Bug-finding startup Bugcrowd, which Tesla uses to find security flaws, has raised $15 million in its latest round of funding. The bounty-based system will use the money to hire more developers, in part to improve communication of discoveries to the companies that rely on them to find the vulnerabilities in their products and software. It will also allow Bugcrowd to work toward striking partnerships with more vendors and raise awareness about its service. Read more from SiliconAngle.

India appears to be on track to reach its five-percent ethanol blending target for the first time this year. India does not allow grain-based ethanol to be made in the country, which has made it difficult for India to reach its mandatory blending target for the past three years, as it relies solely on sugar cane for its ethanol. This year, contracts between sugar mills and blenders have assured an ample supply at a confirmed price, which means India should surpass the nearly 353 million gallons of ethanol it needs to reach the five-percent goal. Additionally, cheaper imports from the US and Brazil of rectified spirits used to create ethanol have helped feed India's industrial needs. Read more at Business Standard.

CARB Chair Mary Nichols, along with other California officials, is leading a fuel cell vehicle rally from LA to Sacramento. Joined by Energy Commissioner Janea Scott and GO-biz Deputy Director Tyson Eckerle, Nichols will lead the hydrogen-powered drive in celebration of Earth Day. Fuel cell vehicles from Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz will take part in the 400-mile rally to CARB's Sacramento headquarters. "In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, I've become an early adopter of electric vehicles and just recently extended my range with a new fuel cell electric vehicle," says Nichols, who owns a Toyota Mirai. Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release from CARB.
Elio Motors has announced it is establishing a Pilot Operations Center in Livonia, Michigan. Elio will build E-Series prototypes at the Michigan facility for testing purposes on the way to launching a $6,800, 84-mpg car. "Building the E-Series vehicles in Detroit allows for a seamless and timely execution because the majority of our original equipment supplier partnerships are based here," says Elio VP of Manufacturing and Product Launch Gino Raffin. "All of the learning that we gain during the E-Series vehicle build will be transitioned to our production facility in Shreveport for our 100 pre-production vehicle builds that are slated for the end of the year." Read more in the press release below.

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Elio Motors Establishes Pilot Operations Center in Livonia, Mich.

Startup vehicle manufacturer staffs experienced team to assemble E-Series vehicles for critical safety, manufacturability and durability testing

PHOENIX, April 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Elio Motors, Inc. (OTCQX: ELIO), the startup vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84 MPG with a targeted base price of $6,800, today announced it has established a Pilot Operations Center in Livonia, Mich., for the purpose of assembling its E-Series vehicles. The E-Series vehicles will be used to conduct safety, system-performance, manufacturability and durability tests.

In January at the North American International Auto Show, CEO Paul Elio announced that Elio Motors and its supplier partners had started the E-Series development process by determining the specific parts and build sequence for the test vehicles. With that phase of development complete, the company is gearing up for the E-Series assembly.

"Beginning the E-Series assembly is another important milestone in our journey toward production, as these test vehicles will allow our engineering and supplier teams to evaluate and validate our design," Elio said. "Commencement of the build will be another tangible sign of the progress we continue to make every day in our unrelenting quest to get this vehicle to market."

The E-Series vehicles will be hand crafted at the Pilot Operations Center by a seasoned, eight-person build team. The first E-Series vehicle will be used to calibrate and test the Anti-Lock Braking System supplied by Continental Automotive. As additional E-Series vehicles are completed, they will be used for a variety of aerodynamic, safety and durability testing. The build team currently is studying the E-Series vehicles' systems and processes, prior to build launch.

According to Gino Raffin, vice president of Manufacturing and Product Launch for Elio Motors, the E-Series build is a monumental step for successfully moving the Elio from engineering and design development to eventual commercial production.

"The E-Series vehicles are an important bridge from the prototype phase to the commercial production phase," Raffin said. "Building the E-Series vehicles in Detroit allows for a seamless and timely execution because the majority of our original equipment supplier partnerships are based here. All of the learning that we gain during the E-Series vehicle build will be transitioned to our production facility in Shreveport for our 100 pre-production vehicle builds that are slated for the end of the year."

Raffin said the Elio Motors Pilot Operations Center was established adjacent to Technosports Creative – the company that built Elio prototypes P2 through P5 – to facilitate the transfer of knowledge as the company transitions from the prototype development phase to the E-Series.

The continued progress with the E-Series build comes on the heels of a busy first quarter for Elio Motors. Among the company's highlights:

• Elio Motors raised nearly $17 million in a Regulation A+ stock sale.
• Elio Motors stock began trading on the OTCQX market, making Elio Motors the first company to raise money through Regulation A+ and have its shares go public.
• Elio Motors announced its innovative ePlus options ordering system at the New York International Auto Show.

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