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Published on August 19th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás

271

Paul Elio Releases Elio Motors’ Financials: The Numbers Don’t Add Up

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August 19th, 2013 by
 

You’ve got to hand it to Elio Motors’ CEO, Paul Elio. He may or may not know much about the car business, but he knows how to motivate his fan base! The article originally appeared on Gas2, and has sparked a lively debate with more than 70 comments hitting the post over the weekend. Few, if any, really address the points made in the article, though. What do you think about my take on Elio’s numbers? Think Elio has a shot? Let us know!


Financials Show that Elio Motors is Really, Definitely, Not Gonna Happen

Elio-Motors

Elio Motors’ next payment of three-million USD to Racer Trust — the “old GM,” the property liquidation agent selling the old Shreveport GM plant to Elio – is due September 4th. According to reports coming out of the Caddo Parish in Louisiana, it looks like Elio is asking the residents of Caddo to “front the money.” It’s also worth noting that Elio appears to be “on the hook” for the initial $750,000 deposit, already, which seems to be acting as a kind of “hold” on the building.

The company has submitted a number of documents to the Caddo Commission that are related to the proposed manufacture of the “Elio” trike, and these included a full breakdown of the company’s financials … and they are hilarious! Or, at least, they would be hilarious if 1.) you knew anything at all about the car business, and 2) you weren’t one of the people pinning their hopes, dreams, and hard-earned cash on Elio’s success.

You can download the .PDF report, below, but before you go rushing off to defend your precious vaporware con Elio 3-wheeler, let me talk to you about (what I found to be) the most obviously glaring issues in Elio Motors’ financials.

Elio Motors’ Retail Store Budget


Elio Retail Store Plan

There are a few major, major faults with this plan. Let’s start with the most obvious: Elio believes that he can go from ZERO sales (0, “goose egg”, nada, etc.) in 2013 to 68,333 units in 2014 (the second tab in the .XLS doc), on his way to a “steady” 250,000 units per year. I know you Elio supporters are bad at reality, so I’ll provide a little context:

250,000 is a big number, in other words, and — if Elio hits that number — that would make the Elio trike the number 4 best-selling vehicle in the US using 2011 numbers. The Elio would out-sell the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ram pickup, etc., etc. And it would have to do it all with (get this) 120 dealers.

[pause for hilarious laughter]

Based on that “120 dealers” number (provided by Elio), each dealership would have to sell 2084 units per year. Divided by 12, that’s 174 units per month (before the mental midgets start questioning my math, you can’t sell “0.xxx” of a car). 174 units per month is a decent number, representing a fairly solid car dealership … but here’s where this gets really stupid: each of these dealerships has just 5 (five) employees making all those sales. Even assuming that 100% of your staff is in sales and you have no finance people, no administration, no service writers, no techs, no porters, no title clerks, no receptionists, etc., each employee would have to sell 35 units per month.

That ain’t gonna happen.

Figuring each of those 5 employees works 20 days/month, they’d have to sell an average of 1.75 units per day. With no support staff. Their job would be to convince 1.75 people, each, per day, every day, that they should buy a ridiculous 3-wheeled virginity shield instead of, you know, a decent used car … and that they should buy said ridiculous vehicle from a dealership with no service department. And these are the numbers Paul Elio is using TO ASK FOR MONEY!

It becomes clear, at this point, that Paul Elio has never worked in a dealership, has never sold a car, never written service, never turned a wrench, never paid attention, and is (to use the industry parlance) little more than a stupid green pea. That’s a compliment to Paul Elio, when you think about it, because the alternative is that he’s an accomplished con artist … he can’t be both, at this point.

Things get even hilarious-er when you look at Elio’s justification for his proposed “$5959″ price point on the Elio trike.

Elio Motors’ Pricing is a Joke


Elio Cost Breakdown per unit

You know all those finance people, administration staff, service writers, techs, porters, title clerks, receptionists, etc. that I mentioned above? Elio doesn’t budget for them anywhere that I can see, except for right there, in a piddling little $150 line-item dubiously titled “warranty.”

“But wait,” I can hear you saying. “He budgets $225 per car for retail operations. Surely, that covers it?” Sadly, you didn’t read everything above — that $225 covers only the 5 dealership employees expected to sell 1.75 cars per day, every day, out of a dealership with no support staff. Even if you take $150 and multiply it by 250,000 units sold, you’ve only got $37.5 million. Divide that by 120 dealers and you get $312,500 per dealer. Divided by the $67,500 that Elio cites as his cost per employee, and that’s just 4 full-time people … with $0 left over for loaner cars, replacement parts, etc.

Oops! I just noticed that the $150 line in Elio Motors’ spreadsheet reads “warranty and liability,” so it’s even less than 4 people with no access to parts and loaner cars under said “warranty.”

The short version: Elio is borked, whether you need to wear a helmet to drive its ridiculous 3-wheeled virginity shield or not. If you don’t see that, then I hope that 1.) you haven’t foolishly put your 401K into this mess, and that 2.) you have fun flaming me in the comments.

Sources: Caddo Commission, via Forward Now / Racer Trust.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Boringmyass

    FUCKING LITTLE BABY HAS TO DELETE POST IN WHICH HE DOES NOT AGREE WITH. CONDESCENDING JERK.

  • Bore ass is a joke

    How much time you HAVE JERK

  • Bore ass is a joke

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil.g

  • Bore ass is a joke

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil.m

  • Bore ass is a joke

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil.

  • Boreass is a jerk

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil. i

  • Boreass is a jerk

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil. m

  • Boreass is a jerk

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil. k

  • Boreass is a jerk

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil. J

  • Boreass is a jerk

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil.Jerk Jerk

  • Boreass is a jerk

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil. jerk

  • Boreass is a jerk

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil.

  • John Maynard Kaynes

    I can to this all day Bore Ass.

  • John Maynard Kaynes

    This jerk keeps deleting my posts. Won’t survive past Sept. of 2013 now it’s Aug. 2014. Why can you not admit you are a condescending opinionated jerk that works for the Koch Brother and big oil.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Let me share the link for site commenting policies.

      http://cleantechnica.com/cleantechnica-comment-policy/

      Heck, I’ll copy the page over for you…

      We love comments. We love people sharing useful information about cleantech and related subjects. We love it all so much that we let people comment by default… no need for your comment to wait for approval by a moderator!

      However, there is a tendency for people on sites all over the web to spew total crap onto the screens of others. Due to the anonymity and distanced nature of comments on the internet people seem to feel comfortable calling strangers horrible names, spamming, and completely straying from the points of the discussion. That being the case we do sometimes have to remove comments. Here are some things that can get your comments removed:

      using abusive language to describe other commenters, including

      name-calling

      threatening others

      engaging in all-caps shouting

      making very off-topic comments and thread hijacking

      including spam in your comments

      posting misinformation that is harmful to society

      repeatedly posting illogical or demonstrably incorrect statements

      posting conspiracy theories that are too off the wall to waste time debunking touting your or someone else’s perpetual motion machine

      CT respects the 97.1% of climate science peer-reviewed papers which have established a position on global warming and the 98% of climate scientists who have stated their position, agree that global warming is real, caused by humans and extremely serious. The only real debate is what to do in an attempt to minimize the harm, which is a primary focus of this blog. Global warming denying comments are always irrelevant on CT and will be removed.

      Global warming denier sites are not reliable sources. If they make a point and reference a peer-reviewed study published in a reputable journal or industry document, reference the study or document directly.

      If you repeatedly violate commenting rules then you will lose the privilege of commenting.

      Of course, we may change our comment policy at any time if we see the need for that.

      We’re funny that way….

      If you want to follow them then your comments will stay up. Those that violate community standards will be taken down.

      If you continue to violate the rules you will be ‘disappeared’.

  • John Maynard Kaynes

    Hey boass, why cant you let free speach stand. Ass

  • John Maynard Kaynes

    Look when this article was written, August of 2013.

  • John Maynard Kaynes

    Well, here we are almost September of 2014 and Elio is still here. WTF jerk off, wet dream turn into piss my self. Condescending Jerk.

  • Mark in TX

    Well…I think it’s damn cool. I give kudos to Elio for trying. I wish them well and hope they become very successful. It’s a very American “against all odds” effort. Motorcycle or car, who cares? If it gets me from point A to point B efficiently and inexpensively, I’m all for it. I just priced a trike at $36,000. Cost prohibitive for me. The Elio is in line with my needs and my budget. There are many more of “me” out here than those who could afford a standard overpriced trike. That’s a factor that could spell success for Elio in the long run. I think I’ll roll the dice with a $100 on this one.

  • Elioguy

    Paradigm shift, Think! I’m waiting in the wings to watch this thing go viral. $7K? A PTV that goes 100 MPH, 600 plus miles on an eight gallon tank of gas? We shall see who is laughing the guys in Hum V’s or the ones who arrive. What is your operating cost? With an Elio like a Bic razor throw it away buy another for a monthly gas bill or charge (which by the way comes from fossil fuels, idiots). Talk about economical! How many people drive to work in your $50K Prius chumps?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Careful about the name-calling. It does something strange to the server and makes comments fade away.

      Now, back to your comment.

      Had this sentence read ” I’m waiting in the wings to see if this thing goes viral” then, OK.

      But to state that it will go viral without there being any sales to date is getting out ahead of the data.

  • Bill

    He of little faith, another nay sayer. People, such as yourself, bring down the hopes and dreams of Americans.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Hope is great.

      False hopes, not so much.

      Just look at the issues raised. See if they make sense to you. I, personally, find the cost unreasonably low and that would keep me from becoming a true believer.

      That doesn’t stop me from hoping that Elio can produce what they claim, because if they can it will help a lot of people and the environment.

  • lynda 930

    So how did we get from an electric car and Elio to IBM and Apple….hmmmm I guess it’s the old comparing Elio to Apple(s)

  • I want one!

    Almost 100 MPG. Nuff said right there!

  • Jeff

    You have a real hardon for Elio. This is the third article I have seen from you where you said things like “definitely not going to happen.” Most of your “facts” are opinions. Uninformed opinions, at that. That not withstanding… what do you hate so much about the company? Why are you so resistant to them succeeding? I have never, in my life, seen someone so damn negative about something that could be so good for so many people.

  • scottsbiz

    I certainly like your comparatives ..12648 units more than jaguar and land rover combined…. That seems to me like comparing a hamburger at Denny’s ($6.00) to McD’s ($3.00). Which one of the two has the pitch line ” over a billion served?” Lol..

  • annoyed anonymous.

    Blah blah blah all you whiney prisses on here bickering about nonsense. If it succeeds good for them if it fails good for them (as failure teaches best). But at the end of the day wtf are we on here arguing for?

  • jswap

    I want Elio to succeed (I even put down a $1k non-refundable deposit), but these points in the article are glaring. My take on it is that the retail price will have to rise for this vehicle to have any chance at profitability. $9999 would probably need to be the minimum price, and I doubt they’ll even be able to hit that. Lit Motors is planning a somewhat similar vehicle for $24k. Elio should be able to beat that, but I’m not sure it will be able to sell this vehicle profitably for under $15k, even at volume.

    • Bob_Wallace

      At some point, as the price rises, it would seem that the market would switch away from these high mileage one/two person vehicles to decent mileage econoboxes.

      I only see wide acceptance if the price stays well under $10k.

  • A disappointed Reader

    Borras is not a serious journalist in that he is full of himself, arrogant and disrespectful…whatever objectivity and logic he pretends to have is lost by his hatred for innovation and disrespect for his readers…. Borras, is there any way you can learn decency and ethics? There are more constructive ways to vent one’s anger and …..envy

  • C. therealworld

    Not a fan of con artists so I hope it’s going to happen. Also this isn’t as ugly as the K car and the K car put Chrysler back in business after the peanut farmer left the White House. Elio could very well be successful following that marketing model. K car (Elio) today t-rex (muscle car) tomorrow.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Ugly? Perhaps dated. Let’s compare….

      Had we listened to the “peanut farmer” rather than the B-grade movie star we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today.

  • Kris

    I like the Elio and hope it succeeds. And whether you agree or disagree with the authors tone, you should look at the facts. He does raise some points that should be considered by investors and purchasers. This is coming from a financial analyst.

  • Ebithril

    Numberwise you may be correct – but I am having issues taknig the word from such a unproffesional, narrowminded individual…

    I mean, really?
    There is like 7-10 instances of you screamnig out “VIRGINITY SHIELD! VIRGINITY SHIELD!”
    I would not disagree with you that all would not find this an “attractive car”… But personaly, I kind of like it for what it is. And I don’t mind having somethnig a little different.
    And you fail to see the ponit that this is not supposed to be som fucking “Pussy wagon”…

    Now, I am realistic, and didn’t need to look at their budget to realize that there is something fishy here.
    6.800 dollars for a car (alt. trike with a car-chassi) featurecomplete…
    The term “To good to be true” comes to mind.

    If this car hits the market with the promises they have set (even if they may increase the price a bit) – it will be a great step for our transportation-future. :)

    I mena, just imagine having this car and hitting the road with a friend of yours?
    You just pack your bag, and you can car around Europe with almost only one tank of gas! XD

    So to sum it up.
    I am eagerly awaiting this car with high hopes.
    But I am gonig to take everything they say with a pitch of salt… and when I say “a pitch”, I mean “a fistfull”! :P

  • Greggo61

    Could they solve a lot of the cost issues you bring up by selling through established dealers? I know that isn’t in their plans now, but if what you say is true that seems to me a viable option.

  • css

    I’ve been interested in the Elio since I heard about them. From the start I was suspect of the price tag. At $6800 it’s appealing, even at double that number, which is probably more realistic it’s still appealing. I sell insurance and in sales the adage is under promise and over deliver. I think Mr. Elio is way over promising here. I know he wants to change the world, but I, like the author, don’t believe they can stay in business and sell them at a price point of $6800. The real question is what will happen to sales when the prices is raised enough to stay in business.

  • WorldWeary

    All these people that put $100 down are going to be out of their ‘Franklins’ when the company announces that this was all a ‘pipe dream’!

  • Mark

    Look out!
    The blog writer is speaking!
    He must be an authority – he references other people’s virginity, and is rude to responders.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      And he has snarky and opinionated commenters in his thread who don’t refer to the source material or the veracity of its claims. You forgot that one.

  • 944racer

    It’s totally possible to believe that (1) there is demand for the Elio and still think (2) the company lacks the right people and resources to make it a success. I’d love to buy something like the Elio, and even like their design. But I do financial models for a living, and even a 1st-year management consultant would be laughed out of the room with Elio’s spreadsheets. They’re out of whack with the known economics of the automotive industry, and with the economics of retail and manufacturing in general. If you ever opened up a store in a mall anywhere selling anything you know that $6k / store number is unrealistic.

    Here’s hoping that Paul Elio can be like Eberhard at Tesla, getting the enterprise off the ground and building just enough momentum so that other leadership can take over and attract more capital to the company. 250k units may be an attainable goal on some timeframe, but it’s a decade or more out and will involve significant change in consumer perceptions. That’s not a Year-3 goal.

    Successful and disruptive entrepreneurs are also ruthlessly realistic about the challenges their companies face. These spreadsheets say that Elio is missing basic knowledge that you can find out by reading six months’ worth of Crain’s Automotive News.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Ooooooooooh. Your comment is likely to be not well received.

      Don your asbestos breeches….

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Is there a demand for a vehicle like this? Sure there is … and Toyota has determined that said demand isn’t large enough to invest a manufacturing facility in.

      As for the rest- you said it better than me.

  • eliohopeful

    Elio said it could reach 250000 which means its possible, not that he thinks he will reach this number. Since he will sell most of his cars online, not at outlets, that number seems possible.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Except that a number of states in key markets won’t allow direct sales, meaning he’ll need to work in some padding for the dealer, meaning the price will go up, meaning he’ll sell less, meaning the numbers still don’t make any sense.

  • bonetopick

    While you do point out some issues, you are quite rude in your approach. You seem like a very difficult person to be around.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      As I said, this article was written for Gas 2 and republished here. That audience is different than this audience, and the tone of the site (which includes sexy biker babe posts, light-hearted comedy, etc.) is very different than Cleantechnica. Elio was still hugely relevant in August, when this post was originally written, however- so it got picked up by a number of outlets.

      As for being difficult to be around, trust me: nobody wants Elio defense nuts around them. I’ll consider that a blessing, then. :)

  • tom s

    What a 24 caret twit you are. “Virginity shield”? I guess you would have laughed at Apple, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, hell, even Esso-Humble-Exxon. Elio is a visionary, you a blind twit.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      *carat

  • http://creditprofilenumber.com TheReason

    Definitely a scam.

  • Captiosus

    Given the price of other comparable trikes on the market, how can ANYONE believe the supposed $6800 pricetag? Especially when this particular trike is also going to have far more body work necessary than non-autocycle trikes. Elio is promising to deliver a full featured, Can Am style bike with a car-like design for a third of the price.

    What’s that old saying about “if something is too good to be true”? If you want to be on the list of “serious” preorders, you have to agree to a non-refundable deposit. Another adage from P.T. Barnum is coming to mind.

  • Facts

    You have a very logical article that explains how the company may not be able to sustain the business in the long run. Your argument, however, gives me more of a reason to buy the vehicle. Since the company has already bought the former Hummer plant, it seems they will follow through with making the vehicle. The question is how long they can stay in business afterward, which is why I should get the vehicle before that happens. It simply makes financial sense.

    As to whether someone would rather buy a used car and regardless if the company bankrupts, I plan to get an Elio because it’s way cheaper in the long run. I always buy old used cars with less than 100,000 miles with close to 30 mpg highway for about $2,500 and expect to drive 25,000 miles a year for four years. Considering a conservative of $3 a gallon, I’ll spend at least $10,000 on gas over the life of the car and expect to spend $5,000 in maintenance, making the total money spent on the car at least $17,500.

    Comparing that to the Elio, it is expected to get 84 mpg highway, or about three times as much as the car if it was at 29 mpg. Gas in four years would come to at least $3,333 (let’s add more to $3,500 just in case). Since most parts will be off the shelf like the car, let’s say maintenance will be the same for 100,000 to 200,000 miles and half before that. Since the Elio is now priced at $6,800, and if I upgrade it to $7,500, I expect to spend at least $13,500 for the first 100,000 miles in four years, $4,000 cheaper than a used car. And yet it still has 100,000 miles to go. So in 8 years, I’ll spend at least $22,000 compared to $35,000 for two used cars in that timespan. Although it may not make financial sense for the company, it certainly makes sense for me to buy my first new car while I have the chance. I’m only sacrificing two seats I don’t use anyway.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      1. they haven’t bought the plant, the taxpayers of Caddo parish bought it, and have brought in liquidators who specialize in scrapping plants: http://gas2.org/2013/09/08/is-caddo-parish-going-to-demolish-the-elio-motors-factory/

      2. good plan. 100,000 mile cars typically have lots of life left in them, and you’re saving quite a few tons of carbon emissions by preventing the need for a new car.

      3. “expected to get 84 MPG” by the manufacturer, who has not submitted a production ready car to the EPA for verification.

      4. there is no reason to expect that “off the shelf” parts would be made available to Elio from, say, GM or Suzuki or whoever- and the $150 allotted for each vehicle’s warranty won’t cover much in the way of repairs- even with off-the-shelf parts. That, in my opinion, is the red flag that even people with zero dealership/auto industry experience should see.

  • Brian Horne

    Ok Joe, it’s been 6 months since you wrote this article… It appears they have been able to secure the plant, and it also seems they have now secured over 10,000 preorders. Seems like they have put some thought into their choices of who is running their show… And really appears they are getting their shit together ….so what Is your current opinion?

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I covered the plant: http://gas2.org/2013/09/08/is-caddo-parish-going-to-demolish-the-elio-motors-factory/ and, despite the number of deposits, there is no mention of hiring/recruiting on the company’s website as of 03/28/2014.

      In other words: no change in my opinion. The numbers don’t add up, Elio fans should hold on to their money until there’s a production car that they can drive home that day, and the people of Caddo parish should be grateful that their commissioners put a time limit on Elio’s lease that is long enough to increase the scrap value of the plant, but short enough to ensure they’ll get a good return no matter what happens to Elio’s vision.

  • Joe Tony Little

    I read your article and there is a ton of information in it. Valuable and well researched information. I applaud you for your efforts in that regard. That being said, there is also a huge amount of cynicism and vitriol in your writing. That comes across like an elephant in the room and instead of sounding like a person legitimately trying to educate and inform you sound as if you are belittling and denigrating.

    This approach takes away from your credibility, fair or not. You also respond to opposing comments as that of a spurned child and that really does nothing for your credibility.

    You may be right in everything you say in this article, then again you may be far wrong. Time will tell the outcome. Until then one would hope that you try and persuade people as to why you are right instead of insulting them and telling them why they are wrong. Your current approach makes you sound like a complete ass and I doubt that is your intent. Or is it?

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Like I told others, this article is from a different blog and reprinted here on Cleantechnica. CT is, let’s say “more professional”, and the audience is definitely of a higher class. If I’d written the CT article, it would have had a much more level tone, like this one I wrote covering Apple’s new “green” mac: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/06/apple-goes-green-new-mac-pro/

      • Allen Goodfriend

        those elio cars are going to sell like hot cakes. this article is retarded. comparing the $6800 elio to higher end brands like jag, volvo, and land rover. hahaha

        • Bob_Wallace

          I think they’ll sell a few thousand, perhaps even a few tens of thousands.
          If the car/whatever performs as described and the price is below $7k.

  • Chris C

    To the annoying author of this poor excuse for an article/analysis. We’ll know in less than a year. No need to act like a jerk to everyone with whom you disagree. All you’re doing is setting yourself up to get completely destroyed if you’re wrong.

  • lovbyts

    I personally love the virginity shield comment. It sure isnt going to be a chick magnet, or at least not any chicks I would want. lol

  • RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    the dude wants $ but dont even show the interior on the page/

    • shitty smitty

      go to the Elio website for that….duh!!

  • givemeliberty

    Is this guy a shill for Detroit?

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      You’re referring to the “Detroit” that Elio is hoping will sell him engines and transmissions? You know, like the Chevy Metro engine in his prototype?

  • antonio

    Just ordered 3 Elios w/ my brothers!

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I hope you get them!

  • JD Sullivan

    I’m undecided at this point, but I’m curious to know if you could do an analysis of this nature by comparing the Elio with motorcycle sales?

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      That’s a great question. Motorcycles, scooters, dirtbikes, etc. combine to about 450,000 annual sales in the US (across all brands). The primary obstacle to most motorcycle riders being banks’ reluctance to finance bikes (because they’re “dangerous” and easy to steal/total) and a relative lack of inexpensive models that buyers could pick up with cash. At $6800, plus tax, tags, and title fees, destination fees, etc., you’re looking at about $7500, easy, that the depositors will have to come up with to drive their Elio home … and, if it’s classified as a motorcycle, the banks won’t be much help.

  • Benny

    Lets see-you scoff in the article about Elio’s
    numbers and how ridiculous they are when factoring for a car dealership. Then, in replies to the article you agree the Elio is a motorcycle. How many car dealerships sell motorcycles? Then, you compare sales of Elio’s to Cooper and other automobile dealerships. There is a growing target market in this country – those buyers that were formerly known as the Middle Class. I’m sure Cooper is painfully aware of that segment. Take high fuel costs, low ownership costs and shrinking incomes and then look at the target market. It would have made more sense to compare Elios with municipal busses. Finally, you iced it with personal insults against not only Elio, but some portion of your readership (3 wheel virginity shield? WTF is that?). I believe Elio’s undoing will be less about the numbers than it is about the “Tucker Factor” and the animus spread in articles like this seem to support that contention.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      The Tucker was a horrible car.

  • Jwalker

    Thinking people are missing the points. Electric cars and gas cars will need to share the road for some time, Rome wasnt built in a day. People arguing about where the energy derives from and which is more green are wasting time and energy. If elio can make it, and it will reduce fuel consumption than it will reduce pollution, that is fact. If we are going to start bringing consumers into alignment there needs to be a paradigm shift to it is not cool or sexy to doing what you can with what you have. It takes dreamers to do this. these numbers, how ever far fetched they may be have the potential to change the current paradigm providing hope that we can move in the right direction, now that we know what it is. It is easy to say that this venture will fail, 9.9 out of 10 similar ventures probably would fail, But it takes a dreamer to push a plan of this scope forward, that allows the people to realize the potential and to keep the momentum alive. Even if the company fails, which i hope it is a huge success. It brought you to this page, and made you think, how could it be better?

  • Mcmurphy

    Your article could be taken more seriously if you stuck with the numbers and facts rather than injecting your own attempts at asinine humor.

  • Nate

    Heh… I dunno. A 7k trike with no passenger space, or a 7k Mazda Miata that I can take to the track AND get good gas mileage? Or an old Honda CRX that gets 40ish MPG for 4k? Hell, might as well get a Miata AND a CRX!

    Hm. Such a hard decision. lolololol

  • dumb

    actually this will be the car/bike of the year and all the rage…i shoudl reserve 2 of them …one to keep to resell as the collectors item it will become…..

  • yellowdogdemocrat

    Hey Borras WTF is a “virginity shield”???

  • Gary Pichler

    I’m no business man, but… For a vehicle like this I think he should partner w/independent motorcycle dealerships since you’ll likely need a motorcycle endorsement to drive one. Also, his target market should be men who drive trucks year round from the suburbs to the cities. If they get 60 MPGs I’d save enough money every month to pay the monthly payment, even if the selling price were closer to 15k and still pocket enough to throw a 12 pack in the trunk on the way home every Friday night. There, I solved his financial problem!

    • Gary Pichler

      Though, I question the volume as well, as compared to mini.

  • Friend Of St. Frank

    so, the orders thus far are 28,000 with over a year to hit their mark. A have a snyder trike now gets 86 to the gallon-mini-vam in appearance. a snyder 4 person vehicle runs $6500 new with 2 year warranty=but you ignore the snyders and the other motorcycle driven vehicles-got a lot here in skiatook that sells all these alternative vehicles. My electric car (new costs $6000) needs a new maintenance battery as well as a motor brush-the big name electrics poison the ground as much as gas cars poison the air. Nope there are rather a lot of choices like the elio out there but the elio is automatic and has heat and air. My Snyder is stick shift (and do to an accident I am giving it to my brother can’t do standard) and won’t work for me-an electric car (NAP 6000 2009 model) only gets 100 mile to the charge so it is no good for any distance when you live in the country. Cars that run on compressed air (and used in 32 countries and counting) has been trying to get into the US since 2008. Even have cars that run on firewood-check out your options at mother earth news. And yes, I am buying an elio because even with solar attached the electric car is iffy. Now, the advantage of the elio and why I am going for them over a snyder is that the two wheels on front with back as just an extra works much better than the 1 wheel in front where you have to worry about tipping if you make a sharp turn-altho that is a bit of a rush. As for being stupid, I hold a PhD in ecology and in a few months will be totally off the grid and self-sufficient with the fruit, vegtable canning and processing, fresh farm eggs, fresh chidken,, feathers for quilts, and fresh milk and butter.. It is kind of a rural neighborhood thing-everyone producing more from their gardens and trees than they can possible eat themselves so we all share the wealth. But this author doesn’t have a clue-fights anything that is not extremely expensive. After I get the elio, I will jack up the millage to 98 a gallon-you just have to know how-underground economy and voluntary simplicity.

  • Peyton

    250,000 trikes per year is not a realistic number. I’ve been selling vehicles for over twenty years, and I just can’t see a quarter million people per year choosing to purchase a two-seater with little cargo space, regardless of the fuel economy. I’ll be surprised if they can sell 25,000 annually…

  • Jacek

    Perfect work scrutinizing it. So how much will have to Elio cost so I can pay that $7000, no more? Can that realistically happen? Lets assume that the dealer will just let me drive around in one so I can get the feeling and I will but that over the internet. Sure I will enter his name so he can get commission.

  • PABLO

    Your $40,000 hybrids that get a whopping 33 MPG suck. I am on board with Elio.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Hope you don’t find yourself sitting on the pavement going “Vroom, vroom, vroom” and play-turning a steering wheel.

      (Counting chickens, eggs, hatch – ring a bell?)

  • Sheldon Gardner

    All I have to say is that the car is affordable, and the milage is great!
    I can see parents buying this car for HS students becaust of the price & gas milage. College students, persons who have to drive great distances to work. And people are hooked on wanting to be different, and by that I mean driving something that’s new & being an eye catcher. Once people would see the car in person, learn about the cost & the milage, it’s a done sale!

    • Bob_Wallace

      You’re talking as if one could walk into a showroom right now and buy one for the stated price and get the claimed mileage. And that there were no significant problems with the car.

      If Elio can pull it off then it’s going to be a good form of transportation for many, but they are not yet available for purchase.

  • Steve Morris

    This article is correct. Harley Davidson, a company that already has both manufacturing and dealer infrastructure can sell a motorcycle in this price range (Street 500). A three wheel car, with power windows and A/C cannot be produced at this price point. Probably not even in China. Many others have tried this niche and it never works. Besides the absurd expectation about dealership staffing, $125 per car for warranty is also absurd. Tesla bought a former GM plant and produced a car but did so with a much larger budget and then sells that car for ten times as much… and they are not out of the woods yet on survivability.

    • Wes

      The problem with Tesla is their cars cost so much due to new tech. The elio stands a chance by using cheap tech (1990′s geo metro engines) and selling at a very low cost. Dare I say the supply price curve is exponential at this price point?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Tesla started by selling a >$100k roadster.

        That allowed them to develop a <$100k luxury sedan.

        And that is allowing them to develop a <$40k long range EV.

        Tesla has plotted out a route that is working.

        Elio is talking about coming in at the bottom of the market. Profits are slim at the bottom. Takes money to expand, that money has to come either from profits or outside investments. People don't like to invest in businesses that don't show much potential for profits.

        Think about it.

  • Chris Eckerman

    It is something that a lot of American’s could use in this economy a car that they can afford and could afford to drive.

  • Ste Bunches

    Can you say ‘industry shill’, boys and girls? I knew you could!

  • hrbunch1

    Jo Borras can’t even get the price of the vehicle right. He pegs the MSRP at $5959 while Paul Elio has said it will sell for about $6800. I won’t believe Borras has any ability to predict the failure of Elio Motors because he doesn’t even know the price of the product. Harry B

    • TJJ300

      I’m assuming the $5959 is the Dealer cost. $4238 is manufacturing cost. This gives Elio a profit minus marketing expenses of $1721, and a Dealer profit of $841. Seating is not an issue as it’s a commuter vehicle and that’s almost 100% one person transport. Jo Borras seems to think the main flaw of this vehicle is you can’t make out in it.

  • Joseph

    If I was an investor, I’d definitely want to see some hard numbers…as a consumer, I have opted out of giving them any money in advance (I wouldn’t do that for anyone)…
    I noticed they pushed the release date to Q4 or so…I am disappointed. I would definitely buy one of these as my vehicles have never been a hindrance to my ability with women (…and I’ve driven some pretty bad vehicles!).
    I agree with a lot of people about the electric cars; they are high priced and not economically feasible. I think cars, in general, have gone up far too much. I don’t buy new, I always buy used and even then, I watch it closely.
    Anyway, after so much rambling, my points: Electric cars, while I would like one, are not economically realistic for most people (and our battery technology actually hasn’t changed all that much in 100 years…leaving hydrogen cells out of it). I can purchase a cheap (non-hybrid) vehicle that gets gas mileage in the 30′s…save money monthly, annually, etc…I would totally love a vehicle that got 80′s in mpg…
    I hope Elio clears up their numbers and they get their stuff together…

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” ou r batter y technology actually hasn’t changed all that much in 100 years”

      You might want to refresh your information database.

  • cphi

    Hey Jo. Thank you for doing the HW on this. I appreciate it. The Elio reminds me of the Morgan trike. The low price set off scam alarm bells and your research confirms it. So I just wanted to say Thanks. I’m not sure why so many comments are arguing over coal v. gas and so on. Your article only addresses the financials of the proposed company. Its a bad plan. Maybe the car/trike is a good concept, maybe it isn’t, but that doesn’t change the math. Thanks again

  • deb

    They should sell it as a kit car, like the Ultima GTR.

  • Kay Silver

    Great article, it does point out the obvious faults within the financials, the costs don’t add up, but then again, how did you get access to this sheet? was it publically released by Elio, or was it a estimated early projection for potential/existing investors? I’ve seen plenty of balance sheets created with fuzzy math for startups, only later to see costs adjusted next to projected numbers. I think it is a great concept that has a chance, it all depends on if investors bid in or not and if initial losses will not be too heavy to drag the company down; they have to play it smart.

  • Edgarpoet

    The reasons this “trike” will sell are:
    1) fuel economy
    2) reasonable price
    3) Americans are damned tired of foreign made products
    4)Puts Americans back to work building an American designed product
    5) looks darn good for a “virginity shield”
    6) maybe just to prove that a know it all ass like you is Wrong!

  • meep

    The price of the unit is $6800. Due to this all of your math is wrong. If you recalculate you will see that there business plan works just fine. Useless article.

  • Evan55

    I believe the proposed price has been moved to $6800, which may address some of the issues discussed in the article. The part about how popular the product would need to be in order to sell the necessary number of units is interesting. The basic Supply/Demand curve tells us that as the vehicle gets cheaper, demand grows. It sounds ridiculous for a car like this to be more popular than the Honda Civic, but its about 1/3 the price of the Honda Civic, making it more plausible. A new car company being less than profitable in its first few years isn’t really all that rare. I don’t understand why the salesmen are proposed to make so much money. 67K a year to sell eco-cars seems very high to me. I also don’t understand why the company has to go national from the start. They should pick a super-liberal state like California, sell them there for a year to see how it goes and make necessary changes before going national. I’m no environmentalist by any means, but I have a bit of extra money, too much time on my hands, and I love toys, so I would definitely be interested in purchasing one of these as a secondary vehicle if they ever actually hit the market. I was going to buy a scootcoupe, but I think I’ll wait a year to see if these become available first.

  • Mark Edwin Blakeman

    I get the impression that the writers behind this article do not want to see this vehicle become a success. Clean Technica is an environmentalist-oriented website. Environmentalists have gone to great lengths to keep oil exploration out of Alaska, which has enough oil to keep the US independent of oil coming out of Saudi Arabia. I’ll be blunt! The environmentalist agenda is a front to drive up oil prices so a controlling group of people continues profiting off of ignorant Americans. These environmentalists do not want a fuel efficient car getting 84 mpg. There’s a rat in the woodpile folks. This article was politically-motivated by the big oil interests.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I suspect you are wrong.

      Jo doesn’t see the numbers making sense. If you’ve read his other works he certainly does not support Big Oil. He writes favorably about EVs and other innovative approaches to more efficient transportation.

      I don’t see the numbers making a lot of sense either.

      And this?

      “The environmentalist agenda is a front to drive up oil prices so a controlling group of people continues profiting off of ignorant Americans. ”
      It’s a pile of horse shit. Take thee back to Kochland….

      • Mark Edwin Blakeman

        Prove me wrong. Who pays your salary? How many lobbyists do you rub shoulders with? Who do you really answer to? It seems that I struck the wrong nerve fairly quick.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Well, tinfoil hat boy, I’m long retired.

          I earn nothing from no one (aside from my investments and any oil stock I own is deeply buried in index funds).

          I’ve never rubbed shoulders with lobbyists of any kind as far as I know. Of course I might have bumped into one on the sidewalk, but they don’t wear labels.

          To whom do I answer? No one. I often don’t even answer when my wife asks me something.

  • Lex

    Borras is a big three shill. They don’t want this threat to their market share. If Paul gets this to work, I suspect they’ll drug him and put a dead hooker in his bed.

  • Zak Carillo

    Your entire argument seems to hinge on this being a car sold in the normal fashion. Obviously there will not be salespeople sellling this motorcycle, it will be driven by free news advertising and the internet. I agree the price seems to be growing with each month, but your financial evaluation is meaningless. Get real and maybe people will listen to you.

  • Logical Thinker

    While yes, it is true that the Elio car appears to be a vision of a mad man’s reality, I remember a man much like this Paul Elio. His name happens to be Preston Tucker. The situation that he was in happens to be nearly identical to Paul Elio’s predicament: High gas mileage, sleek design, strange features, low price – sound familiar to our “virginity shield” car? While Preston Tucker’s car production was shut down, his innovations were eventually incorporated into today’s car. Things such as the seat belt were put into today’s cars because of Preston Tucker. I feel that we have the same sort of situation at hand. Side Note: The fact that the author writes this car as a “virginity shield” should not be applied into this article. While the Elio is in fact a strange, new design, the fact that it appears to be a “virginity shield” is irrelevant.

    • http://timsitjourney.blogspot.com/ Tim Wells

      But it’s not irrelevant. Unattractive cars don’t last very long. Think of the Pontiac Aztec (which killed the entire brand), the last Ford Thunderbird (which failed even though retro designs were very popular), or even the Subaru SVX. Hideous cars don’t last.

      • Logical Thinker

        While yes, it is true that these cars did fail and ruined their brand, most likely because of their appearance, we do not know WHY these cars are unattractive.

        When looking at pictures of these cars, I could see why they failed and are considered unattractive: They are similar to what previous cars look like, but not close enough and not far enough. This is called the Uncanny Valley and is usually associated with humans, it can also be used on cars. (Here is a video explaining this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEikGKDVsCc)

        While the Elio is a strange design and to some considered a “virginity shield,” it is strange enough to look different, yet familiar enough to be associated as a car. This is how we accept today’s appearance of cars. Remember the Ford Model T? The difference between then and now with the appearance of cars is astounding. This didn’t happen overnight: No, it took about a century. Newer and newer cars were being put out with different appearances. These appearances were not too close to the one before to be considered the same and different enough to be considered to be something else.

        Those cars, in my opinion, were too close to being a car before it and not different enough to be something else. These cars had too many similarities to the cars that they were based off of, thus making us associate those cars with the ones before it and finding faults in comparison to the previous models.

        The Elio might be different, but it is not too different and not too similar, making it still attractive to the eye.

        In summary, I think we can all agree that the attractiveness is important in a car, but we must also take into consideration of WHY that car is unattractive.

      • TJJ300

        Personally, I find this a very attractive vehicle, although I prefer the original’s round headlights. But the most attractive aspect is the operating cost along with the insurance cost. Insurance should be close or at motorcycle cost, which means maybe 20% or less of an automobile. Which will make it attractive as a first car, too.

  • an objective reader

    It’s unfortunate that so many readers feel a need to attack the author.

    A good article should be critical. The last thing I want to read is yet another advertisement.

    As a consumer, Elio will have to work a little harder to convince me. I want something safe, comfortable, reliable and economical. If I wanted a gas-powered motorcycle, I would have already bought one.

    Maybe one day, we’ll all be driving small, light, slow vehicles. But when that happens, I’ll be driving a golf cart, not an Elio.

    Having said that, I welcome all entries into the market. We won’t move beyond our gas-powered monsters until something new comes along.

  • Chad, an Elio hopeful.

    Interesting article. I, too,have been suspicious of the Elio claims from day one. However, I believe that there is a very big market for a small commuter vehicle that gets ultra high gas mileage. I don’t doubt the mileage numbers although I think it will land around 65 mpg for most people who drive 70-80 mph during their commutes.

    When Elio finally opened an escrow account to hold refundable deposits a few months ago, I gave $100 to get on the list. I’m not holding my breath that this vehicle will ever become a reality in my driveway, but as a motorcycle rider, I would be willing to pay a little north of $10k for one of these, because I believe it will deliver the ‘fun’ of a motorcycle and the economy of a moped and the shelter from the elements of car.

    I have posted on Elio’s Facebook page in the past, voicing my skepticism of their numbers. But I’ve also encouraged them by providing my more lenient purchase criteria of 72 mpg at 70 mph and a maximum sticker price of $11.5k. If they can meet that criteria, they will sell millions of these vehicles. I will buy two of them and still have paid less than I would have for an Accord or Sonata.

    Have you seen what a motorcycle costs these days? A Can-Am Spyder, Honda Goldwing or the BMW K1600GTL are all selling for well north of $22k. An Elio, with it’s enclosed cabin, air conditioning, and it’s ability to handle some snow conditions is a very viable option. – Especially if the gas mileage is over 60 mpg.

    I don’t think they will be able to sell these at their initial price point without going broke, but believe me, they will be able to sell this vehicle at numbers that may be greater than their predictions. I don’t even think that my Elio will arrive through a dealership. It will be delivered on a truck to my driveway after I have driven to a dealer far away to take a test ride.

    I wish them luck and I hope it works out. This could be an industry changer for both car and motorcycle manufacturers.

  • http://www.jasonn.com Jason A. Nunnelley

    Uhm, those numbers are shocking. I can see a direct sales program like Tesla did originally. Or, selling through motorcycle dealers and setting small amounts to distribution But, those projections…

  • Tony .Hughes

    While the economic forecast may have some validity your bias is showing in the offhand descriptions of the proposed vehicle. I have placed my $1000 bet on the company succeeding, that’s chump change to me – If I happen to loose my bet, well it won’t be the first time, nor certainly the last. I would beg interested parties to ask themselves – would you rather bet on China or foreign manufacture or a vehicle proposed to be principally made in America?

    Hope sometimes succeeds, I wish Paul all the best and look forward to him beating the odds — despite the hack jobs who wish him failure -

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Nobody’s wishing him failure. Lots of people know enough about the business, though, to see what’s coming his way. If he’s as smart a car man as he is a PR man, he’ll know who to listen to … hint: it ain’t his supporters.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I posted a question asking how he can produce a vehicle this inexpensively. I’ve gotten no response. It seems like a lot of people are just assuming it can be done without having thought it through.

        But -

        But if he can pop out these puppies for somewhere around this cost I’ll bet he could sell some ‘sleds’ to people who want to make a homebrew EV.

        Might be a way to increase volume over what the fuel community will provide.

  • Oliver

    Americans are like five percent of the world’s population. A car in this price range is likely to sell better outside America, and you don’t need an American style dealer network to sell cars in China. I think that’s why you and Elio have different numbers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t think Elio will ever produce and sell cars, much less be a financial success. I just don’t think he’s lying about the potential size of the market.

    As for those of you who think things like this are environmentally friendly, wait until half the world trades their bicycles for them.

  • mhiran

    Thing is, I doubt the sales infrastructure needs to be ramped up so quickly. If I were running Elio, I’d target the big commuter cities – maybe the top 20 population wise in the US. As sales increase, start ramping up stores in other markets, probably more in temperate weather states/ cities. Keep overhead relatively low and scale up accordingly. Perhaps this isn’t the stated goal, but it might make the #’s work better…

    Still a lot needs to be proven here before the Elio concept can have a chance. First is testing, both safety and mpg’s. Not a small hurdle with such a light vehicle. Second is execution. The prototype I saw had too many promised things not in it. The interior materials need to be improved and it needs to be finished with the new engine and transmission. I can’t commit to vague promises. Last, is confidence. Reviews need to be positive by perceived impartial magazines. Word of mouth will be key, but it will be slow at first and there can’t be any big stumbles as momentum picks up.

    Also, how do the #’s look now that the projected asking price is $1000 higher?

    I put on a lot of miles for my job and this kind of mpg’s would help me a lot. I’m not positive this form factor will work for our family, but I’m interested. I hope it works out!

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      At $1000 higher, it’s better. The issue then becomes the lowball costs Elio is projecting for his dealers and the much-higher-than-average per-employee production each store. The other issue is warranty and liability, which may eat up most of that $1000 premium … so, let’s say it goes to $8,000 … is there still a market?

      • http://timsitjourney.blogspot.com/ Tim Wells

        At $8000 the Elio would not be that far off the price of a new Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta or Chevy Spark. Personally, unless I’m commuting enough to need 80mpg, then I’d rather have a known entity with an established dealer/service network than a dicey start-up that may be the next DeLorean.

  • mchi

    I’ve read two of
    your previous articles on Elio, namely the pieces on
    the financials and the news that Caddo Parish had approved the use of the shuttered GM plant for Elio’s plant, and it is obvious to me that you are very skeptical of the
    Elio’s chances of any measure of success. I think that’s good. The press should
    be skeptical. There is too much blind affirmation being passed off as reporting
    in my opinion.

    Your points about
    the overly optimistic financials and unit sales are valid too, in my opinion.
    As are the dealership issues you point out.

    It would seem to
    me that this whole enterprise, by its very nature, is very risky. To start a
    completely new automotive company and offer as your product a single vehicle
    that is radically different than the vast majority of what’s on the road now
    can only be described as a longshot in my opinion. And add to that the fact
    that there may very well be significant obstacles to plating and insuring this
    vehicle in many states, and you’ve got an even longer shot at succeeding.

    So I have to ask
    myself why are so many people lining up to buy one when there isn’t even one to
    buy yet? I don’t believe it is only the gullible that are pre ordering. That
    would seem to fly in the face of statistical market research. This is what I
    believe.

    First, the time
    is right. Timing is critical in bringing a product to market, as I’m sure you
    know. We are at a unique point in the US where the increasing cost of gas,
    coupled with a young generation that is first in about 80 years that does not
    put car ownership at the top of their durable goods wish list because of the
    high initial cost and the high cost of fuel and maintenance. Add to that a
    growing niche market for non-traditional types of transportation, such as
    electric cars, short distance neighborhood vehicles, and hybrids large and
    small, and I can see where there would be a demand. Probably not for 60,000 the
    first year, but quite possible enough to sustain the business long enough to
    tailor the business plan to reality. Most start up business plans err on the
    optimistic side, but the businesses that survive are nimble enough and smart
    enough to accept reality and plan accordingly. And it is entirely possible that
    this is what Elio is counting on. Enough interest to allow them to capitalize
    and tailor their vehicle. You, as an automotive writer have no doubt heard the
    old Detroit mantra ‘You don’t build the car you want, you build the car you can
    sell’. I don’t know if Elio has heard this though, and it’s possible he’s
    building the car he wants and seeing if anyone else wants it. A very small,
    nimble city driver that can also go on the highway, that is unique, energy
    efficient, cheap to operate, and cheap to buy. That would fit in with the
    generation I mentioned above. It would also resonate with a small but growing
    segment that wants a limited use vehicle at a cheaper price for either a second
    or third vehicle, or as a primary for urban dwellers.

    The plant in
    Shreveport is a good choice, I think. It is one of GM’s more modern facilities
    and it was properly shuttered, so it is in usable condition. The price is
    right, even if it is still a very high price, compared to building a new plant.
    The workforce is available and in a right-to-work state the wages would not be
    as high as in a union state, and as you point out, the state and local
    governments are willing to invest in it as well.

    The dealership is
    still a problem for me. Starting a network of dealers with warranty repair
    facilities is going to require a large outlay, even with franchise fees. I
    think you will see a very limited dealership or a partnership with existing car
    dealers or even motorcycle dealerships at first.

    • Bob_Wallace

      What you are probably observing is fairly substantial desire for a cheaper to purchase, cheaper to drive vehicle.

      Buyer desire is not an indication that this particular manufacturer will be able to produce what a segment of the market is looking for.

      And getting from the first unit off the assembly line to the point at which economies of scale allow cost efficient production is not an easy thing. Nissan introduced their LEAF four years ago and their CEO has stated that it will take 500,000 units per year production rates to pull purchase price down to that of ICEVs. Nissan, with its corporate pockets and dealer network, hasn’t reached that level of production.

      There is a lot of interest shown on a few web sites. Add up all the “I’m buying one” people and you might have 50. Certainly not 1,000.

      I find it hard to believe that without the advantage of large volume manufacturing or deep pockets which allow for long term operation at a loss that Elio can market their vehicle for $10k.

      Sure, they could sell a handful for that price in order to gain attention. But operate for months/years losing money on every vehicle out the door?

      • mchi

        I agree this is a long shot. And I know full well that the first 10,000 units are the hardest to sell, and 10,000 Elios won’t make the nut on the loans they’ll have. But economy of scale works two ways. A smaller, leaner workforce and no pension/lawsuit/draw on earnings debits can go a fair way to lessening the mountain they are going to have to climb, even assuming normal startup costs. And although I have no way of verifying this, on the a recent web page it says they are approaching 3,000 in presales. That’s a good figure for not much in the way of advertising and fairly little buzz. When you look at the fact that their red herring tour (as used in the IPO/stock offering definition, not the negative one) has been done on a very low budget. I’d be willing to say that their entire cost center for the tour will be much less than the cost of a marginal print/web/radio/TV ad campaign. That would seem to be a fairly bright and innovative move on their part. I haven’t seen enough of their business plan (or any part, really) to know if this was a fluke or a smart business move, but it seems to be paying off.

  • Reason

    I find your “expert” analysis of the opportunity to be equally as flawed. The ELIO customer is a subset of the millions of the people who are purchasing a new or used economical commuter car. When you consider the millions of Corollas, Fits, Prius, Camrys, Focus that are purchased new and used, the opportunity is far greater that the Volvo or Mini customer. In addtion, the ELIO may grab a small percentage of the half million new motorcycles each year. With the ecomomy stagnent, it’s easy to understand how ELIO could get to about 7/10ths of 1 percent of the opportunity pretty quickly.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      That’s another problem, “Reason”, millions of people don’t buy the cars you mentioned. They don’t even sell at the level Elio wants, with MORE dealers, MORE ads, MORE sales reps, and a readily accessible service and support system.

  • Al Eng

    Yes maybe the numbers don’t add up and I don’t see how they can sell that cheap and turn a profit, BUT BUT the car is cool and the timing is right and we need an inexpensive people mover that saves us money at the pump. This car meets that criteria. I hope it takes off because I am ready to buy NOW!!!!

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Right – and I’m not sure the product is bad. It’s not for me, as it is, but why not start building them on a smaller scale, build up a dealer network, and expand it as the market demands? Basing his numbers on a pipe-dream is never the answer.

      • Al Eng

        Yes I agree. He could start a local dealership and sell them out of there. Use a motor that’s know to every mechanic and it’s longevity does not matter much. People spend more then the cost of the Elio in payments and or repairs in one year plus gasoline then the cost of the vehicle.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          The problem with some of that thinking is that a known motor has to pass emissions – many older motors don’t. Besides, do we really need more “Iron Dukes” on the road? ;)

          I’d love to see a 25 hp Briggs VTwin or something, though – that would do the trick.

          • Al Eng

            I would assume they are using a new motor. All new motors of course have to and will pass emissions. But emissions laws are another subject and I feel they are way to strict and damage industry in America. What’s an Iron Dukes?

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            “Iron Duke” is the nickname given to the ubiquitous GM 4-cylinder engines of the 80s and early 90s. Exactly the kind of engine that’s known to “every mechanic”.

            That said, the prototype is using a 1990s Geo motor, supposedly. It will not pass emissions.

            As for emissions being way too strict and damaging industry: take that ridiculous teabilly nonsense to another blog. Our laws in this country are way too LAX, if anything.

          • Al Eng

            They would not an could not use a motor that does not pass emissions so relax your tailfeathers. We have the strictest emission laws in the world. Overly restrictive and damaging to industry and commerce. I would say to you take your socialist left wing nonsense to another blog. True Americans do not like the govt hammer of rules and regulations. No need for it except to control the people. That’s not what America is about.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’re right. America is all about letting the aristocracy ride roughshod over the serfs.

            Yep. America’s all about dumping industrial waste into our steams. Poisoning our air. Screwing the poor.

            We got it.

            Now, why don’t you take your foolishness elsewhere? This is CleanTechnia, not the Rush Hour.

          • Al Eng

            Take your nonsense to china. No one screws the poor. The poor do the screwing. Man you have been brainwashed. think for yourself.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “No one screws the poor.”

            Pile it deep, Al. Pile it deep.

            Now, you’ve entertained us with enough right wing foolishness. It’s time to get back to how we deal with our climate problem and get fossil fuels out of our lives.

            Capisce?

          • Al Eng

            How does anyone screw the poor? In this country anybody who is willing to get off their lazy arse has opportunities abound. Those few that are incapable we will help. I agree, we need to drill more and produce our own American oil. Fossil fuels are energy given to us. Say good bye to the sheiks and drill baby drill! What climate problem? You mean weather that happens? I know you are not so arrogant to think man can control the climate.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We’re not going to get into denier foolishness here, Al.

            Drop it or go away.

          • Al Eng

            Who are you? You go away. If you have a hard time with free speech you are on the wrong blog.

          • Bob_Wallace

            This ain’t baseball, Al. You don’t get three strikes.

          • Al Eng

            No Nazis allowed here. Get lost.

          • shitty smitty

            Bob is one of those low life Obama lovers who thinks we should all go to work and bust our asses so we can pay his way through life as he sits home and smokes his crack and meth!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Personal attacks are not allowed.

            No second warnings are given.

  • jquigly

    At this point I hope I can get my $100 refundable deposit back if necessary. I gave them the hundred and have not had a second email, only the first confirmation email. However, the tone of this article is unnecessarily negative, in my opinion. Paul Elio didn’t have to do this, he already had a good career. He’s trying to create something new, which is a rare thing, but unfortunately it is common to see people attack and tear down someone’s dream. Make a neat car that can capture market share and damn the environment? There’s plenty of that kind of greed and scheming in the corporate world. I would rather lose a hundred dollars to Elio than to give it to a corporation that doesn’t care about the environment and cheats on taxes.

  • America

    Jo Borras you so transparent. We know you mearly are a paid puke that is printing unconfirmed misinformation. Elio Motors should be suing you for libel How can you continue to bash a company that wants to compete in the market place and now has a production facility and funding to make it happen. Rather than focus on the positive your sponsors have you printing BS and defamatory information. Who are you working for? Why the schizophrenic passive aggressive routine?

    I consider your types to be like economic terrorists. Some of us need jobs and you are dashing our hope and trying to marshal hatred to a potentially great thing for us.

    You have never once considered the export of this product. Even worse and the thing that makes me sick to my stomach is that you have yet to cite any direct interview information. You are merely a paid antagonist. Get a real job!!!! Plus your articles are tripe, filler and Anti-American.

    Whoever is paying you as that is the most probable case is destroying your career. You need to do an inventory check.

    I have a family and we are out of work. Elio offers people like me and my wife hope that more companies like Elio will emerge and TAKE A F#@#NG chance against the big guys to offer jobs, and a new product to the market.

    Stop call your reader fools too….you hipster loser. Were you picked on when you were growing up? NOT COOL DOING THAT TO SOMEONE ELSE

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Go to your TV. Turn of Fox News. Take a walk. Read a book. Learn where the commas go. Then, maybe, come back and we can try to talk like grown-ups again. :)

  • Aaron Siebert

    One More thing, 95% made in The USA. This means almost any American car shop or dealer could work on them without to much difficulties or expense. Motorcycle Dealers as well. Could these Companies even sale the Elio? this would be great for any Motorcycle Dealer and not require much Elio overhead?? just for thought….

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Huh!? That’s a ridiculous statement. How does a product being made on American soil automatically imbue local mechanics with an understanding of how to work on it? You crack me up, dude! :)

      • Aaron Siebert

        I took a look at the engine and it is as strait forward as can be and way more simple than what’s under my hood. Their is a great animated brake down on Elios Webpage check it out. I’m not a mechanic but with time, Google, and YouTube I was able the break my HD down fix a complicated fork seal and put it back together. Ill cut you a little slack with your statement do to your lack of understanding and commitment to the potential use of modern tools, recourses and 2007 market references.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          The prototypes are powered by 1990s-era Geo Metro engines that wouldn’t pass modern emissions standards and pre-dated many of today’s engine computer controls. Straight-forward, it most definitely is.

          That said: what you just described is precisely what many people think is the problem with HDs.

          • Aaron Siebert

            Did you really say the prototype is what you are basing all your info on and the point is proven. and now you want to move on to Harley Davidsons problems. Stay on task Bub. The business plan is sound and there is a plan. Ill play your game, Solar panels are going on roofs, Glass that can bend has been invented and implemented, computers continue to improve, there is still a Rover on mars, unmanned drones patrol the sky’s from pilots that are half way around the world and you think this will fail. You have a chance but its slim to none. Again Nice Try…Next week we will take a close look at the human brain and its inability to adapt. also the new use of the more than one horse buggy and a thing on rails we call it a Train. All of witch have found a way into our lives. Again if this Elio is this great, it is and will be a threat to a lot of businesses. Don’t get me wrong I get it for every good thing that is on its way there is a bad thing trying to keep it down. Some one once said, “everything that can been invented has been” you know this guy..Don’t ya. LOL

          • http://androidpcreview.com/ Tim Wells

            History is full of examples of great technology that failed once it got to market. Think of the WebTV (or GoogleTV), Sony BetaMax or Minidisc, Laserdisc, The Edsel, New Coke. If you’d like a more personal example, since you love your Harley, how many motorcycles has Buell sold last year? Oh wait…

            I think the Elio is a great idea and I honestly hope to see a ton of them on the roads. But if the financial numbers aren’t there, no amount of wishing is going to make it a success.

  • Aaron Siebert

    You left out the Credit Card buying plan that is simple and speed up sales. Big possibilities low cost., You did math on cars that cost way over 10,000 with high insurance costs,My Math shows that many people will be able to park there vehicle with insurance and all, buy and operate an Elio and still save money. Car or Motorcycle this is a business and if managed correctly I see it happening. This is what the country needs. Not someone with no valid plan, just complaining. If this works Big Car Companies are in trouble and you know it?? Nice try.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Right, because putting things on credit cards is always the answer. Where were you in 2007? You could have saved the economy! LOL

      Joke.

      • Aaron Siebert

        You missed the point and the deal….the credit card is for gas only at 3 times the coast with the off set going to pay for the car. It is business and a great option. Its obvious to me you had no idea what I was talking about so I imagine you spent about Two minutes doing your research with your math and formula based of off 2007 technology. how about this for a joke….. I pay $90 for my truck to go 350 miles in about two weeks with a monthly payment of $350 full coverage $150 total $590. With the Elio, interest credit card with the payment plan, insurance way, way, way, way, less. Is this Elio doesn’t come out, its due to its treat to our now so expensive lives and all the companies that will stand to lose lots of money. your comeback is week and do nothing to answer my statement…again Nice Try…

        • Aaron Siebert

          Just one more thing of all the million people that can afford a over $10000 car there are millions more that could defiantly afford a $8000 dollar car the market of a brand new car for less than $8000 was a long time ago and this could be it. Part time workers can afford this….Oh No! What will be next a guy like you complaining that paved driveways don’t make a difference and cant be affordable! LOL? Cracking you up or not someone still builds and repairs them.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The Elio just sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

            Hummmmmmmmmmmm…….

  • American Car Buff

    Jo I am disappointed that you felt it necessary to attacked an upstart company that has stepped up to provide an alternative solution for our current wasted energy issues we are having. You are seemingly bashing the American dream and taking a stance against a company that has not asked for government handouts, but rather is taking for “REFUNDABLE” reservations. What is the risk in that? If you do not like that car do not accuse them of being a scam or having ill intent. I personally have a reservation on one have sat in an Elio AND driving one.

    Why not reach out to Elio Motors and do an interview with them? Drive one yourself. I normally enjoy your articles, but was shocked that you have been on a crusade to attack Elio. The thing that is even more shocking is that you are promoting the T27 which has no real time frame and is being ambiguous about production.

    I personally can not afford a car from the Big 3 or major car companies and only drive myself to work. So this vehicle makes perfect sense. I can not afford an electric car. I am not one to be easily sold, but I love the Elio and can not wait to own one :)

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      As I mentioned elsewhere, the T27 is designed by a game-changing engineer with a proven track record for innovation at the highest levels. He has the humility to say “I don’t know how to manufacture in large scale, so I’m handing it off”. I respect people who know that there are limits.

      Regarding Elio, I don’t see a lot of real innovation here. That’s an opinion, sure, but when someone starts talking about going form 0-250,000 unit sales, and maintaining that 250,000 number out into infinity (as the numbers provided suggest) it undermines their credibility.

  • Matt Lukes

    Using the reference data, could one predict the actual use for the money? Is the intent to use the funding gathered so far for a purpose other than that which is stated? Is Paul gonna take the money and run? A small probability that could occur does exist. I would like to believe that is not the intent. I want to believe that said product will be delivered. Time will tell.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      No, no – I don’t believe Paul is in a position to take the money and run. I think the issue is that, if you plan something huge enough, and it doesn’t materialize, you wouldn’t be on the hook to pay back salaries, stock profits, etc. In other words: the big risk is all on the investors, it seems like.

  • Kyle Field

    I personally have no desire to purchase another gas powered vehicle…but if I did, I would put my safety first and go with a Chevy Volt or other similar hybrid vehicle. On the other end of the spectrum, my gas guzzling scooter gets 85mpg and was only $1700…granted, this is more like a car, but is also less visible in my opinion. Anyways…good luck to those of you who reserved one. I hope it pans out and you are one of the folks who gets an Elio.

    • Jo Borras

      I think you’ve hit the issue right on the head. Despite the 5 star safety rating Paul Elio claims he’d get if the cars were ever crash tested, it doesn’t “jive” mentally as a safe car. The Smart has a similar cultural perception.

      • Djflashlinx

        Are you telling me that if you look at a Smartcar, that it “jives” mentally as a safe car, seriously I have never met anyone who would say that.

        • Djflashlinx

          But I sure see a ton of them driving around!!!

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          No, I’m saying the opposite. Despite being actually pretty safe, people perceive the Smart as being a death-trap. The Elio has the same problem, IMO: even if the numbers say it’s safe, people will look at it and think “small marble”, then look at a Honda Civic and think “big marble”.

  • Josh McNattin

    I’m not going to argue that this isn’t a dire looking picture, but that aside, using MINI as a comparison doesn’t really fly. MINI is niche car that doesn’t get phenomenal gas mileage, has a high sticker/resale price, has formed a bad reputation for reliability, repair cost and convenience (it’s my understanding that if I owned one, I’d have to drive (or have car transported) two hours for some routine service items due to a need for specialized equipment to perform these tasks. Elio’s philosophy is that this car will be a secondary inexpensive vehicle in most families garages to increase gas mileage, whether or not that will fly remains to be seen with the actual market. There are those who think this car is a great idea, there are those who think it stinks (and who seem to have a lot of time on their hands to go around trashing cars that are trying to change things for the better. And you want to talk about virginity shields?) For me, I’m single, I plan on having a second car that’s a garage queen, that I want to keep out of the elements and keep the miles low on and that also tends to suck gasoline. The Elio to me is something that will encourage me to do road trips more often, when I see that I can drive round trip from Illinois to California for $215, I don’t have to rent a car when I get there and save gas driving between San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, etc. it’s a dream come true. In any case, your insults only serve to give away your heated desire to see this project fail and thus your credibility is dented. We shall see.

    • http://androidpcreview.com/ Tim Wells

      The comparison to -any- car company currently selling vehicles in the US doesn’t really fly. The closest thing really would be a Can-Am Spyder. Admittedly this is more of a motorcycle, but it is still a niche vehicle like the Elio. A quick look online has their 2009 sales at 12,500 vehicles, making 250,000 vehicles an -extremely- optimistic number. They’ll be lucky to sell 10% of that.

      Personally, I love small cars (as long as they’re designed well). My last car was a MINI Cooper, so I don’t know where you’re getting your information about reliability issues, btw.

      The Elio is a great idea, but I think your example of driving from Illinois to California isn’t valid. Taking into account travel time, fuel and lodging along the way, air travel is much more cost effective.

      • Nick

        The 3 wheeler your comparing too is 20 grand and open . No heat , or air , no auto trans , and MPG is about 35 . I agree with the author the numbers are suspect and we are looking at high risk . However if they can get going they very well may surprise everyone . As was pointed out the price is $2500 per unit more then they put in their estimates . There is no guarantee that will not be inflated either and or the air bags will not be able to be used do to cost . You do have to ask yourself can I afford to loose my reservation money if this company does not get off the ground ? His argument is valid just as those of us who want one believe there is a chance this will all work out .
        I bought my first new vehicle at 17 it was a Ford Courier and cost $3600 . The driving force was gas milage savings would make the payment with the miles I drove to work so why not have a new dependable vehicle over my then 12 year old full size pickup . Min wage was $1.35 then it was 1976 and 2666 hours was how long I would have to work to pay it off . Now the Elio is $6800 and min wage is $7.25 which comes out to about 937 hours . The energy differential is about 300% over the average MPG for a vehicle now compared to about 125% for the Courier back in 76 . Those are amazing figures especially with the cost of gas in relation to min wage now driving interest in a vehicle with 60 mpg capability . You are going to see allot of demand because of the affordability and low operating costs . Maintenance should be minimal for responsible owners . Lets hope these guys take and get a good swing at hitting this venture out of the park . However history and recent history at that is full of companies that failed before launch or within a few years like the ” Big Easy ” of Defiant Motors and the Laforza .

    • Jo Borras

      If you don’t think a tandem-seated three-wheeler is a niche vehicle, sir, I’m afraid you need to take another look around.

      • RIMSPOKE

        I HAVE 4 MESERSCHMITTS & A FREEWAY SO IT

        WOULDN’T BE A NICHE VEHICLE AT MY HOUSE .

        • Bob_Wallace

          Cut the Caps Lock stuff.

          • Jo Borras

            To be fair, if I had 3 Meserschmitts and a Freeway I’d probably bang it out in all-caps, as well! :)

  • djw77

    Jo, just thought of this. In your bulleted points, you compare sales to some quite expensive vehicles. I agree, maybe 250,000 is too many. Setting your biases aside, what do you think a reasonable sales goal is? What are some reasonable comparisons to make? A four wheeler or some motorcycles are in this price range. How many of those are sold? How many used small cars are sold per year that might, as you suggest, be the competition for an Elio. That might be a more fair comparison than a Land Rover.
    I have long thought that a very large demographic is often overlooked. Not many people live in a small town compared to the cities but there is one heck of a lot of small towns out there. In towns with population from 4k to 80k a small, inexpensive car is all you need to go wherever you want or to just bounce back and forth to work. Think it might work in that demographic?

    • Jo Borras

      Good point!

      The numbers are about 3.3 used cars for every new car, but the competition becomes much more fierce, since a $15,000 new car with 2 years and 20,000 miles on it would easily be within the reach of a potential Elio buyer, and have a larger dealer/parts/support network to play in. A $30,000 new car with 4 years and 50,000 miles on it would play in that league, also. It’s tough.

      That said, the comparison isn’t that you’d buy an Elio or a Land Rover, it’s that Land Rover, Volvo, etc. have established dealer networks, service departments, warranties, etc. and don’t do the numbers Paul thinks he will based on … what? Price? Cost per mile? If those were carbuyers’ primary concerns, no one would buy a new car at all.

      Anyway, I’d love to see these things happen at 5,000 units/year, which would still be about 1/week sold per 120 “dealers”, and – at that volume – they could be rolled into an existing … let’s say “Subaru” dealership or other motorcycle dealer.

      • Cameron Schwartz

        I wanted to get my numbers straight before posting this comment. I’m going to call BS on your “Potential Elio Buyer” equations.

        You stated that the following scenarios would put an Elio Buyer “easily in reach” of the a good used car

        Scenario 1:
        $15,000 New Car

        @2 Yrs Old w/ 20,000 Miles

        Scenario 2:
        $30,000 New Car
        @4 Yrs Old w/ 50,000 Miles

        Here is the following from my research.
        New Vehicle MSRP was pulled from AOL Autos.
        Used Vehicle Pricing was pulled from KBB.

        Scenario 1

        2011 Honda Civic DX 4D
        New – $15,805
        Used – $12,090 w/20,000 miles

        2011 Nissan Sentra 2.0
        New – $16,060
        Used – $14,149 w/20,000 miles

        2011 Kia Forte
        New – $14,995
        Used – $12,402 w/20,000 miles

        Scenario 2

        2009 Honda Odyssey EX

        New – $29,455
        Used – $19,188 w/50,000 miles

        2009 Chevrolet Traverse LS
        New – $29,215
        Used – $17,250 w/50,000

        I stand to differ that your calculations do not put the Elio into the same scenarios as you have stated.

        Here is what I could get for $7,200 according to KBB

        2005 Honda Civic DX 4D w/ 96,000 miles

        Ok, KBB is high priced?

        Here is a real world example for my area.

        Cars.com Honda Civics in the Elio Range

        $7,200 – 2006 Civic EX 140,000 miles

        $6,999 – 2003 Civic EX 95,000 miles
        $6,990 – 2006 Civic LX 96,450 miles

        Jo, can you please explain your pricing and show some examples of where you found your data?

        • Jo Borras

          Sure thing. I’m basing my reasoning on the idea that most people will be financing their vehicle – whether it’s an Elio or a used car. Banks don’t like to finance motorcycles for exceptionally long terms, which is what the Elio, in many states, is. Based on a 72-month term, that $14,149 Sentra is going to be somewhere in the $220-230 range (assuming sales tax, interest, etc. is rolled in). At 48 months, a $5959 would be in the $150-160 range, possibly with higher insurance and certainly with some cultural hurdles to overcome re: perceived safety, practicality, etc. I’m guessing lots of people will opt to pay $2 more/day to drive a known quantity.

          Again, “in reach” does not equal “the same”. Also, you happened to pick some higher-resale holding examples. Playing the same game gets me a $10,740 Chevy Aveo (http://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/aveo/2011-chevrolet-aveo/ls-sedan-4d/?condition=excellent&vehicleid=352564&intent=buy-used&mileage=20000&category=sedan&pricetype=retail) while a comparable 2013 Chevy Sonic can’t be found within 50 miles of me (according to Chevy’s website) for less than $15,800.

          • Heyman What About Bob

            Why would the insurance be more expensive have you looked at a cost to insure a motorcycle it is cheap compared to a car. On top of that it is supposed to have a 5 star crash safety rating. If that happens you will have rich or wealthy people buying them for there kids graduation gifts like fly’s on horse shit. So they won’t even have to worry about financing. Now I will admit the numbers need a little tuning but the car based solely on the price and the gas mileage can definitely make it. Oh and I have to laugh about your aveo and sonic comment, you called the Elio a virginity shield its far more fun looking and attractive than both of those cars at half the price and still double the mpg. Lastly in reading a lot of your post you seem to guess a lot, my question when and where were you in the car business? I have seen one car salesman sell 20 high line Acuras in a week and they are almost always financed. The Elio won’t need to be. Just saying.

          • shitty smitty

            That’s right!! And this dumbass Jo didn’t even bother to look at the Elio website. Their financing is mainly a gas card in which everytime you purchase gas for the elio, they will bill your gas credit card triple with 2/3 of the payment going towards the balance of the Elio and the other third going towards the gas purchase. Buyers won’t even need to get a loan as they will just get this gas card and walk out with their new car no money down!!

      • NERDWORLD PROBLEMS

        When Honda first started selling cars in this country they made fun of them too. It took 3 yrs and an energy crisis before people embraced the cheap, small, light weight, energy efficient cars. Look at them now. The price of gas, the job market and the outrageous prices on even the most basic cars here in this country has the potential to launch this vehicle all the way into his dream numbers in a single yr. Especially with the program he plans to launch where you don’t have to pay for the car up front, you pay for it through your fuel purchases. You say virginity shield, anything that saves you enough money to be able to date isn’t a virginity shield. If you can’t afford to leave the house because you don’t make shit for money, that’s a virginity shield.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          That was different. A little history lesson might help tone your enthusiasm, so here goes:

          When Honda first came to this country, you didn’t buy cars off the lot. You went to a dealer, looked at some examples, then bought out of an order book. The car would be built, then trucked to your dealer. It would take weeks, but everyone had a mostly custom car. When Honda came to the US, they realized that model wouldn’t work for them, so they shipped over cars in base, LS, and EX trims (for example). Dealers could add dealer-installed options like a tape deck or an AC, but, for the most part, the cars came in 3 trim levels following “good, better, best”. Toyota was the same, and they sold cars THAT DAY. It revolutionized the industry so profoundly that people who don’t study it almost never realize that how it is isn’t always how it was.

          Add to that, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan were vastly superior to domestic product in terms of reliability and, yes, performance. They spanked the domestics by being objectively better, and the domestics responded by improving objectively. Today, there are very few “bad cars”, and almost all of them get improved within a year.

          That’s a very different marketplace than the one Honda and Toyota faced in the US 50 years ago, and playing the “that’s what people said about Honda” card doesn’t fly. It’s also what people said about Renault, Rover, MG, and any number of failed brands, too. Why is it an inspirational thing to hear when it’s on your side, and dead wrong when it’s not?

      • shitty smitty

        Jo your full of shit..you can’t compare total sales of Jaguar and range rover when 90% of people can’t afford those cars. Virtually anyone with a job can afford the Elio so they will actually sell a shit load of them. Plus with that kind of MPG on the Elio, people will be lining up to make a purchase. You clearly know nothing about car sales and saying that Elio can only sell 1 car a week per 120 dealers is ludicrous!! They will average 5-10 sales per day per dealership easily!!!! Get a clue dude!

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          1. *you’re

          2. If price is what drives sales, how do you explain the fact that Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc. all sell more examples of their $30K ish sedans than their $15K sedans?

          3. If MPG was that important, why don’t Americans buy diesel cars like the Chevy Cruze or VW Jetta in greater numbers than their larger, gas-engined siblings?

          4. I know more than you, apparently.

          5. 5-10 sales per day, per dealer would make every Elio dealer a 200-300 unit/month store, which (currently) is the realm of a select few Ford, Toyota, and Honda megastores. Are you sure you researched what an average dealership sells? What car sales trends have looked like for the last 30 years? The last 3 years? The last 3 days?

          I’m guessing you have not.

  • Josh McNattin

    So you need a car to get laid?

    • Jo Borras

      LOL! I need all the help I can get, brother!

    • yellowdogdemocrat

      Yes that must be what he means by “virginity shield”. It’s stupid yes but it serves his purposes to constantly bash the car.

  • djw77

    Thanks for the information. Looks like you did your homework for all of us. I was truly hoping the Elio had a chance. Wouldn’t it be great if a safe, fuel efficient, one or two-seater, made from stock parts, having fantastic fuel economy and selling for $8k could be made? It is a great business idea, but, perhaps, not a great business plan. Sorry, but hybrids are too expensive, too complex, too inefficient (in totality) and (did I say this already) too Expensive.
    BTW, was it really necessary to insult people rather than just inform them?

    • Jo Borras

      I think the Elio has a chance … but not like this. Not with crazy, inflated numbers and promising the moon and the stars without drawing a plan on how to get there. If he wanted to build 500 in year 1, 1500 in year 2, etc. and build up to the demand, that would be an entirely different matter.

  • srichey321

    Hopefully, this isn’t true. This car would do really well in Southern Ca.

    • Jo Borras

      Go look at the financials yourself, and see what you think. Sadly, my take on it read “scam”.

      • srichey321

        I think we will find out for sure in the next 6 months.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          I’ll give you 24 months!

  • Paul Kuehnel

    You would probably have more credibility if you didn’t refer to the Elio as a “virginity shield”. In a sea of overpriced electric cars that waste more energy than they spare compared to fossil fuel and are more likely powered by coal, really inefficiency. The overpriced, over complicated hybrids. Elio actually is trying to make a product that is is an affordable alternative to all the “green” BS out there. At least give the man credit for that.

    • Jo Borras

      Perhaps, but Gas 2 is a different blog – definitely more “loose” and showing a lot more personality. That said, any new product has a few obstacles to overcome, and one of those is going to be public perception – this is why Tesla went for the sportscar crowd as its “early adopters”. They experience it, like it, talk about it, etc. It’s a cool product. The Elio? Yeesh … it’s going to be a tough slog for that “car” being marketed as a budget entry, because budget entries aren’t cool. That said, whatever I think of the trike doesn’t matter if their business plan and financials don’t hold water.

      • Paul Kuehnel

        To me a Tesla is not “cool”. $100,000 for an electric motor and batteries. Wow that is really innovative. A bunch of rich people associate the nameplate with 100g and impressing everyone. Just buy a BMW Diesel, it’s probably greener and the batteries won’t all need replacing for $$$ at 100K?. Electric cars are just a subsidized waste of resources unless you have a hydo plant in the back yard. Tesla was a waste of government funding. The Elio is something anyone could jump into and it targets people with lost incomes, like seniors with lost pensions and students and anyone who has been priced out of the new car market for years. A green car for the masses and those who have been priced out of the market is alot more impressive to me than grabbing the gov hand out and making a $100G car most people can’t buy. I think any of those people might find an Elio “cool”. Electric motors and batteries have been around for over 100 years… Yawn.

        • Will

          how was it a waste? They paid back in ful the loan nearly a decade ahead of time, their financials are doing awesome and they are selling a lot of cars. It has created many jobs. they are having a crossover suv model coming out next year and a low cost (estimated 25K) model in 3-4 years. They are a success story by any standard.

          • Paul Kuehnel

            It’s a waste because they used government funding to make jewelry for people who only have high incomes can afford and electric cars in general are a waste of resources unless you live in Quebec and have 90% hydro. You have to make electricity often by coal, nat gas, nuke… then you loose energy making electricity, loose energy pushing through wires, loose energy chemically storing the energy in a batter and loose energy again releasing that energy to the wheels. In my town that is coal/nuke/natural gas a Tesla is a coal powered car only using about 10%? of the energy generated to hit the wheels? So we have to overbuild electrical infrastructure to power cars only rich people can afford that extract only a fraction of the energy originally generated…and that was funded by the gov. I call that a waste.

          • Bob_Wallace

            So driving with gasoline is a good thing to you? Driving a vehicle which wastes 80% of the energy in its fuel and creates pollution which kills thousands?

            We’re in the early days of a transition away from fossil fuels. Coal use in the US has dropped from over 50% of our electricity to under 40% and will continue to drop. And drop rapidly as we close many coal plants over the next couple of years.

            Wind and solar are going to grow from 3.5% last year to about 5% this year. And their percentage contribution will rise again in 2014, and 2015, and 2016, and ….

            Oil/gasoline will never get cleaner. Our grids will.

            Elon and Tesla have greatly sped us up toward the day we will close the last gas station.

          • Paul Kuehnel

            Bob, driving an electric car wastes even more energy than any fuel powered car. Here is what powers a Tesla in the US.

            Coal 37%
            Natural Gas 30%
            Nuclear 19%
            Hydropower 7%
            Other Renewable 5%
            Petroleum 1%
            Other Gases < 1% .eia.gov
            12% is renewable. Ironically a Tesla is 30% powered by Nat Gas (after it looses about 90% of it's energy though wires and storage), which if you would just burn it in an internal combustion engine would be emitting less pollutants because it would be alot more efficient. 37% of a Tesla in the U.S is powered by coal, really inefficiently. 19% of a Tesla is powered by creating nuclear waste, after the electric car wastes most of that generated power. So as you say we have 5% renewable, where much is lost to wires and battery storage. I would be more impressed if they came up with a natural gas engine. Burning a fuel directly is always more efficient than running an electric appliance. I am not saying a fossil fuel car is better. I am saying 250,000 people getting 83 mpg with a clean 3 cyl direct injection engine does more for the equation then a few actors in LA driving expensive jewelry powered by mostly coal, nuke and gas, extremely inefficiently. Just because it's quiet and doesn't have a tailpipe doesn't mean it's a good idea. The electric car market came and went at the turn of the century.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “12% is renewable.”

            In 2014 it will be more than 12%. In 2015 it will be something larger. And on and on….

            An electric vehicle powered by 100% coal-electricity is slightly more CO2 emitting than a well-maintained ICEV. With our grids 12% renewable we have moved below the 100% coal point.

            Increasing our fleet gas mileage is a good thing. If someone can make an affordable vehicle that gets 80 MPG, that’s a good thing. But in the long run we have to quit using fossil fuels.

            Now this is simply absurd. You should hang your head in shame after making a statement like this…

            “after it looses about 90% of it’s energy though wires and storage”

          • Paul Kuehnel

            Oh come on, people who believe in the electric car fad with the current power generation system should hang their heads in shame for driving them. It’s probably higher than 90% energy loss by the time the energy from the coal, nuke and gas hits the wheels. They should let the renewables grow the current power grid, so we don’t have to use more coal, gas and nuke and not suck down resources with such inefficient energy transfer multiplied by more electric vehicles. Just transmitting power over lines is a huge energy loss even before storage and converting back to energy. Add a cold day to with reduced range it’s even less efficient. Electric cars are a head in the sand approach to energy use, it feels good and people make believe it’s good because it’s quiet and doesn’t have a tailpipe, it must be good.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Keep on digging that hole deeper and deeper. You’re almost at the irrelevant level.

          • Paul Kuehnel

            You don’t say anything that is logical “An electric vehicle powered by 100% coal-electricity is slightly more CO2 emitting than a well-maintained ICEV” huh? Here is an example of how inefficient an electric vehicle uses energy. For every 100 units of energy produced at the power plant 2 units of that energy light a bulb in your house. http://www.nap.edu/reports/energy/sources.html Electrical generation by nature is inefficient. Now add to that chemical storage in the car’s battery, loss, and converting back to energy. That’s alot of coal to power an electric car.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Take a look at the right side of the graph.

            You can keep on going on about coal, but coal is a dead man walking. We’re moving to a renewable energy grid.

            We didn’t all start driving cars the day after Henry introduced the T, it took a few years to transition away from horses.

          • Paul Kuehnel

            Your graph is from a 2006 article comparing hydrogen http://phys.org/news85074285.html Maybe the 90% recovery number means something else. By stating 100% renewable it is not taking into account the current power grid loss of burning fuel to make energy. It takes about 4 times the power generated at a plant to make the car go according to this electrical engineer http://www.kenrockwell.com/business/electric-cars.htm Now think if we all drove them and it took as much as four houses to charge them up, plus all the new power stations and transmission lines hanging over homes

            I agree, with 100% renewable, electric cars make sense as your grid suggests not 12%. I just don’t see current electric cars as any breakthrough in technology worth recognition or worth deploying in 2013. The technology has been around 100 years and can be used whenever it makes sense. Someone who can bring affordable transportation and squeeze the current common fuels and get the masses out of cars right NOW that get 3x the current mpg is far more interesting and worthy of gov funding.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Well, close your eyes as we go on without you.

            The batteries we have now bear no resemblance to what was available 100 years ago. And the batteries we have under development will be another major step ahead.

            (Ken Rockwell? Why didn’t you link to someone more credible like Glen Beck?)

            “Now think if we all drove them and it took as much as four houses do to charge them up, plus all the new power stations and transmission lines hanging over homes”

            What would that be like? Well, we’d cruise home at night and either plug in or park over a wireless charger. Then overnight we’d get our cars all charged up for the next day.

            We could do that right now for 85% of all US cars, we have that much spare capacity during off-peak hours.

            We’d need to add some outlets for about 40% of all cars. We’d have to upsize some neighborhood transformers.

            We’d avoid having to stop at gas stations.

            We’d not have to fight any more oil wars.

            We’d have thousands fewer Americans dying each year from car pollution.
            We’d create a massive market for wind energy. And all that new wind capacity would mean a lot more cheap wind energy to help bring down our daytime electricity costs.

            I like all those thoughts….

          • Paul Kuehnel

            Your link, well it didn’t even have a link to story I had to find it, was to a 2006 story about Hydrogen vs EV using 100% renewable that didn’t even have anything to do with with the current power grid, so I wouldn’t judge about bad sources. Surely there are better ones out there.

            We don’t “create” markets for wind energy, lowest cost source and incentives drives energy creation. We didn’t create an electric car market, we piled on gov incentives, mandates, and loans to make them. They don’t sell themselves. The idea would be dead in the U.S. free market.

            Right now in Pennsylvania, where I live, is about fracking and natural gas. The subsidies for photo cells has dried up here, the utilities won’t pay people who invested, and nat gas is cheap. So an electric car would be a fracking gas car, which at least is our own fuel, but would be more efficient just to burn Nat gas in an ICE engine and skip all the wires and batteries.

            We do have many people dying from pollution, but right now electric cars don’t really do much because they just burn the stuff our power plants make. China makes the most pollution. Their electric cars would really be burning dirty coal, but they can’t sell them either.

            I agree that if people would charge off peak that power production pretty much runs if you use it or not, but that is where dreams and reality collide. Humans like to jump in cars and drive, they don’t like to think, long range electric cars are not really practical.

            American consumers don’t like to do what is good for them even if you force it. That is why they will drive an F250 for a grocery getter.

            And as much as you try to discredit me personally with your slights, I am as far from Glen Beck as a human can get.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Paul, you want to believe that EVs are not the way forward. Fine. I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise because you have shown that you are willing to make stuff up and to dismiss facts in order to maintain your belief.

            Have a nice day.

          • rogkyer

            Jo, re your comparison. In your opinion, is it easier to sell 25000 cars @ $6800 or 25000 cars @ $40000? If you feel there is no difference, why doesn’t Volvo have 25000 customers putting down $100 deposits for their cars?

          • EDgarpoet

            Bob,
            when you mention “renewable” energy are you doing away with the laws of thermo dynamics?
            every form of energy know to mankind is non-renewable
            in the sense that it changes chemically from the process of burning to create heat. Coal fired electric plants are NOT
            going away because of the scare tactics of the anti-nuke
            groups in the good old USA.
            Electricity remains the most polluting form of energy, and the most environ. damaging processes known to man.
            Electric cars are wasteful, inefficient, too expensive to own,
            and really just a “toy” for the wealthy. Tesla put their sales
            dealership in Menlo Park, close to Atherton where the filthy rich people live, why? because that’s their customers.
            And those are the very people that could not give a rats ass
            about the environment! A small car that can get 84 MPG!
            Made in USA by USA workers! I think its GREAT!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Renewable energy is generally defined as energy that comes from resources which are continually replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy

            Electricity from coal is very polluting.

            US coal use is declining. It peaked at around 56% and has fallen to about 40%. We now have about 25% of our coal plants scheduled to close in the next couple of years and we will not replace them with more coal plants. Coal is a dead man walking.

            Transportation using petroleum is very polluting.

            Almost all car manufacturers are now bringing EVs and PHEVs to the market. Battery prices are falling and will almost certainly increase in capacity. Driving an EV costs about the same as driving a 50 MPG Prius on $1.60/gallon gasoline. If it were possible to purchase gasoline for $1.60/gallon. The oil industry’s days are numbered.

            Electricity from nuclear reactors is too expensive to consider.

            The nuclear renaissance faltered and nuclear is now being pushed off the table due to the very rapid drop in wind and solar power costs. Nuclear is another dying industry.

            Welcome to the 21st Century. It is not the old century of fossil fuels and nuclear hopes which never fulfilled their fans wishes.

            All technology starts expensive and then generally falls in price as manufacturers perfect their processes and economies of scale kick in. People with plenty disposable incomes are generally the early adopters.

            The USA makes some good stuff and makes some crap. The same can be said of just about every manufacturing country. We’re starting to see better products coming out of GM and Ford, but Asian and German manufacturers continue to kick our butts. Tesla is our one car manufacturer of whom we can be truly proud. They have created an outstanding vehicle, unlike anything the world has seen before.

          • Energy Solutions

            Mr. Bob Wallace,
            I work in the industrial and commercial Energy markets here in the US and have done so for more then 15 years. I deal with Energy Supply, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Issues related to generation, recycling, and soil “green” energy sources are not nearly efficient enough to replace fossil fuels and likely will not be for at least 50 more years.
            So instead of all of this childish bickering, work hard towards more efficient fossil fueled vehicles and also work hard towards developing more cost effective, environmentally friendly, and more efficient “green” energy solutions.
            Just remember that all these current hybrids and electric cars throughout their life cycle cost nearly 3x as much as a current fossil fuel car. The batteries alone are hazardous to manufacture and even more hazardous to recycle. Plus the amount of energy and natural gas that goes into that very life cycle makes present day “green” vehicles anything but good for the planet.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, your comment is full of fail.

            Renewables are replacing fossil fuels right now.

            EVs are cheaper to own and drive over their lifetime than similar model ICEVs.

            Batteries are not nearly as hazardous as gasoline and we do a great job of recycling car batteries.

            I have no idea how you “deal” with ” Energy Supply, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Issues” but I am sure that your employers are wasting their money paying your salary.

          • Ken_Hedrick

            Wow, Bob_Wallace, everything you just said was a “Fail”. You sound like a drone, believing what you say because you want it to be true, but you’re ignoring and denying “facts”, scientific facts, not “opinion”. The other commentators are arguing from an intellectual standpoint and are backing up what they’re saying with reason and facts that are indisputable to those capable of arguing with facts. Believing something isn’t enough to make it true, believing in facts is enough.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, Ken.

            Give us some proof that renewables are not producing more of our electricity and that fossil fuel use is not falling.

            Show us the numbers that prove EVs are more expensive to drive over the normal lifetime of a vehicle.

            Give us some data that shows batteries more dangerous than gasoline.

            Over to you….

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            HA! Good catch, Bob.

          • ViewsAboutIssues

            Where are you getting your data on energy production and usage? If you look at the US Dept. of Energy forecasts for the next couple decades, you will see coal and natural gas expanding globally at roughly the same pace as renewable sources. Energy demand worldwide is increasing. For newly industrialized countries fossil fuels provide a cheap and effective way to provide the energy they need.

            Fossil fuels are also responsible for transporting everything we buy as consumers in some way. No one has come close to replacing semi trucks as a way to transport goods quickly and efficiently.

            So fossil fuels are here to stay. In fact if you look at the DOE reports and forecasts, fossil fuels are an expanding source of energy.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Well, where is this extra coal going to get burned?

            China, the largest consumer of coal, has announced that they are going to cap their use of coal and role it back.

            The US now has 150 coal plants scheduled to close over the next few years.
            Germany is replacing its less efficient plants with super-critical coal plants which will lower their overall usage.

            Australia is announced that they are closing 9 GW of coal plants with more to come.

            India is running in to a significant water problem which is hurting their ability to mine/clean and burn coal. Plus the rising cost of fossil fuel is hurting their ability to transport it. They’ve moving to more wind and solar.

            The EIA seems to make predictions by placing a ruler along the historical record and drawing a straight line into the future. They seem to not take into account what is actually happening in the real world when it comes to predictions.

            They missed the rapid increase in solar installations by giving a ‘straight line’ prediction when most people in the industry were talking about how the rapid drop in panel prices was going to accelerate installations.

            They are predicting prices for wind and solar in 2018 that are greater than current prices.

            Natural gas, it’s somewhat cheap in the US but the price is rising. Wind is now cheaper than NG and solar will soon be. In most of the rest of the world NG is not cheap.

            “No one has come close to replacing semi trucks as a way to transport goods quickly and efficiently”

            We could do most of our shipping with electrified rail. Use trucks for only the “last mile”.

            Some improvement in battery capacity and EVs will quickly replace ICEVs.
            Emerging countries are installing a lot of wind, solar and geothermal. It makes no sense for them to build expensive coal plants and then spend their valuable cash for fuel. The same will happen when the price of EVs drops some more. By installing wind and solar developing countries can avoid expensive fuel imports.

          • Mengineer

            Unfortunately Bob, you are mistaken on some of your views. Give us facts. Show us something that actually backs up your claims. Until then anything you have said or will say, in my opinion, is not valid and should be dismissed. The US isn’t backing coal anymore because the world bank’s portfolio consists of only 10% coal and four times that amount in renewable resources. There is no money in it for the them. China is still using an average of 1.32B (28.7%) tons of coal, with the U.S. behind them at 1B (23.3%) tons/yr. followed by India at 330M (7%) tons. That’s nearly a third of the US consumption. Lets talk about electricity, yes they are making batteries better now than even 10 years ago, but do you know anything about electricity? DC vs. AC? How the electrons move? Obviously not, because DC is far less efficient than AC. That’s why all our homes are supplied with AC and not DC. How are EV’s being powered? DC! So you take the AC coming into your house at 2 phase, 240V, 60 A, it needs stepped down via a transformer to 120V. You then take this 120 volt leg and plug your car into it, that takes it and converts it into direct current to charge your batteries. All of these processes consume energy making it less and less efficient. I’m not discounting the veracity of your claim, I’m saying think about it, if EV is the way to go, everyone would be doing it. Electric vehicles will be a novelty until someone figures out a way to use AC to power the vehicles and stop using a stored charge to power them. Many people don’t know but Edison wanted to power the US using DC, while Westinghouse (an engineer) wanted AC. Here’s a nice article about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Currents

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you would like me to backup something that I wrote then be specific.
            Don’t just give us a word salad.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s a long screed. Let me point out a couple problems in it.

            DC is actually a more efficient way to move electricity. DC avoids the AC capacitance problem. (Read up on HVDC transmission.)

            Yes, there is some energy loss moving from grid AC to batteries, about 10%. And then there’s another 10% loss turning battery power into kinetic energy.

            But that energy loss needs to be compared to the energy used to move fuel from the refinery, distribute it to the individual fuel tank and then produce kinetic energy. Just the fuel tank to kinetic part produces about a 75% loss.

            The inefficiencies of EVs are not compelling. What is holding back the widespread acceptance of EVs is lack of an affordable EV with at least a 200 mile range. Battery capacity is the problem of the moment.

            Imagine the Elio with a 200 mile range battery and electric motor. It would cost far less to maintain and operate.

            If the Elio actually comes to market and gets 84 MPG as an ICEV then it would likely use about 0.15 kWh/mile in EV form. At $0.12/kWh that’s under two cents a mile vs. four cents a mile using $3.50/gallon fuel. And about zero maintenance costs.

            As an EV the Elio would have a lot more torque and be really quick off the line. It would be a cheap to purchase, cheap to drive silent running road-rocket.

          • Marty

            Except for the fact that 1) regenerative braking will do absolutely nothing if on the highway for long distances. 2) EVs are not geared like conventional vehicles, nor do they refuel the same. Now you have a vehicle that gets WORSE mileage on the highway than city, AND if I want to go 800 miles with the Elio, other than maybe a stop at a gas station, It could be accomplished without stopping. At an average speed of 65 mph, it would take 12.3 hours. If I generously say that an EV can go 200 miles on a full charge, then I must stop every 200 miles to recharge my car. Even the ‘quick’ charge takes around 30 minutes, and that’s not charging to full capacity, so lets say I have to stop 4 or 5 times, maybe six (its a long drive, the radios on, just lost a little more range), the same drive is going to take me 2 to 3 hours longer. Probably not going to save a whole lot more. Not enough to make up for the 3 hours I just lost anyways. Bottom line, electric cars aren’t practical. Realizing you forgot to charge your car when you wake up to go to work is going to be a lot more inconveniencing than forgetting to get gas on your way home.

            And to the author of this article 1) over 1000 reservations (Over 8000 total) have been put on the Elio this week alone. Not to mention even the Pontiac Fiero sold 133k its first year of production. The Elio is marketed at those who have always wanted a new car, but can’t afford one. Keep in mind the average 5 year old car with under 100k miles cost upwards of 10k dollars. With no warranty. The Elio cost less than my fiances 06 Ford Escape she bough in march last year with 136k miles. $7700, and it booked for $8600. 2) You compare the projected sales to the mini, mind you what the mini has to offer? 19k starting price, 30 mpg combined. We live in a time that the People are getting 2 to 3 thousand for geo metro 3 cylinders because they get 47 combined mpg. My point being, that the same people buying a new mini, aren’t going to be the people buying the Elio. 3) http://inhabitat.com/elio-motors-unveils-its-three-wheeled-84-mpg-car-that-only-costs-6800/ . Notice the date on this article. Notice the price. Notice the price on the Elio homepage. Notice the price you have written for the Elio. Notice the odd one out?

          • yellowdogdemocrat

            Kuehnel you would have a lot more cred if you could use the right spelling of LOSE you idiot.

          • Paul Kuehnel

            “cred” ? is that word?. Welcome to the internet 2014 where we don’t have time to edit anything. If that is all you can find to argue with me about what I said than… I was picturing all the people with electric cars in the northeast the past couple weeks with electric cars, 0 at night 15 during the day. Now where I live my coal/nuke powered electric car would last about 20 miles before I would need to inefficiently recharge it with more coal and nuclear…which is running to capacity at night due to the cold. So the power company probably fired up an auxiliary natural gas generator (using fracking) to meet my charging needs on top of coal and nuke. Electric cars are such a waste of resources and government subsidy; a smokescreen of green.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I remember people saying the same sort of stuff about personal computer….

          • Paul Kuehnel

            The personal computer of the 1980′s has no correlation to electric cars. The PC was vastly superior in cost, price and energy consumption to processing types that came before it. Electric cars sold by gov subsidy and the actual energy needed is masked by the size of the energy industry and the regulated cost of energy. It’s not even a new idea, as was the PC, a greater percentage the national fleet of cars were electric around 1900.

          • Bob_Wallace

            How old are you Paul? Apparently much too young to know anything about what PCs cost when first introduced and how much resistance there was to the idea that they would ever replace typewriters, ledger books and adding machines.

            I doubt you know how much the personal computer owes to government subsidies and support that made the industry possible

          • Paul Kuehnel

            I am 51, I had a Dell laptop that cost about $3,600 in 1990. Had desktop PCs though the 80′s these were crude but vastly superior to what was out there. I ran at it and dumped my typewriter. The companies may have been subsidized, but I never recall huge gov subsidies to the person buying the PC. People just bought them and bought more and more. Some of these electric cars on lots are huge getting rebates on top of gov subsidy (Focus Electric). Electric cars, while useful for a niche in an inner city, won’t be adopted by the general population and I hope they won’t be with the current infrastructure because the cost and consequences of generating that much power not to mention the high tension lines all over. My problem with electric cars is that people think of them as a clean box with little thought of the impact that the box makes. Like when you ask a kid eating a school lunch, “Where does that milk come from?” Kid shugs shoulders and says, “tastes good” end of story.

          • Bob_Wallace

            In the 1970s the government piled money onto the mini-computer industry in order to create new, smaller, privately owned computers. I spent over $100k of federal money on a mini-computer setup for our lab and then we had to figure out how to put it to use.

            Out of that support came the “computer on a chip” that enabled Woz to build the Apple.

            I bought a couple of Apple IIs for my business and listened to people declare that they would never give up typewriters or trust a computer to keep their financial records for years.

            I don’t think you realize how efficient EVs are and how inefficient ICEVs are. As EVs gain more range ICEVs will go the way of typewriters.

            The grid of 2014 is not the grid of 2000. We have more of our electricity coming from renewables and less coming from coal.

            The grid of 2030 will not be the grid of 2014. Most of the coal should be gone. Natural gas use should be down. Renewables will be producing a major portion of our electricity

            We’re in the very early years of a major transition. Not everything will happen smoothly. But we’ve largely got generation figured out and as we perfect storage we’ll greatly increase our game. Best to take a longer view, this is just the beginning.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Cut the name calling.

          • Paul Kuehnel

            Thanks for the moderation ;)

          • yellowdogdemocrat

            F**k off.

          • Eric

            If you have enough money to by a tesla, you have enough money to buy a wind turbine and maybe a few solar panels. Problem solved.

          • shitty smitty

            by the way….LOSE is spelled LOSE…NOT loose!!!

          • Allen Goodfriend

            that’s why you’re a “shitty” smitty… no one likes a grammar nazi

  • Rygy12

    No Helmets Required For Elio Vehicle Under Bill – Manufacturing . net

    • Jo Borras

      Link busted? Also: that’s state by state.

      • Guest

        give it up fool, you’re losing the argument…

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          OMG Mr. T in da house!!

  • gary center

    gary I have order two elios i think everbody should buy what they can afford to drive , but not everyone can afford a volvo. i am tired on the oil company getting rich and the big three car company getting richer . i hope this takes off iam ready for a fun and cheap ride to work .

    • Jo Borras

      You realize the Big Three have gotten so “rich” that they all basically survive on welfare and hand-outs now, right?

      • Hollis

        Jo, if you are going to be accurate, at least in your replies. Your bias comes through quite clearly in the article, but your “rich” comment and “welfare and hand-outs” (sic) comment deserve some explanation, don’t you think?
        Also, Big Three has been a misnomer for decades now, wouldn’t you agree?

  • John, a future Elio owner.

    Wow, an electric guy talking down the Elio. I will drive my Elio over to see you next summer and I won’t have to charge it every 50 miles. Oh, and after reading your “unbiased” opinion, I just upped ($$$) my preorder. Sounds like someone is scared!

    • Jo Borras

      Not an electric guy, but it’s telling that you reacted emotionally rather than logically by addressing the points made in the article. I guess it would help if you knew something about the car business. :: sigh :: Oh well, a fool and his money …

      • John

        IBM felt the same way about Apple…..

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          Yes, and IBM cleaned their clock for 30 years before Apple finally gave up and switched to Intel x86 hardware.

          • Hollis

            Funny, Apple is around and IBM isn’t even really a player in the market. Rather than go for a zing, Jo, tell us, what do you find good about the Elio? Apparently the virginity shield concept is offensive to you (I still don’t really see it, but you’re the author), and you spit all over the numbers you have provided as Elio’s financial statement. And while we are on the subject, what was your take on hybrids 20 years ago? Just asking…

          • csorrows

            IBM isn’t a player? They chose not to get involved in the stupid “buy shit parts and sell PCs under my brand name” game and instead shifted focus to the commercial segment. They now mostly only make servers, lots of them!

          • RIMSPOKE

            I HAVE A NEWS FLASH FOR YOU .

            IBM SERVER GROUP THE BLADE-X DIVISION WAS JUST SOLD TO LENOVO .

            THERE ARE A LOT OF UNHAPPY CAMPERS HERE AT THE RTP SITE .

          • Bob_Wallace

            Turn off the all caps key.

          • RIMSPOKE

            QUIT POLICING THE INTERNET .

          • Devilstower

            1) the PowerPC chips that Apple used previous to the switch to Intel were made by IBM. IBM didn’t clean anyone’s clock. They made several aborted attempts to bring the PC market onto proprietary architecture, then completely sold out their PC operation to a Chinese company.

            2) Apple makes more in a quarter than IBM ever, EVER, made in a year.

            3) you can’t honestly expect people to take this article seriously when you’ve used terms like “virginity shield” (repeatedly, so apparently you think it’s clever). This article is trolling, plain and simple.

      • Bill Thompson

        Addressing “points” like the endless repetition of nonsense phrases like “three-wheel virginity shield?” No thanks; I’ll just laugh at your ridiculous and unfounded bias. The Elio is a fantastic concept.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          How about the point of $150 for warranty an liability and the point of a 5-employee store cranking out 20+ vehicles per month, per employee, with no support staff?

          Oh, wait! I forgot: if you had a clue, you wouldn’t be a supporter. ;)

          • Brokinarrow

            Regardless, it’s hard to take any article seriously when it comes across as horribly biased with constant personal attacks against Elio supporters and such child like terms like “virginity shield”. But I suppose journalism standards are pretty low these days.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Indeed they are, sir. Indeed they are … that said, you’re invited to NOT take me seriously and place your $1000 non-refundable bet on Elio, if you like. Just let me know when you do, so I can guffaw appropriately.

          • Brokinarrow

            And there you go, assuming that because I take issue with your article that I am “one of th devout”. While I really want this company to succeed, I don’t have that much money to play around with. I have a $100 deposit down, if things look like they are on track by the end of the year I will up that to 1000

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            You are incorrect, sir. Inviting you to put your money where your mouth is has nothing to do with you being devout- either a devout Elio fan or devout anything else. It’s simply an invitation.

            As for the $1000 deposit, if that’s a lot of cash I recommend waiting until Elio has lined up a financing partner so you can make payments on the $5800 remaining dollars. That’s just advice, since “non refundable” sounds pretty non-refundable, to me, and allowances aren’t likely to be made for “I don’t have $5800 more cash dollars.”, you know?

            I hope you take that in the spirit it was intended, and that you get something in return for your money. :)

          • Brokinarrow

            :) Fair enough.

          • eliohopeful

            Or they could get a bank loan.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Yes, but banks are notoriously difficult to finance a motorcycle through- which is what the Elio is, for the purposes of skirting federal crash laws.

          • I’m all in

            Already have financial partners lined up for financing, plus the gas card. 3 year 36000 mile warranty. Just saying.

          • connectgo

            I wasn’t able to find anything on the warranty, might be a 1 year 12,000 mile warranty, so warranty costs might be ok, if everything goes right. Also the sales people don’t have to convince people to buy them, it appears it’s more of a direct sales model. The sales people will be there to facilitate the sale. I’m just a casual observer, I think Elios numbers are a little off, but not significantly off. Add another $1000 into the price, and there’s a lot more room for things they may have overlooked, or underestimated.

        • Bort

          Oh I get it, three-wheel virginity shield.

      • A fool.

        “Emotionally rather then logically”

        From the guy who called a car a “Virginity shield”, do us all a favor and don’t try and take the high road now.

    • Elio

      Why would you need a helmet? Its not a motorcycle.

      • http://androidpcreview.com/ Tim Wells

        It -IS- a motorcycle actually. In many states anything with less than four wheels is classified as a motorcycle, making it subject to the licensing and safety regulations.

        All that being said, I hope these numbers are wrong. I’d like to see the company succeed, but I’m sure not putting a deposit down now.

        • Jo Borras

          Tim is correct … I like the 1 “down” vote from the cognitive dissonance guy. :)

        • Will

          In ALL states it is considered a motorcycle, HOWEVER, in all but 4 states there is an enclosed trike exception, and a good chunk of those states waive the endorsement requirement. This article would have a bit more credibility if it could at least get the price of the vehicle right….

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Right, because YOU know better than Elio’s own materials? Is that it? You guys crack me up.

          • yellowdogdemocrat

            The retail price is listed on the website. I’ll let you look it up smart guy.

    • PABLO

      I’m with you brother.

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