According to the proposal documents (which can be viewed here), "NHTSA believes consumers who purchase these vehicles are likely to assume that these vehicles have the same safety features and crash protection as passenger cars certified to Federal safety standards."
But Elio would like to make it clear that the proposed rule would not affect the upcoming vehicle maker at all. Paul Elio sent a statement to AutoblogGreen that said the proposal was first introduced in 2013 and that, "This rule includes vehicles with side-by-side seating. The Elio has tandem (front-to-back) seating, so this rule, if enacted would not apply." The full statement is available below.
Late last year, the company said it received regulatory approval for a sale of stock worth as much as $25 million, which would be the largest ever under the 2012 "Jump Start Our Business Start-up" (JOBS) Act. The company was founded in 2008 and is looking to start selling three-wheeled vehicles that it says gets 84 miles per gallon. Starting price on the trikes, which may be reclassified as cars, is $6,800. Elio has also estimated that about 50,000 people have signed up to buy the vehicles.
This rule includes vehicles with side-by-side seating. The Elio has tandem (front-to-back) seating, so this rule, if enacted would not apply.
Our goal as a company is to develop legislation that is in the best interest of the consumer and is appropriate for a three-wheeled vehicle. We have worked on several legislative initiatives at the state level and we support Federal legislation called "The Autocycle Safety Act" that creates a new category of vehicles called "autocycles." We will continue to engage the help of NHTSA in developing appropriate safety standards, which will be applied consistently to all manufacturers of autocycles.