrealistic and reveals a hole in the plot.
          Grendal
          • 4 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Ouch. That sounds a whole lot like Aptera. They would never make the leap to production and it killed them.
          JB
          • 4 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I was thinking of this as a smoker, less aero Aptera too.
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