Published on May 15th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás


Op-Ed: The Elio Motors 3-wheeler Won’t Sell

May 15th, 2013 by  

This article originally appeared on CleanTechnica sister site Gas2.

Elio Motors 2-wheeler

Earlier this week, Troy-based manufacturer Elio Motors introduced more than 20 key suppliers who will be key contributors to the production of the three-wheeled vehicle we featured back in January. Despite industry heavyweights including Altair Engineering, IAV, and NEWTECH 3 involvement; a claimed 84 MPG fuel economy rating; a (dubiously anticipated) 5-star safety rating; and a starting price of just $6,800, I think Paul Elio’s little endeavor will fail.

Scratch that. Elio Motors will utterly fail, completely fail, and embarrassingly fail.

Why should you believe me?

First, you need ignore the big-name suppliers. That’s a smokescreen put out into the newsosphere by Paul Elio’s PR people. All it really amounts to is “Altair Engineering is willing to take my money.” I can walk into a Firestone tomorrow and buy 20 sets of tires, but that doesn’t mean Firestone is in any way “backing” my backyard supercar endeavor, savvy? With that out of the way, let’s get to the heart of why Elio’s “cars” will fail.

Elio’s “cars” aren’t cars. Not as far as the DOT or your local DMV is concerned, anyway. See, tipping the scales at less than 1500 lbs. and with only 3 wheels underneath them, Elio Motors’ three-wheelers are, in legal terms, motorcycles. That’s why vaporware specialists like Elio build three-wheelers in the first place: they don’t have to meet the same stringent, hyper-expensive safety and emissions standards as cars, and aren’t subject to the same rigorous tests. In addition, motorcycle manufacturers aren’t held to the same level of legal responsibility that car companies are, even in hyper-litigious countries like the good-‘ol US-of-A.

SO, to be clear, premise 1 in my argument is: Elios Motors’ “cars” are, in fact, motorcycles.

I can already hear you asking, “So, what?” You’re right, of course. Honda sells motorcycles. Yamaha sells motorcycles. Kawasaki sells motorcycles. Why can’t Elio?

Premise 2: Many states require motorcycle helmets.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Premise 3: No one wants to wear a motorcycle helmet inside “a car.”

Tom Servo says you look stupid.

Tom Servo says you look stupid.

Because Elios are motorcycles and no one in their right mind would want to wear a motorcycle helmet inside one of these “cars,” Elio won’t be able to sell any of these “cars” in states that require motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

This simple, helmet-based reasoning doesn’t take into consideration other factors, either, factors like …

  • the cost to insure one of these motorcycle
  • the impact riding a motorcycle might have on the driver’s insurance
  • the additional costs and hassles involved in obtaining a motorcycle license

… and the fact that (sort-of) three-wheelers like the DeltaWing have effectively proven that the Elio is built backwards.

Combine all those things, (probably) insufficient funding, and a design aesthetic that makes Genuine’s Lemonhead look tough, and Elio has all the earmarks of a losing deal. Do yourself a favor and keep your hard-earned money as far away from Elio as possible.

Source | Photos: Detroit News.

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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+.

  • Douglas Ledet

    The first production model of one of these “High MPG/Low cost” cars/motorcyles gets my money for the commute to and from work, each and every week day. Oh and the helmet thing, I can allow some tickets with the money I will save.

  • Donald Fry

    I will buy it the minute it is available. Your prediction is like the one at the dawn of personal computers that no more than a handful would sell world-wide.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Where is this thing you want to buy? Wasn’t it supposed to be on sale by now?

  • rick

    That article was so full of crap my screen turned brown…It has a great price, will get better milage than any car, is practical as a second car, or first for a lot of people, helmet use probably wont be an issue (tint your
    windows), will be cheap to insure and license…I think this this is gonna Scream off the shelves…Time will tell 🙂

    • miserableoldfart

      100% agree, IF it works. Reliability will be the big issue. The other thing that kind of scares me is the one door. in an accident, is it possible for that front wheel to be bent back against the door, trapping the pilot and passenger? I also have grave doubts about that gas mileage, having had motorcycles that didn’t get that kind of mileage. Anyone who believes gas is going to stay at $2 a gallon is delusional.

      The idea that this can’t be produced at low enough cost to sell for $6800, is ridiculous, btw. The markup on cars and their parts is astronomical. The helmet issue is already about 80% solved by states..

  • Gary Gutter

    just wondering if after the time since the article was written if the writer, jo has changed his opinion as elio marches on or if the events since he wrote it make him feel the same or even stronger about his opinion.??

    • Bob_Wallace

      Has Elio done any marching?

      Last I heard they were trying to find more money.

  • Contrarian

    Well, look how things have changed for Elio now in October 2015.. seems like our young writer of this article may have spoke too soon…

    • Bob_Wallace

      How have they changed? I looked online and all I see is that they’ve made another prototype are now trying to get crowdfunding because they haven’t been able get funded through normal channels.

      “, the company is waiting on funding to enter production. Paul Elio, founder and CEO of Elio Motors, said the company needs about $300 million before they can start producing cars, and so far hasn’t had luck with the traditional routes of raising venture capital.”

      Elio was suppose to launch in the middle of next year, about 8-9 months from now. Sounds like they haven’t even taken control of the factory building, let alone begun setting up their lines.

      You seeing something I’m not seeing?

      • Contrarian

        the Shreveport plant has about 4M square feet of space, and Elio is using
        1.5M square feet leaving plenty of room for neighbors as planned all

        • Bob_Wallace

          That’s fine.

          Have you seen anything about Elio setting up their factory in that space? All I find is stuff about Elio not getting the funding it needs.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s what you posted –

            “look how things have changed for Elio now in October 2015”

            How have things changed for Elio this month? I cannot find anything about any recent progress except that they seem to have made another prototype.

            And it’s just a body prototype. They appear to not yet have ‘the new engine’.

  • Aaron Howell

    Really sad that I wasted my time on this article. The title should have been “I don’t want to wear a helmet inside of a car/motorcycle” or “I have an opinion about cars unrelated to clean tech”. Considering this article’s age, you guys should take it down. It’s a waste of time for your readers.

  • Sean

    I too think they will fail but not for the reasons the author of this op/ed piece posits. I take issue that you cite the cost of insurance as a reason why people will not want to buy it. Obviously you know nothing about motorcycle insurance because anyone that has a motorcycle will tell you, they are less expensive to insure than cars. I could go on and rip apart your flimsy argument, but I won’t. Suffice it to say your argument is a weak one. However, I do agree with your conclusion, Elio will fail. It’s never a good sign when the company overpromises and then continues to delay (while asking people for more money from investors).

  • Alec Sevins

    This article really jumped the gun. It’s looking very likely that production will happen in 2016. The author needs to realize that low cost and high MPG is very important to some people. Since finite oil gets less plentiful every second (no matter how we frack it) this vehicle makes a ton of sense even if it doesn’t weigh a ton.

    People will be scrambling for efficiency once they realize how much fuel has been wasted over decades for petty ego purposes, gratuitous engine idling, speeding, etc. I’d rather be someone who did something about it than someone who tries to blame every other wastrel.

  • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

    Elio 43,000+ Paid reservations, Some one thinks it looks good ? !

  • Bob_Wallace

    “Elio Motors has begun work on its fifth-generation prototype three-wheeled vehicle. The P5 will include Elio Motors’ recently unveiled 0.9 liter, 3-cylinder engine prototype and a manual transmission. (Earlier post.)The P5 is the first in a series of 26 prototypes, codenamed P5 through P30 that will be developed for a variety of testing and validation purposes.

    Elio Motors is targeting a launch date mid 2016 for a vehicle that will get up to 84 mpg (2.8-l/100 km) and is expected to retail for $6,800. The P5 is being developed using funds raised in a recent 506 (c) offering. The 506 (c) offering is made possible by the Jobs Act of 2012, and allows accredited investors to buy in to Elio Motors.

    In addition to updated styling that has been driven by aerodynamic improvements, two of the most critical elements being added to the P5 are the engine and the transmission. The company turned to world-class engine developer IAV to create a new technology from the ground up. Elio Motors is the first start-up auto company in the Unites States in the past 60 years to build its own unique internal combustion engine.”

    (I’ve lost track. Originally when was the Elio supposed to be available?)

  • disciple4all

    This negative propaganda is put out by competitors because it is a threat to them! They fear losing business and they will — big time! $6800 is cheap and many will opt to go with it, they are driving smart cars — so why not this! It isn’t a motorcycle because it has a roll bar, double enforced crushed zones, air bags, etc. Motorcycles are even more expensive. Do you need a helmet to drive this car? No, it comes with a large helmut — called the body –dah! Yeh, 50-89mpg, I’ll take one. Gas will be doubled in the near future unless we get totally independent. We also need to go natural gas. We have enough NG for 100 years for 100 million cars and it’s 95% less polluting. But I’m wondering if any of this matters with WWIII approaching and the dollar about to be replaced?

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” But I’m wondering if any of this matters with WWIII approaching and the dollar about to be replaced?”

      Are all Elio backers this irrational?

      • disciple4all

        I have no contacts with any other Elio backers, I always respond independently, have my own views about things. Just curious, do you think the world is in good shape? If you are optimistic about Iran, Russia and our economic and moral conditions, you are naïve, but ignorance is bliss they say. So, good for you, stay that way … until of course, it happens.

        • Bob_Wallace

          No, the world is not in good shape. It probably as never been in good shape. Seems to vary between bad and adequate.

          I suspect Iran is going to pull things together, at least as they have someone in their prime leadership who tends to make rational decisions. Russia, I suspect, is in a world of hurt.

          The US is actually doing better than most countries when it comes to economics. I’m starting to see a break in the Republican party, the corporate wing seems to have finally realized that they do themselves no good by pairing up with the right wing crazies. We might be returning to a state where conservatives will become willing to work with liberals to solve some of our problems.

          With only a modest push we could speed our way to the end of fossil fuels and let people hang on to more of their money rather than spend it on gasoline and electricity.

          We should be running Elio-type vehicles on electricity and saving even more money.

          • disciple4all

            You seem to be in line with Obama’s recent admission that Iran supports terrorism (Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, etc), but will eventually turn away from this evil. The U.S. is doing better than most countries? That’s like saying that the world is stuck in quick sand but we are only up to our knees! Why don’t you research David Weidemer or Jim Rickards expertise on our current situation? The debt is growing ($18.5 trillion with $135 trillion of unfunded liabilities), the unemployment rate is fictitious since they only factor in those who collect unemployment, not those who have run out of benefits. Currently there are 93 million unemployed, 47 million on welfare or some sort. Obama has doubled the welfare system and is now inviting record amounts of illegals to come to our country and collect the spoils, benefits that they did not work for – EXCUSE ME!
            The corporate wings are realizing what? Major companies like Honda and Toyota are moving out of California and setting up shop in Texas because of all the regulations, restrictions, taxes, overall high cost of the f__ked up liberal state run by an idiot who wants to build a $ 80 dollar train that we can’t afford while we need water. We can build a dam in the Delta and save hundreds of billions of gallons that are just wasted out to sea (all because they want to save a smelt fish). That is another liberal minded idea to protect endangered species. Who is more important 38 million people who need water or a few non-indigenous fish? We can also build desalinization plants as well. Honda is saving a $1 billion/ year because of the move to Texas.
            Do some more research: check out the economic health of Democratic state governments vs. Republican run governments and you will find that Republican run governments are doing much better financially, where Democratic states are suffering, in the red and sinking.
            Big government, high taxes, socialized medicine is not the answer. The government needs to get out of our way. It is a government by the people and for the people. Obama is the one who is unwilling to work with Republicans — it’s his way or nothing, so he takes out his magic pen and disregards the Constitution – splits on it to be more blunt!
            Fossil fuels are still needed and we should be independent. Wind power is subsidized. Solar is barely economically justified, only in certain sunny areas. My brother has solar panels in Maine and it will take 10-15 years to make his money back since there is not a lot of sun. We should all be on natural gas which is 95 % less polluting and we have 100 years worth.
            This country is going down because of liberal ideologies. Don’t be surprised when you wake up one morning and find out that the dollar has crashed and has lost it’s international status and been replaced by the Yuan or IMF new currency. You can thank your party for that.
            Maybe you don’t even know that the Democrats fought for slavery — that’s right. The KKK were Democrats as well. Finally Giuliani was right, Obama does not love this nation, he hates it. He hates what it stands for and so has made every attempt to destroy it, further cause racial division. He is fulfilling “The Dreams of My Father”, an anti-American, dead beat Dad, Muslim (who waned the world to be converted to Islam or else …)

          • Bob_Wallace

            This is a clean tech site. Not a place for political claptrap.

            Please stay on topic.

  • Del Crab

    Unfortunately, also as wide as a Hummer

  • Telstar

    I have to disagree with the Op-Ed for many reasons.

    First, the Deltawing ia a totally different concept and design from the Elio, having a single wheel in front (as in Delta) rather than the tadpole design of the Elio, as pointed out previously. This is a huge difference in terms of engineering, safety, handling and much more. Anyone who thinks that one is at all like the other has to go back and look again, or they’re using a stomach window.

    Second, many states do not require the use of a helmet in an enclosed three-wheel vehicle such as the Elio. In the states that currently have such requirements, Elio is working with legislators to change or modify the laws so that it won’t be the case when the vehicle comes to market.

    Third, in terms of safety, one of the biggest predictors of automoive safety and lowered incidence of fatalities is wheel-base length. This is likely due to the fact that one of the greatest causes of traffic fatalities is when the vehicle flips forwards–aka chinese wheelies. Longer wheelvase vehicles are less likely to flp. This is more important than width, especially in a vehicle with a very low center of gravity such as the Elio. A SmartCar, with its’ side-by-side seating and a wheelbase of 75.3″, is probably more likely to flip in a frontal impact than the Elio with a wheelbase of 110″, roughly the same as a full-size Ford Explorer and almost 50% longer than the Smartcar wheelbase.

    Fourth, the vehicle really makes sense, especially given the lower capital costs and high fuel efficiency. Most people do drive most places they go by themselves and do not have a need to carry large items or large amounts of cargo. For many people, senior citizens, students, young adults, commuters, a two-person vehicle with high-fuel efficiency makes a lot of sense, especially if it is used in complement to a larger vehicle, such as a minivan or truck, as stated in Elio’s corporate philosophy.

    Fifth, some businesses would also do very well with an Elio. Food delivery, courier, and messenger services and companies would benefit from both the lower operating costs, lower capital costs and lower insurance costs of the Elio. A SmartCar is approximately $`13,300 for the basic car. That is almost twice the price of an Elio, so a small business would be able to purchase TWO Elios for the price of a single SmartCar.

    Sixth, the low cost of purchasing and owning the Elio makes it far more likely that more people will buy it. Most people would rather have a new vehicle that is under warranty than one that is more expensve, less fuel efficient, more costly to maintain and used, which is often the only alternative.

    Of course, much of the Elio’s success or failure will hinge on getting federal acceptance of the Autocycle classification. Elio has been lobbying for a new classifcation of motor vehicle which takes into account the very significant differences between a motorcycle, whether it has two or three wheels, and a fully enclosed, three-wheeled vehicle with crash crumple zones and a safety cage. Elio also proposes that the autocycle category have significantly stiffer safety requirements than are required for motorcycles, as would make sense due to their automobile-like body.

    I would point out that the Elio actually makes far more sense in terms of pollution and fuel efficiency than do most hybrids and electric cars.

    A purely electric car does not pollute in and of iself, but it does shift the pollution that it would otherwise cause from a point source to a centralized source. Given that most of our electricity, at least currently, is produced by fossil-fuel burning power plants, it has merel shifted the source of the pollution, rather than eliminating it. Coal burning power plants are nowhere near as clean, in terms of pollution, as a properly designed and maintained modern internal combustion engine.

    Another major issue with purely electric vehicles is their inability to be “refueled” quickly. Charging batteries, at least with today’s techonology, takes time. Battery banks are too expensive and heavy to simply swap out.

    A hybrid, while it is likely to be a bit more fuel efficient than a purely internal combustion engine vehicle like the Elio, does present its own set of problems, which are shared with the purely electric vehicles for the most part.

    First, there is the danger to first responders in the case of an accident presented by the relative large batery banks and high voltages often present. The battery banks in a hybrid or electric vehicle can present a serious hazard to first responders as well as the occupants of the vehicle in the case of a crash.

    Second, the batteries are fairly toxic to the environment and need to be disposed of properly or recycled when they expire, which usually occurs within EIGHT YEARS. The batteries are also fairly expensive to replace and the costs asociated with a hybrid or electic vehicle skyrocket as the need for replacing the batteries occurs.

    Third, the weight of the batteries is relatively high and they take up a significant amount of space. Both of these factors make designing either an electric car or hybrid much more difficult and reduce overall mileage since the more weight a vehicle has, the more energy is required to accellerate, move and decellerate the vehicle.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Some good stuff, but I think you’ve made too much of EV charging time. Over 90%, 100% of the time for some people, the EV is going to be plugged in at home or work. The driver will spend zero time charging.

      Also battery weight and toxicity. If you check the Tesla S curb weight vs. similar sized luxury cars there is not a lot of difference. And we aren’t going to throw used battery packs out in rivers.

      Oil is a major pollution problem. Both during the extraction/distribution phase and when burned.

      The Elio is an interesting vehicle. Let’s see if it gets manufactured….

  • reid

    I sent them $1000 when they first advertised their vehicle, it;s now been years and still no damn car. I think I got screwed !!!!!

  • green thimbles

    Boy a lot of opinionated negativity here…. It reminds me of those who mocked Noah when he built the ark. Elio provides the JOBS in USA, Elio is friendly on gas! WW3 will be all about the crude oils, gas, and currencies. Be ready to see that HUGE spike in gasoline cost.

  • truthtopowerCNS

    Jo Borrás’ failure to persuade is equal to his claim that Elio will do so. His wording manipulates to make assumptions appear as facts.
    Elio has, as of this date, cleared no helmet driving with most states. Even so, most LEOs would lack statute for writing the driver for helmet law violation. This is a 10th amendment issue, not Federal.
    His massive bias is on full display by referring to Elio condescendingly repeatedly. Many riders say the BMW opposed boxer is ‘fugly’, well, they sure sold boatloads of them ‘fugly’ things!

  • MeeLee1980

    What an aged, bs article!

    Elio helmet law is all eliminated save for a few states under the premises that the elio is in fact, one giant enclosed helmet; encaging the entire body; and thus safety is far superior to motorcycles.

    The writer of this article does not take into account users of this vehicle, who like something affordable, with great gas mileage to explore;
    Young adults who need transportation cheap, while staying dry,
    and just about the other 90% of the world where gas costs almost 10/gal, and where the Elio could save over 6x the price of the vehicle over the lifetime of the vehicle, compared to econo cars.

    Think Asian countries, and the market is enough to sell millions just there!

    Motorcycle endorsements are also not necessary in most states; since the Elio will be pushed under a new form of transportation, an autocycle; and thus only the first years would fall under the category of motorcycles.

  • Bob_Wallace

    For all of you who are following Elio it looks like a new engine design is in the works and safety testing has advanced.

    Wonder how much capital it would take to manufacture a new engine?

  • David Baklarz

    Eric you see a prius, the scion, the hhr? they are fuglyest cars on the road the elio is cool looking and affordable. All the haters …can’t wait till the electric failure automobile goes AWAY. This car/ motorcycle I believe can help that along

  • Stalin Hitler

    I like the idea of the car and its concept, heck I dont even mind wearing a helmet in side a car, it reminds me of NASCAR drivers. But the issue I have with elio is the manufacturing date keeps getting pushed back further and further. It sounds to me like they made the car too cheap and now hardly get any return.

  • Cody

    They got past the helmet law in most states. insurance companies have different rates for different cars anyway. Being that this is the safest motorcycle on the road it will surely get better rates.

  • William Hathaway

    A couple of thoughts………..
    1. I have a car on the road that has been registered longer than Jo Borras has been writing. (a ’95 Wrangler)
    2. Under Texas law….. The Elio is a motorcycle, but there is a specific exception to a special drivers license and no helmet required.
    3. There is a song called “The Critic” that includes lines about “hid behind his typewriter and shot the boy down” and “Please don’t tell my mother I a critic. She still thinks i play piano at the local cat house”
    Sure sounds like Mr. Borrat.

  • Tom Read

    I’m pretty sure that helmets are not required for vehicles where the occupants are seated in an enclosed cabin.

  • Baja Driver

    I commute 100 miles a day. Burn 1/4 the gas I currently am? Heck ya! Sign me up.

  • Vladimir Poutine

    Can you imagine if everybody was like Jo Borras ? We would all still be living in Caves !

    Reverse Trikes are STABLE ! End Of !

  • devildaddy50

    Instead of offering the Elio as a factory built vehicle redo it and offer it as a kit build vehicle that way you can bypass some of the laws that you face.

    • Vladimir Poutine

      YES! Ship in ‘knock down’ form in a Crate ! This is a GOOD Father/Son or Father/Daughter project. And you can Goop all the Metal Parts with corrosion inhibiter when assembling !

  • Brian

    Geez man, do a little research before posting your ‘article’.
    1. Many states (like California), do not require a helmet when in an enclose 3-wheeled motorcycle.
    2. Motorcycle insurance is typically cheaper than car insurance, and having one doesn’t affect the other.
    3. Getting a motorcycle license could be a hassle I suppose, unless a waiver is granted somehow for these. 1 good point.

  • This is a car! this is my next car!! I love the look and the price.

  • PW

    They will make. They will sell well. They are working out the helm it thing. I will own on. You have little for sight.

  • Emperor_has_no_clothes

    1. No, these are not built backwards. I would not buy a conventional 3-wheeler, but these vehicles are safer.
    2. The helmet issue is a red herring. You are really grasping at straws. Some states are a little behind the curve, but I think that will get ironed out quickly enough.
    3. Elio Motors did not use the “motorcycle” excuse to avoid putting in airbags, anti-lock brakes, etc. The Elio is a car with 3 wheels. Period. I think your predictions about insurance costs are specious.
    4. We’ll both see what happens in a few months. I prefer to be optimistic, and I happen to think the Elio is a great idea that finally got off the ground.

  • Kamikaze

    Not sure if hater or big car company paid off reporter. Always funny to see people dis products that haven’t come out yet. The vehicle we see now might be completely different when production rolls out. Sorry to say but I don’t care what my vehicle looks like when it only costs 7K and gives 84 mpg. I’m not driving it to Bolivia. So it’s a motorcycle that keeps you dry. Good to go.

  • Poop

    Correction: Not 362k+. Only 36,473 ordered.

  • JP

    Honestly, the only reason people knock the design is because it doesn’t look like any futuristic vehicle and its a cheap car. They have been doing a tour to spread the word and show off their vehicle, plus they have been getting really good attention. the author can say how its fugly or how they will fail but if you look at the reservation count as of November 16, 2014 it is: 362,473, that’s a lot of people who are into getting this car/motorcycle. the production isn’t even set to begin till maybe summer of next year. If elio is going to fail, they would of failed already before they could really set up the first model. Now with the 2nd model, plus all the design concepts for the body kits, and the fact they have teamed up with ALL of these various company’s, I’m still going to wait to see how it performs in terms of safety but I have one leg in the boat. Also, in terms of 3-wheeled popularity, its climbing over time. I have been traveling for a while for school and I see a lot of trikes and can-am spyders. So anything that’s been said in this article is someone who does not support new tech like this and yes he is entitled to his opinion but don’t claim they are facts and say they will fail and yet they have more supporters than you have fans.
    Case closed

  • Tom

    Wrong call. The car/motorcycle comparison won’t float. This company has had brilliant ideas; making Pet Boys (with its 30 gillion sites) their warranty and repair facilities, using an add-on to a gasoline credit card to finance the vehicle. The three things that will appeal to buyers will be 1) payment; 2) fuel economy, and 3) utility. This vehicle seems to have all of them. I drive an old, faithful Chevy, 454, pickup truck to work every day to work as a wrecker driver, primarily to deal with city and county accidents, drunk drivers, and other arrests. I have to carry all of the chains and equipment to work, every day. This equipment could easily fit in the back seat or trunk of one of these automobiles. I would save a significant amount of money with one of these vehicles. I’ll buy one as soon as they are available.

  • stankyhanglow

    they are past the 1st hurdle for a 180 million fed loan. if that cleares could be game on

  • Christopher Conover

    The OP is severely mistaken about the laws governing helmets and licensing. Thanks to the high profile members of Elio’s board only 5 states still require helmets on enclosed motorcycle’s(unless you are under 21). In California it is win-win-win. We are not required to have a motorcycle license. We are not required to wear a helmet in this vehicle. We are allowed to drive in the HOV lane solo.

    Driving solo in the HOV lane was a big reason many of the “green” cars are better succeeding here in California. The plug in’s and CNG powered cars are allowed in the HOV and really drove their sales numbers. The pre-sale #’s (now at over 35,000) really show there is a need out there for this type of commuter vehicle.

    I know I personally will be purchasing at least one.

  • ray

    can a buy a one send it to me in united kingdom a will be a agent and sell loads of these a day would not be able to get enough in north of England petrol prices scandalous

    • poop

      In English? What the hell are you trying to say?

  • craiggroves91

    Didn’t read all the comments, but this article is turning out to be a huge fail. His main point is the whole helmet “problem”. Well, Elio has gotten 45 states to change legislation and allow them to be driven without helmets, the remaining 5 are expected to soon follow. Also, they have around 34000 online reservations and I know a good chunk of those could very well back out, thats still a pretty significant number.

    I have seriously been considering reserving one as a commuter for school and work and having my fun car (bmw e30 s52 swap) to use whenever I want. So as |ou can see this car appeals to a good variety of individuals.

  • I did already read your blogs, looks like interesting story having accurate content accordingly and going to thanks this interested one

  • Glen John Zeller

    I want to buy a Elio ♥♥♥ I am in Kansas City, MO U.S.A. I want to buy this car asap PLEASE ♥♥♥♥ no joke I want this car !!!

  • GolfBasebull

    you’re are nutbag neurotic over analytical morons. im getting one and it will last me the rest of my life as all I do is run errends. ormake the 100 mile trip to the coast. i’ll sell my 3 motorcyles when I get mine. screw yall freaks. enjoy your neurosis!

  • E-Cigarette Vaping Redneck

    This article is written by a RETARD !

  • miserableoldfart

    Motorcycles are exceedingly inexpensive to insure. They are working on the helmet situation. On fuel economy alone, in view of global warming and the USA’s profligate over consumption of fossil fuels, and until the Teslas of the world can market a mainstream vehicle, I’m hoping Elio succeeds. Will it? I think safety and reliability will be the determining factors, not the fluff presented here. At 68 mpg, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Bob_Wallace

    I think even someone with only a junior high school certificate is capable of recognizing the ideas that had strong and vociferous fan bases but never made it past the idea stage to the real world.

    eeStore, e-cat, Scudder engines, cold fusion, ….

    They all had their true believers who let their beliefs exceed the reach of the data. If you’re an engineer then you should easily understand how some things sound good, but then they bump up against the real world.

    The Valley of Death, my friend, the Valley of Death. It’s littered with the skeletons of ideas which some strongly supported.

    • Anon_Driver

      An engineering idea is only as good as it’s ability to be executed in the real world. And many a good idea has been destroyed by poor administration and leadership.

      So I guess the question is: Is Elio going to be a skeleton, or can he get the baton to the finish?

      Because I think the baton is fine, I just don’t know if Elio is the man to carry it all the way. We’ll see.

  • Nickskeys

    I guess many people do not remember the first Subaru cars brought to America. They were 2 cylinder, horizontally opposed, 12 inch tire menaces that were grossly underpowered, boxy, tinny, and just a hoax for a car. Now look at Subaru! I think the same thing will happen with Elio- they just need the capital to get things underway. Only a matter of time. I think the naysayers are just jealous because they didn’t think of this car first. I think it’s going to be a rampant winner!

  • Dorian

    Wow. Everyone’s negativity is astounding. How do you go through life. Who cares if it wins or fails. Bottom line is someone is trying to make a difference. Now look in the mirror people and ask yourself. “What have I done that’s positive today”?

    • Gyro Joe

      Dorian I think you have nailed it. I think they may succeed. I hope they will succeed, but most importantly I am glad they are trying.

  • adam

    So still feel the same a year later? 20 some thousand preservationists disagree with you

    • Bob_Wallace

      People reply to the Nigerian princes who are looking to give away some of their millions.

      The true test of Elio is 1) will they bring a product to market?, 2) will the product perform as described?, and 3) will people be able to purchase the product at the price stated?

      Jo is skeptical that the Elio can be produced at the price promised. Economies of scale will not be reached with 20k sales or even 50k sales. I get his point.

      Look at any new product and how it starts very expensive and gradually drops in price. Unless a company has very deep pockets (and Elio doesn’t) it can’t afford to take a loss on the first several thousand units it produces while it learns to cut cost.

  • jim

    At the very least it has to be better vehicle than the Robin Reliant. At least they had the smarts to put two of the three wheels on the front of the vehicle.

  • Glucose the Indignant

    Well, looks like your prediction was completely false. Well done, Naysayer!

    • Bob_Wallace

      The Elio is being sold (and delivered)?

  • steveofthenw

    Even if they tacked an extra grand onto the price tag (which is what I think they’ll probably end up doing) it’ll still be a bargain for a new car. My good friend flipped a c-note in their direction to secure his place in line about a year ago; it is kinda disconcerting that they’ve pushed the release date back a couple of times. I think once they start rolling off the assembly lines, they’ll start getting a lot of mainstream press & begin selling like hotcakes. Then right-wing Guv Bobby Jindal will take credit for their success & run for Prez again or something…

  • Eric G

    You are so wrong. People will keep a small helmet in the car. Also its so easy to get a motorcycle license. To be honest people in NY dont care. They want to save their money and this car will be putting other car manufacturers out of business. Mr. Elio becarefull these big business people will not like you.

    • jim

      Shades of the Tucker Torpedo.

  • Roger

    You have some agenda going on, who knows why or what, but you are all over the net bashing this vehicle. You obviously have something to lose if it goes into production. Of course you will deny, but your emotional ranting speaks louder than your words.

  • wjmusmc

    Im not sure these wont work out. Look at this link. Not the same but if you scroll down you will find a three wheeler for the same cost. I think these are do-able.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Which one are you talking about?

    • Ahem…

    • The least expensive Can Am Spyder is $15K. Bombardier has economies of scale. Sorry.

  • john

    More than 25k reservations – I think you need to rethink your opinion on this car.

    • Bob_Wallace

      25k people think this car will come to market as described and at the price point specified.

      That has zero bearing on whether the vehicle will come to market as described and at the price point specified.

      (It also says next to nothing about the overall market demand.)

    • “Non-refundable deposit” Snicker. See my picture in the comments, above.

    • My opinion is that I still have reservations.

      25K? Have you looked at their books? Was that 25K verified by an independent auditor? Those deposits are non-refundable. Oops. I’m wondering when the SEC is going to step in, because Texas is not.

  • Jeffkan1

    Reservations continue to climb for this vehicle that won’t be sold. Around 26,000 now. We’ll see what happens! I’ll take a light-hearted attempt at addressing the three premises:
    1) The Elio is a motorcycle. – Yep, sure is. Federally. Several states call it an autocycle. The AAMVA recommends it be licensed as an autocycle. In a state where it is a motorcycle, you register it and insure it as a motorcycle. Cost savings big time. Seems like a reason for it to sell. The Elio is much safer than a motorcycle, with a roll cage, seat belt, 3 air bags, ABS, traction control. Another reason for it to sell.
    2) Many states require helmets. – False. For the Elio, only 5 states require a helmet… MO, NE, NC, WV, and MS. Many states have an exemption for an enclosed 3-wheeler. The blue states in the map have a partial law, meaning if you’re over a certain age… 16,18, 21, etc. … you don’t need a helmet for any motorcycle. Some of the green states have the exemption.
    3) No one wants to wear a helmet inside “a car” – Correct. When driving in one of the 5 states that require a helmet… well, I guess I wouldn’t drive in one of those 5 states, until the law gets changed. I live 15 miles from NE, so I won’t drive the Elio in NE if I need a helmet.
    Other statements:
    4) What it will cost to insure this motorcycle – what do you base your implication here that it’s going to be very expensive to insure the Elio? While it’s not a fair comparison, can you imagine how expensive it will be to insure the Polaris Slingshot? The Elio will be safe, parts are 80% off-the-shelf… sounds like insuring this motorcycle should be much less than a car.
    5) The impact riding a motorcycle might have on the driver’s insurance. – Isn’t that the same as the above statment? I recently bought a motorcycle, and the impact is very small, the cost to insure it. Not aware of other impacts.
    6) The additional hassles and costs in obtaining a motorcycle license. – Correct, there are additional hassles and costs obtaining a motorcycle license. For me recently, the hassles were huge, the costs were minor. But to obtain a motorcycle license, you have to drive the motorcycle around some cones, meant for a 2-wheeled motorcycle. At minimum, the driving test will have to change for an Elio, the front wheel base is wider than a 2014 Ford Taurus and you can’t get through the cones. My state requires an mc license to drive the Elio, so I’m working with my state rep to see if I can get the law changed. My rep responded favorably, and is planning to submit a bill at the next session in January.
    I’m choosing to see a possibility for change, embracing that possibility, and helping to make that change happen, because I hate paying big money for gas for a vehicle. I see many folks that have no idea how much they pay for gas each month, just accepting it as part of life. I choose to try to help make a difference.
    The Elio is intended to be your 2nd vehicle. If you buy it as your primary vehicle, power to you and that’s great. But for many folks, it’ll be an “and” vehicle. You can commute to work, run errands, go for a day trip. You cannot tow a boat, take a family of 3 for a vacation, nor drive through 6 inches of snow. You do that with your pickup, minivan, SUV, or 4-door sedan. Your other vehicle. 🙂
    Good article Jo! Cheers!

  • In the EU you don’t have to wear a helmet or get a motorcycle licence if you wanna drive a three-wheeler. Best example is the Carver. It’s not considered a (four-wheel) automobile. The Carver did not have to qualify as such; people can use is as a regular car however. I think the same applies to most U.S. states. It is another issue that Elio chose to use a three-wheel platform to evade having to meet regular car safety standards. I’m saying this because an intelligently configured three-wheeler is able to meet those standards.

  • Nicholas C. Wolley

    The author misleads in his article regarding state helmet laws. See the link here from Elio on their FAQs at

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think we should start a contest – Guess the Number of Times People Will (Redundantly) Comment on Helmet Laws.

  • aprylo

    I want one. Just as a 2nd car. I drive a 4 door Jeep now but would love this for commuting or just running around by myself. Love the gas mileage. and at this price it is easy to have a 2nd vehicle. I think it will be successful. The smart car is the ugliest thing I have ever seen and they are all over. I don’t hate this design.

  • Pokey

    After reading this blog it is clear the author has alot of opinion and not much in fact.
    I have looked at a few videos and am very much interested. My wife rides scooters and doesn’t use a clutch so this is right up her alley. She’s very excited to look and get one.
    I am glad to see someone move into this area of legal ambiguity. Government mandates on safety equipment on car has completely gone nuts and has no end in sight. The price on cars is completely ridiculous and trucks have gone into absurdity. You know this is true because when dealerships have commercials reducing the price by 10k before you even walk into the dealership, something’s up. While I think $6800 may be a little low, I imagine the company has accountants who have this figured out. I have looked at a Can Am Spyder and a Stallion and they are/were priced 15-30 k.
    I wish them much success.

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” Government mandates on safety equipment on car has completely gone nuts and has no end in sight.”

      A few years back I was hit head on by a drunk who came around a blind curve on my side of the road. I was driving a vehicle with no air bags and spent a week in intensive care. He was driving a vehicle with air bags and walked away with zero injuries.

      I’m really looking forward to more “going nuts” and the requirement for more safety equipment. Bring on the collision avoidance systems. Bring on the drunk/sleepy driver detection systems. Bring on self-steering so that I don’t have to constantly be concerned about texting while driving fools.

  • Puguglybonehead

    The tadpole configuration of Elio’s 3-wheeler is considered safer and much more laterally stable than a delta configuration. That’s why it was used on a large number of “microcars” in Europe from the 1940s to the 1960s. Deltas are a dumb design.

    Regardless, you are right about it being legally, a motorcycle in North America. The laws regarding vehicle designation need to change. Having a single drive-wheel in the rear is simpler, from an engineering standpoint, and could bring the costs of vehicles back in reach of the poor. (the way they were before the 1980s) Having 3-wheelers defined as “cars” would force designers to meet stricter safety standards and protect consumers from shoddy designs.

    The Elio looks like a promising design. We should convince our governments to amend vehicle laws, so these designs can mature and become available to all consumers. The success of Microcars in Europe, during their heyday, helped rescue Europe’s war-battered auto industry and helped to establish industrial giants like BMW. (see the BMW Isetta: )

  • hamishdad

    “Elio Motors will utterly fail, completely fail, and embarrassingly fail.”

    You convinced me. I’m gonna buy it!!!

    • Tundra_Yet_Again

      No kidding. Thing will be worth huge bucks 15 years later when there are only 13,000 produced.

  • Marshall

    Insuring a motorcycle is no big deal – not for me anyway. Neither is getting a motorcycle license – I’ve had one before. And it’s been proven safer to have the two wheels in the front of a three wheel vehicle, rather than in the rear.
    The comparison to a Delta Wing means nothing at street speeds. Elio is not a racing vehicle. It’s meant for street driving and good mpg. I think it’s a GREAT idea! And … I could buy 3 Elio’s for the price of 1 Honda Civic!

  • slearwig

    “It’s a car.”. “It’s a motorcycle.” “It’s a trike.”.

    I’m going to start calling it a Personal Transport Vehicle. A PTV.

    • “I’m going to start calling it a Personal Transport Vehicle. A PTV.”

      I’m going to start calling it a POS.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Make constructive comments.

        Trolling not appreciated.

        • Sorry. I’m not trolling; I’m being sarcastic. I’ll stop.

  • Teixeira Donald

    I want one!

  • DJ

    I would by one of the Elio cars if it would fit 3 people.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Just put them in clown outfits….

  • mike

    Elio will sell like hotcakes. The author is full of bananas. I’ll buy one.

  • Kent Beuchert

    Jo sure is clueless. Elio as already convinced many state legislatures to consider his
    vehicle as a car, so Jo’s main point turns out to be… vaporware. So much for Jo’s carefully researched opinion. Next time get off your butt and check things out before
    running your mouth, Jo. Talk about embarrassing fail ….

    • slearwig

      The States will go for it because, like California, car registration and license renewal fees are higher than those for a motorcycle.
      Legally speaking, The Elio will be classed as a car and not require wearing a helmet because it will have seat belts.

      And yep. I want one too. The metallic-blue “South Beach” model.

  • Chris Goodson

    You don’t have to wear a helmet in Florida if you have a minimum of $10K PIP. This writer is full of himself and terribly incorrect on many accounts. I would by one in a heartbeat if they were available today!

  • Tom Bruner

    Let me add a couple of points. First, American automotive history is littered with fond memories of Huppmobile, Argo Electric, Wasp, and many others (search for failed American car companies for a better list). Given no other information at all,. the most likely outcome when starting a new car company is eventual failure. Sometimes it takes years or decades, but it’s part of the life cycle.

    In particular, three-wheeled vehicles have a particularly poor record. But how would you feel if you found a Messerschmit KR200 ( under a tarp in your crazy uncle’s barn? Not American made, of course, but you get my point.

    Getting into the specifics of the article, yes Elio is a motorcycle. The Elio website points this out. However, since it is covered, a helmet is not required in most states. Also, although most, if not all, states have motorcycle licenses, many do not require a license for three-wheeled motorcycles. In particular California, with the most licensed drivers of any state, does not require helmets for covered motorcycles, and a standard class C license is all that is required for three-wheeled motorcycles (and motorcycles with sidecars).

    As to the market share argument, true 20,000 is a small number (as of May 22 Elio has collected over 18,000 deposits). Call it about 0.008% of licensed drivers. But the #20 best-selling vehicle in the US in 2013 was the GMC Sierra with about 184,000 sold. So call it about 0.08% of all licensed drivers. (#1 was the Ford F series with about 763,000 units, or about 0.4%. (In case you’re wondering, the best selling car was Toyota Camry at #3. As one poster remarked, we do like our trucks.)

    But what percentage of licensed drivers is represented by a particular model is not a very useful metric since most drivers do not buy a car every year, and some drivers own more than one car. And this latter point is particularly significant to Elio since it is not being positioned as a primary vehicle, but as a runabout that let’s you leave the SUV or pickup parked most of the time. Market share is important, but the car market is very segmented, so there is room for success with a low volume product.

    Still, smart money would be that it won’t make it. But imagine the look on your as-yet unborn niece or nephew if they find one under a tarp in your barn someday.

  • Scott Russell

    You may have an opinion, but why the negativity and vitriol? It’s as if you are religiously or politically opposed to the Elio — or have something personal against its developers. A little more perspective would have been useful. What a throw-away piece of “journalism”!

  • Michael Toby Calhoun

    Moron…It’s expected to receive a 5 star government safety rating, has an interior roll cage, and has 3 air bags. NOT a motorcycle. Don’t be a hater! This is an affordable alternative for many people! I, for one, will wait to see how it all turns out in the wash ’cause this would be perfect for non-vocational jobs with a high volume of windshield time!

  • X

    It’s coming whether you like it or not..

  • Tom Wittlief

    Hello, Clean Technica, and, goodbye. My own little opinion doesn’t really count for anything, I know. But I can see you have hired a writer that feeds off disagreement, and needs it like an addict needs their drug of choice. Jo Borra’s constant criticisms regarding the progress of the Elio vehicle is nothing less than this, and I can see by the regular appearance of his columns in your publication that you approve of this. Be assured that I will never open another site connected with you. Small loss to you, maybe, but . . .

  • Mark Vega

    What a poorly argued article. As a matter of fact, there are only 5 states that require a helmet on the Elio. Try looking up the facts before trolling people. Of all the people I’ve talked to and showed it to ….they LIKED the design. No-one really cares if it’s technically a motorcycle. BAM. “article” trashed.

    • peeVee

      What’s it going to look like when one of this is in a pileup?
      What’s the survival rate going to be?

  • GEC

    5/9/14 Over 17,000 have put $ down.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Let us know when the first one is delivered and what the sales price is.

  • Eric

    I don’t care if it will SELL. I want a light efficient enclosed vehicle.

    Thanks for nothing. This is the first article I’ve read from cleantechnica, and this supergreen stance makes me disinclined to see any more.

  • Tim Somethin Ernother

    First off… some people like the look. And compare it to any of the ugly *** euro-inspired hybrids and this doesn’t look half bad in comparison. Then the insurance… Motorcycle insurance isn’t a flat rate and has become comparable to car insurance… a few times I’ve seen it being cheaper… and their sliding scales do account for different models. Two or 3 wheeled, enclosed vs non, safety systems… etc. Just shop around with Geiko, Progressive and others… ask about their deals and be sure to explain all its feature when asking for a quote. YES… Endorsement does cost extra but some states are waiving it for 3-wheeled “CARS” that are fully enclosed with safety systems. As for helmets. YES and NO… some places be city or state level are relaxed on not having to wear them in enclosed “motorcycles”. Others may be more strict but as these do gain a following the law will be subject to change. Also if you are still required to do so there are half-hats or brainbuckets… so you aren’t stuck wearing a full-face helmet. Also the facts one here aren’t even facts… most of what you posted is opinion, which is fine… it’s a blog after all. But with your comments below about 15,000 fanboys… look at it like this… Those numbers mean nothing…! Shocking! The fact of the matter is some people want to put money down to help out a product they like to ensure it does well early. But how many people are talking about it?! About 866,000 results on google… Major coverage on news networks and articles in top motors magazines. This doesn’t mean it will be a success… But it does make most of your opinions invalid. You claim the design is failed but that has been proven wrong with many other vehicles. You say they won’t sell in states that require helmets but you don’t factor in many of those places have nasty weather (Rain, sleet, snow, dust, wind) that often urge them to maintain that law and these might allow for sales on that aspect. Your entire argument / post is only focused on them failing b/c they are motorcycles… Many of these designs have been sold already by other companies and have created a fairly firm place in the market. Elio has taken it a step further by dropping production and sale cost, added more safety, storage space to make it better for daily/multi-use, and increased fuel economy. You say it’ll fail but seriously if you look at the market it’s moving into… It might not replace the spyder for a sporty 3-wheeler or Harley’s for the power… But for all the family types and the college students short on cash. This is the perfect vehicle to come out of the “recession”. Might cost you $100 for your licence and maybe even $20 a month on your insurance… but you’ll save at least $10k on purchase price and a fat wallet full at the pump. I don’t see it going away unless the BIG 5 use their mobster tactics on it… but even then… this good of a product? It’ll probably be the next Scion… bought up right after first production run is sold. Just my opinion sir.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “Your entire argument / post is only focused on them failing b/c they are motorcycles..”

      No, the big question is whether something like this can be manufactured and sold for the price stated.

  • Justin Case

    I did some research of my own and the bike will be registered and insured as a motorcycle(making it cheap, but requires a passenger vehicle license. No helmet is required since it has a seat belt and three air bags. I have a big truck to haul supplies for work, but this would be a good trike to have for small errands, groceries, or a weekend getaway. This would save a lot of gas.

  • Doug
  • Joel Mercedes

    The deal is that the thing cost less than the “TAX CREDIT/DEDUCTION” AND STILL LOOKS GREAT!!! then it also gives almost better mileage than the LEAF when you do eMiles and just looks great!!!. Put it this way: i love electrics and IT will be the way to go, down here in every-elsewhere in the world we are ALL waiting for something like ELIO to get us out because there are more places on EArth than just “Merica!! where electricity is lame and oil really spensive ($7+/galon)… I would love a TESLA right now or a leaf, but you get a small dealer of elios for a tesla’s worth and need 3 times as much o r more for a leaf. if this guys at Elio pull it off i will even fly to big old ”Merica!!! to get one to my country!!! READ OUT LOUD!!! THIS AT it price point will be very appealing to young and i mean millions of your teenagers not wanting to freeze up or get wet on the way to wherever…. AND then “”TUNNING”” THIS WILL BE A SWEET THING TO TUNE!!!

    • Bob_Wallace

      No allcaps shouting, please.

  • Josef Roesler

    This fool didn’t do the slightest bit of research on this vehicle before he decided to badmouth it. What a jackhole. Everything he wrote in this article is absolutely wrong.

  • John D

    I’ll be crystal clear. There is no car to sell and none will be manufactured. Car, motorcycle, wheelbarrow, whatever. Before you can sell something you have to manufacture it. That requires tooling, dies, injection molding, welding, an assembly line. And for $6800, call it $10k, it would have to be a pretty fancy process. You can’t put a thousand man hours into each unit like you can in a Bentley because you can’t absorb it in the asking price. You have to manufacture the hell out of it and that means a massive investment in machinery, tooling, jigs, engineering, testing, etc. you could build it in China with slaves who ate dirt and slept on the floor. Buy a calculator. And what about market research, which they clearly overlooked? Oops. Ridiculous. He doesn’t have the capital, the organization or the customers to make this happen. When they burn through the last of their capital in the form of loans, deposits and other fools dumb enough to write this guy a check, the website will quietly fold. Until then, production will forever be one year away.

    • Thank you. You’re the only sane one here in the comments. It’s vaporware at best, and a scam at worst.

      “Non-refundable deposit.” Hang on to your wallets.

      “There’s a sucker born every minute” – David Hannum

  • Using_common_sense

    Gee, someone sounds a little butthurt. What’s wrong? Elio refuse to do an interview for you?

    The legal definition of a motorcycle does not revolve strictly around the number of wheels a vehicle has. In my state, which requires helmets for motorcycling, a motorcycle is defined by statute as having a saddle upon which a rider sits. Seeing as the Elio would not satisfy this criteria, it would fall under the definition of a car under the laws of my state. There is no criteria in the definition of a “passenger car” that addresses any number of wheels.

    Before you babble on with such irrational bitterness, at least be sure to be clear on your facts.

  • John D

    Are you people kidding me or are you all getting a check from this fake company? There is no car, there never has been a car and not a single unit will ever be produced. This is an April fools joke and a really sad one. Just like the Aptera it can not qualify as a motorcycle, it’s next to useless, there is no engineering except for this home made garage built pile of junk made from old lawnmowers parts, Popsicle sticks and paper mâché. It would flip over in a high wind. You couldn’t sell it if it were free.

  • 2screwsloose

    they could sell them in the UK, after all Jeremy Clarkson’s P45 was street legal as was the three wheeled Reliant Robin

  • James Lawrence

    Going to check them out in OKC this week…$6800, 84 mpg, 8 gallon tank, A/C, etc…can be totally customized with wraps…what’s not to like? Latest tally is 13,000+ advanced orders.

    • Bob_Wallace

      See if they will let you prepay $6,800 for one. Offer to put the money in an escrow account with the funds to be released to them on delivery of your ride.

      Ask them how many they are will to pre-sell at that price point.

      Get back to us.

      • Josef Roesler

        You don’t have to buy one. You don’t even have to read about it. And you certainly don’t need to post about it. Whether we get one or not, you’ll still be bitter.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’m bitter?

          Come on. I’ve no dogs in this fight. I get Jo’s point, the numbers seem unrealistic.

          I’d be happy to see something like this pan out. That would mean that we’d use less oil which would be a great thing. And it would help some working poor commuters as well as some tight budget middle class people. And that would also be a great thing.

          What I do see here is the same sort of ‘true believer’ folks that supported eeStore, eCat and Scudder engines. People who seem to latch onto the initial promises of the inventor/developer and are unable to look at the claims with a critical eye.

          Jo makes some important points that should be considered. Others have augmented those points. Elio is promising the Moon and some people suspect he doesn’t have the lift needed to get there.

          • Josef Roesler

            Apparently your dog in this fight is Jo Borrás.

            What does it matter to you if we believe it will happen? Suspects don’t need to read any further, yet there they all are constantly looking for something Elio to bitch about.

            If the car doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I’m out $1000. Big deal. Most people I know spend that kind of money at casinos and have nothing to show for it as well.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, I don’t own Jo Borris. He’d be too expensive to feed.

            If you can’t read what Jo has to say and give it a nice thinking through you’re simply tossing your chips on the table and blindly betting.

            He may be right. He may be wrong. But a cautious person considers all the possibilities.

          • Josef Roesler

            I did read what he wrote. He wrote a bunch of crap that is not true. Why would I want to think crap through? He might as well said it runs on methane and has helium in the tires as well.

            He’s not being cautious. He’s just hate mongering.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Jo has a different opinion. And you seem to have a significant case of Elio-love.

          • Josef Roesler

            If he had an opinion, he should have stated that. But he also included lies because he is biased an unethical in his journalism.

            I do love the Elio, it’s a great concept. And hopefully I’ll be #612 to get one. Why do feel it necessary to demonize Elio lovers? You’re not offending anyone. Did you also know that I am a Domestic Terrorist, according to Senator Harry Reid? Yeah, I think it’s pretty cool.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Don’t shoot yourself in your dick while trying to impress people with your “second amendment rights”, Joseph.

            And try not to go to McVeigh crazy-town.

          • Josef Roesler

            You’ve got some weird ass thoughts running through your head. Responsible gun owners don’t try to impress anyone.

            Is your use of Alinsky’s tactics subconscious, or do you do it intentionally?

          • Bob_Wallace
          • Josef Roesler

            No, I don’t.

            Looks like they weren’t responsible gun owners.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Every gun owner is a responsible gun owner until they screw up.

            And then gun owners kick them out the club in order to maintain their purity.

            But we drift far away from the topic of this blog post. Good luck on getting your Elio. Hope it comes through for you and you enjoy it.

            And if Paul just pockets your money and tells you to piss off, you’re right. You could have lost it gambling on something else.

  • JoJo

    Hmmmm…everyone said Spyders by CanAm were going to fail too, but they knew who they were marketing to, kept production in line with demands…and I believe they’re flourishing today! This “car” isn’t going after the car market, I think they’re going after the motorcycle market who won’t mind the wind/rain protection, 3-wheeled stability and the gas mileage. It’s a lot more safe than most motorcycles with 3-wheels and no body skids. You’re correct, if they go after people who drive cars, their success will be limited, but if they market to aging motorcycle riders (the folks who I have heard be excited and interested) they will have small successes to start with, and then more “car drivers” will consider changing over….just as what happened with CanAm. Sure, CanAm still has the “wind blown” feeling, but as people age, the thought of air condition sounds better and better!!

  • Mark Mann

    I want one… Even if everything the article is saying is true… 🙂

    There is so much interest in the Elio that even if they scale way back it will still make it… The concept is super cool… Mark

    • Bob_Wallace

      The article says that it is unlikely that they can be manufactured and sold for the projected price.

      If you really want one you should have no problem finding a shop that would hand-build you one. Or something very similar. Expect to pay quite a bit….

  • MichaelinAL

    if you don’t have to wear a helmet in a smart car, you won’t in this either.

  • msscooterpower .

    I was gonna buy it but like everybody else we’re waiting if they offer it as promised in their tee shirts,bumper stickers or as shown in their road shows.The green roadster type(P3) that is.But imagine who would throw out that much money if they finally come up with the ugly (P5,the red or orange one) with the full fender,squared rear with the scooter type light?Just to make it cheaper and reach 84 MPG they made it uglier than anything.We can always put some more money & get a CanAm,A Smart car,the modern small Nissan or Toyota.America.America loves loves & sides with any sporty or roadster type of car,not a third world countries’ backyards assembled toys.

    • Josef Roesler

      You buy vehicles because they are pretty? Your opinion is worthless.

  • tfg

    Unfortunately it is a car and not a motorcycle. A car is an enclosed vehicle. Ya it has 3 wheels but it’s not the first 3 wheel car. There well be no helmets.

    • Josef Roesler

      It is NOT a car. In most states it will be classified as an autocycle and will not require a helmet or motorcycle endorsement. You are as uninformed as the writer of this tripe.

  • Fred Bar

    I was wondering why all the hatred in the article and then I realize this is a clean energy site (!). Of course you will hate it. Obviously if it was an electric design you would love it, showing the HYPOCRISY of it all. I mean, as it is with the current production technology and economies of scale, a similar electric vehicle would cost 2.5 times more. We simply are not there yet. Besides, newer technology, such as the one developed by the US Navy to turn seawater into hydrogen fuel (proof of concept was done and it was a hit) will be the game changer that is needed and will obliterate current and near-future battery tech.

    • Fred Bar “Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Materials Science and Technology Division, said this week they have demonstrated proof-of-concept on the ability to draw carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and turn it into forms of gasoline.”

    • Bob_Wallace

      There’s absolutely no hate here for efficiency. It is highly praised.
      Jo pointed out that Elio’s claims are highly optimistic and he expressed doubts that a useful product would come to market for the stated price.
      As for Jo’s style, he’s an excitable boy….

      • Josef Roesler

        Nothing in this article is based on fact or truth.

        • Bob_Wallace

          That’s bull, Josef.

          Dial back your true believer module and read critically.

          Remember, “a fool and his money are soon parted”. Take care that you don’t get fooled.

          Not saying that will happen, just warning you to be cautious.

          • Josef Roesler

            You say it’s bull, but you don’t show anything that supports all the falsehoods in the article. That has nothing to do with my “true believer module.” Like I said, nothing in the article is true. No helmets required in almost all states now, no motorcycle endorsement in almost all states now, just all un researched crap.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Let’s look at some of the stuff in the article…

            “Earlier this week, Troy-based manufacturer Elio Motors introduced more than 20 key suppliers who will be key contributors to the production of the three-wheeled vehicle.”

            “Elio’s “cars” aren’t cars. Not as far as the DOT or your local DMV is concerned, anyway.”​

            “I can walk into a Firestone tomorrow and buy 20 sets of tires, but that doesn’t mean Firestone is in any way “backing” my backyard supercar endeavor, savvy?”

            Are all those statements wrong Josef?

          • Josef Roesler

            Actually yes, the Elio is NOT a car, it’s an autocycle. Nobody from Elio’s camp said it was a car. Nor a motorcycle. Just uninformed hacks who can’t get a real job writing. Therefore, in almost all states now, no helmet or cycle license is required. The crap about tires is just his speculation, which is fine. He can cry all day if he likes about why it won’t happen, but telling lies is not how you write an article unless you’re a greenpeace hippy progressive.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Josef, read more carefully.

            Jo says that Elio vehicles are not cars. You say the Elio vehicle is not a car.

            Therefore not everything in the article is wrong as you claimed.

          • Josef Roesler

            You can try reading carefully, he is saying it’s not a car, then he goes on to talk about all the motorcycle crap that is needed. Not a car is only part of what he is saying, the rest of the thought is that it is a motorcycle. Which it is not.

            “SO, to be clear, premise 1 in my argument is: Elios Motors’ “cars” are, in fact, motorcycles.” Not true.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, Josef. We know that you’re a true believer.

            Good luck.

          • Josef Roesler

            again, you say that as if it’s supposed to be insulting, and yet I didn’t post here to proclaim my belief. I posted because the article is totally inaccurate and full of untruths. Whether I believe in the company or not, has no bearing on what I wrote.

  • future3lioOwner

    Kinda funny you say they will fail with now more than 20,000 reserved (including myself). Not to mention the helmet law you are going on and on about, the enclosed cabin of the Elio makes it so you don’t have to wear one, basically you’re sitting inside the helmet, that includes the most strict state here of California where there is a helmet law but not needed to drive the Elio.
    Don’t worry. The moment I have one sitting in my driveway I’ll be happy to come back here and bash on you just as your bashing on them.

  • Bomephus

    So how much were you paid to dis the Elio? Two-wheels forward is a much more stable configuration, although it’s harder to engineer. Check it out:

    Likewise, your helmet map is deceptive. Only 5 state and DC currently require adults to wear helmets, and Elio lobbyists are working to get exemptions for them. Obviously the helmet laws were not intended to be applied to enclosed vehicles and likely won’t be enforced that way.

  • Soren Harvey

    I couldn’t disagree more! First of all, it is not necessary to have a motorcycle license to operate a three wheel vehicle. Most states with helmet laws do not require that the driver wear one in an enclosed vehicle, regardless of the number of wheels it rides upon. Gas is ridiculously expensive!! If this vehicle delivers the mileage and crash test ratings it promises, I think people who commute daily, and well over 90% of them commute alone, will buy them in droves! I (and many I have spoken with about this vehicle) cannot wait to buy one! Bring on the Elio!!

    • Bob_Wallace

      The big question is whether it can be built for the claimed price.

  • Dr Louis Choquette

    FYI – You might have quessed, but with a name like Choquette, my grandparents came from Montreal, Canada. That makes me a citizen of Canada and the US. Be careful who you call “you guy” because it might just be “us”, as in this case,

  • BryanHeadrick
  • David Hite

    So all but four states have changed/modified helmet laws for “autocycles”. No helmet will be required. I know California will also not require a motorcycle license to operate the Elio, so I am sure that will be the case in a lot of other states as well. I really like the car. Yes, I call it a car.

  • Bubba Nicholson

    It is not backwards in the experience of the cycling community. Two in front and one wheel behind give superior performance. Morgan of England makes similar machines and their experience is anticipatory.

  • Soren landfall

    Honestly I don’t agree with this article at all. I know it’s not exactly new but with the time passed it’s good to show that not everyone can make accurate predictions, and that in-depth research trumps personal opinion.

    One of the major factors in the car possibly being a hit is with the company addressing two major factors in the vehicle’s design, Cost and Efficiency. The low cost lowers the pay barrier significantly and allows almost anyone including myself, a minimum wage worker, to obtain one at minimal cost. The efficiency in it’s design, from it’s awesome fuel economy to it’s low maintenance costs from it’s “over the counter” parts selection only add to the benefits.

    As for motorcycle helmet laws, those only apply to vehicles without an enclosed cockpit. Jay Leno owns an Aptera, an electric car with the same three wheel configuration as the Elio and he was able to drive it legally without a helmet due to it’s cockpit being enclosed.

    Also, comparing the Delta-Wing to this is really an inconsistent comparison. The Elio uses aerodynamics to reduce drag and improve it’s fuel economy, while the Delta Wing merely uses it to reduce drag and improve it’s speed. Fuel Economy isn’t an issue for a racer. Fuel Economy is an issue for the average Joe and Jane like you and me, the people this vehicle’s target demographic is aiming for. This isn’t event he first time this configuration has been used for this purpose. There are vehicles like the Aptera Electric Car, which uses it’s aerodynamics to reduce drag and allow the vehicle’s electric motors to work more effectively and thus improve it’s battery life.

    Another thing to consider is just how many are in reserve to begin, as of March, 2014 there are over 12,000 reservations for the vehicle. Now of course it’s not a mind boggling number, but it is relatively impressive and that number of people driving around in those and telling their friends can spark a chain reaction of rentals or purchases. To say this is an “embarrassing fail” is more or less insulting. If it does crash and burn, they’ve put forth a pretty promising effort and debunked a myth of fuel economy meaning more expensive. But I believe they can make it work. Even if the price goes up by about 1,000 in mark-up by launch, it’s still a smart buy.

  • ChuckGG

    I’d love one as a commuter car. Perfect for me.

  • Jose F. Sabado Jr.

    I’ll buy this car when they sell it in public.

  • macrumpton

    Ill take that bet. I predict if they can keep the price under $8k they will sell a zillion of them. Imagine being able to finance the purchase of your vehicle entirely on fuel savings? My wife spends $250 month on gas, and this vehicle would reduce that to $80, not to mention cheaper car insurance. It will nearly pay for itself within 3 years.

  • Steve Gillon

    This article is bogus. She’s ignoring the fact that many, many baby boomers who are already motorcycle riders (Harley davidson’s HOG group has 2,000,000 members) are having more trouble manhandling their 700-900 lb two wheelers, and are looking to switch to trikes. This machine also protects from rain and snow, which makes motorcycling possible year round, even in Alaska! Legislation is moving along nicely in many states to excuse drivers of ‘autocycles’ from wearing helmets. Most importantly, Elio is a niche vehicle, only needing to sell about 225,000 vehicles per year to be totally successful. Even if you factored out the 5 states that require the driver to wear a helmet (the map she shows is bogus) then Elio can still be wildly profitable. Over 3,000 of those reservations are non-refundable, $1,000 commitments to buy, which is solid evidence (no solid evidence in this article about any of her claims) that there IS demand for this vehicle. Too bad this author put her mouth in high gear before she engaged her brain!

  • Justyne

    One thing this author hasn’t found out is that Elio has gotten most states to write an exception on their helmet laws in regards to their product- so most states, even with helmet laws, won’t require you to wear a helmet when you drive an Elio.

    I have one on reserve, and I can’t wait to get mine.

  • Cecil-T

    Why has the Deltawing “proven” that this is built backwards? There are a lot of unsubstantiated arguments here.

  • Bomephus

    I see your points, but I think you missed what will make them sell-out fast:

    5: Reverse trike design are much more stable and performs better than old-school delta design.

    4: Low operating cost

    3: Many helmet laws may allow the roll-cage/roof to qualify

    2: Looks much cooler that than the embarrassingly ugly Snyder

    1: It’s as comfy in bad weather as a car, but can take the HOV lanes

    They are not selling to people wanting a cool ride, but frustrated commuters, and there are millions of them.

  • Gromit

    Interesting. An alleged environmental-focused, clean energy advocate laying wet blankets on a promising development for personal transportation.

    Is the fear that the free market might actually provide a single occupant transportation solution instead of forced solutions like transit or alternative energy? All your analysis applies to those other solutions. Why not admit that people are not willing to forgo the freedom afforded by single occupant transportation and embrace a solution like this?

    And it is highly ironic that the chief mockery of this approach pertains to personal preferences, but then the Green folks want to force feed the unwilling population a transit system. With light rail costing six million per lane mile, a city could buy tens of thousands of these vehicles and give them away to solve congestion, efficient transportation and parking for the money typically spent on transit.

    Disappointed that clean energy advocates are so scathing about this promising direction. It tells me that “clean energy” is not really about efficiency, but about social change.


    As for wearing a HELMET in a car, evidently you must be totally ignorant to the fact that racers do it all the time. Being a former racer, if required it would not be an issue, since the prospect of saving money on FUEL would be worth it.

  • Guest

    Update: There are only five states left that would require a helmet and one state left that would require a motorcycle license due to exemptions. Insurance is expected to be good due to the expected rating and availability of parts that are not custom.

  • Vic

    I’m a struggling college student like most people that purchase their first car and I would buy one. I like the look and the 2 wheels in front design is very stable. I’ve considered a motorcycle as a mode is transportation for the fuel economy but this vehicle offers not only that but added safety features and protection from the elements. To me this is the best of both worlds.

  • Tommy Smith

    I’m a little late to this discussion but my thoughts are I would definitely buy one as soon as they are made with the 84 mpg motor in it and not the geo engine. I work at Kia and most of my co-workers drive from Atlanta and some have apartments near work because they can’t afford to drive home everyday, this might not be the next big thing but I can see a big market for it.

  • Stank

    I ride an R6 and would gladly “drive” one of these vehicles.

    Id also like to add that I am 34 with 20 years on two wheels and my full coverage insurance on my sport bike is roughly $250 a year.

    That being said, all riders are far from the same.

  • red_niner_zulu

    Always going to be plenty of negative comments, trolls from the big gas guzzler, and oil corporation elitist…….We will wave at you when we pass you by as your filling up those gas hogs, and making the oil tycoons richer……see ya at the pump chump…lol

  • Buffole

    Ok, so lets say motorcycle that is not a bad thing. Can-Ams spyder sells well as do the HD trikes and the many other motorcycle trikes that are out there.
    Minnesota has a three wheel license that can be had using your own three wheeler, you can get a 1 year permit first to practice, if you have a motorcycle license you are all set.
    As per insurance in Minnesota you can insure a Goldwing Trike, Spyder or HD tri-glide for under $300 year.
    The vehicle is not for everyone but I think the price point is great and if they build a good dealer base it should do well.
    Having a motorcycle dealership relationship to sell these would be a big plus for the company and the motorcycle industry.

  • Jal Para

    You are assuming the States with helmet laws will consider this a motorcycle because it doesn’t have 4 wheels. BUT, maybe they Won’t consider it a motorcycle because it is Enclosed. Enclosure may very well trump wheels at the State level.

  • Peter Malia

    Personally, as a motorcyclist without a car license in the uk, I would have one of these for work and winter distance. Yeah it’s not pretty, but if it’s cheap enough, it’s a viable tool.

  • Flibberdy Gibbet

    I love the look. Very futuristic and different, which is preferable to every hondahyundaifordchevykiawtfever bubble car on the road today. Seriously who can tell the difference without looking at the brand name? it’s amusing to me that anyone cites the cost of the Elio as a reason it wont sell when the Metro sold for the same amount. Lastly, helmet laws. lulz. There are a lot of people who live in states where helmets are not required, and even if they are, apparently you’ve not heard of the ‘invisible’ helmet which I am sure will be available and preferable soon, given that it actually works compared to your average pile-of-steamers Bell, etc. Dude, I thought you were all about the tech. Try not being an industry shill just for a few articles?

  • frankfan42

    I disagree Joe, I think this has a legit chance to succeed. The economy may shunt them but I went to see it in Cincinnati this summer and people really liked the car/bike. The fact that its a motorcycle is not really an impediment to many of us, as many of us already have the cycle endorsement. The fact that its considered a motorcycle is actually a PLUS in that they can avoid all the red tape “Certification” of automobiles.
    So why do you think its backwards? You give no reason. But then the curmudgeonly often don’t give a reason. The odds are against a new start up, but they deserve a shot.

  • Perry

    I live in Ca.. Omg, get a copy of a DMV code and read it. Helmets? Motorcycle lic.?
    Who are you? Your an embarrassing fail.

  • Jeffrey Adams

    This vehicle is not built backwards at all. Quite the contrary. Anyone with the slightest understanding of physics knows this. Anyone who’s ever ridden a conventional trike and a CanAm Spyder can tell you that too. Ever seen a Reliant Robin in motion? That “car” is built backwards and it shows. And motorcycle insurance? It’s cheaper than cheap.

  • nomad

    i believe these vehicles are going to sweep the big car companies under the rug unless they can come up with a comparable vehicle for the same price.i plan to buy one.dont need helmet in mn unless under 18.

  • Jeff See

    I can tell you, that the helmet part isn’t a sales stopper for everyone.

  • crutch

    Louisiana has just passed a law to waive the helmet requirement for enclosed 3 wheel vehicles

  • ed ellis

    This entrepreneur is seeking an alternative to the blackmail strangle hold of the oil companies on America …..

    The very price of gas can restrict the freedom of people

    to travel to see family or just for fun .

    Everyone is an armchair critic ,,, but he is the only one getting off his ass .

    Much the same as obama care ,,,since F D R was the president everyone talked shit about that dream…. BUT now it has been done and set in place and it will take years to polish .

    If the republicans had got off their ass when they were in control they could have set the agenda to suit themselves.

    I do not like either party because they do more damage with graft ,,, than good .

    Try this >>>>

    imagine having a non-profit utility company

    that does not need to raise rate to pay dividends and
    can actually bill the customer for half of current rates >>>>

    Now apply that to wall street .

  • Wayne Goodrich

    I’m looking forward to having something I can go back and forth to work and not kill me at the gas pumps. I really don’t believe it will get 84mpg and 69 in town. That’s the kind of fuel mileage that little 50cc scooters get, not a 1000cc Auto/cycle. I ride my bike, Vulcan 1600 during the nice days and drive my pickup truck during the rainy days and most of the winter. My truck kills me in gas mileage . Elio has already gone through La. state government and got it classified as a car, so other states should follow suite. Even if it is classed as a m/c ,I already have a m/c endorsement and I’m older than the age limit for this state (Arkansas) to wear a helmet. Have to wear one under 21 yrs old. So, they are backwards? That means the Can-Am Spider, and the T-Rex (there is one in the movie “Biker boys”) is backwards also? A lot of people I’ve told about this is saying how cool it is and I think it’s great and want to know where to get one. Now if they can just come out with an Electric version, that would be really great news ! But I’ll take a gas one for now. Also, I think they will sell like hotcakes and I’ve asked them about becoming a dealer for them .

  • RC

    ummm I emailed the California Department of Motor Vehicles it took them awhile to figure it out but they said the Elio will be registered as a motorcycle but will only require a class C regular automobile license, motorcycle m1 & m2 in California are only for 2 wheel motorcycles there are no special requirements for three wheeled vehicles so they fall under class C. get all your facts oh I believe Elio will be successful. as for the comments about nobody drives a 3 wheeler someone better tell CanAm their 3 wheelers that are everywhere in California won’t sell, quit selling them they are a waste of time.

  • Roger, Wa. St.

    Have had my eyes out for a basic enclosed commuter that hasn’t been filled with silly expensive gadgetry for some time. Designing with the 2 wheels in front is the safest configuration- low center of gravity means if you have to slow hard while cornering there are no tipping issues. Nobody has to wear a helmet in an enclosed vehicle, period. Insurance will be less because it’s made inexpensively- and it’s not hard to design such a vehicle with an effective cage chassis for good safety. Sourcing parts for a simple car as this shouldn’t be hard either, motorbike and car makers have lots of options available. Not sure why Jo has such a problem with this.. no real reason why Elio shouldn’t succeed, I am certainly going to seriously consider getting one when they arrive.

  • srichey321

    The Elio is a great concept. I live in San Diego and it is perfect for this area, but it depends on if they can really deliver it under 10k.

    • Klaas

      At the end of the day. If they can deliver everything they promise. I think this car will sell like crazy. How many cash strapped college kids would love to have a car like this. Just going to work and back will save me a ton of money in the summer. It would pay for itself easily. I live in WI. so I do not see myself driving it in the winter. I am happy someone is attempting to make this happen.

  • Bob_Wallace

    You folks who pay a lot of attention to cars and motorcycles, especially their prices, could you do some guesstimation-explanation for me?

    A 2013 Nissan Versa 1.6 S sells for $12,780. The differences I see between the Versa and the Elio are that the Versa has one more wheel and seats 3 more people.

    There’s the difference in fuel mileage, but let’s leave that aside. I get that.

    The Elio is stated to sell for $6,800. That’s really close to half the cost of the Versa. 53%, to be exact.

    How does someone drop a wheel, a few seats and the metal needed to wrap around them and cut almost 50% off the price of the cheapest sedan for sale in the US?

    The Versa curb weight is 2,354 pounds. The Elio ? Carving off a lot of body can cut weight, allow for better aerodynamics and increase mileage. But what is being cut is relatively cheap metal and some upholstery, not pounds of platinum. Hard to believe that the extra sheet metal and stuff would cost even $1,000.

    The Elio is suppose to be more than a tin can on wheels, cheap because it’s not safe. Here’s what their web site states…

    “Each Elio comes equipped with a Safety Management System that includes
    three airbags – a reinforced roll-cage frame, Anti-Lock Braking System,
    and 50% larger crush zones than similar vehicles. Preliminary safety
    tests on computer models anticipate a 5-Star safety rating.

    We will have 3-wheel disc brakes with the Anti-Lock Braking System on
    15″ wheels. So your Elio will not only stop onlookers in their tracks,
    it’ll stop you, too – quickly and safely.”

    It’s got AC and a CD player.

    Other than a fourth wheel and more interior space I can’t identify the Elio/Versa difference.

    “The body panels are made of a composite….” Composites generally are not cheaper than metal. Well, I suppose cheap plastic could be, but that’s not what people are expecting.

    Nissan has economies of scale going for it. It has supply streams in place and trained workers. Window crank to window crank, Nissan should have lower manufacturing costs.

    Can someone explain the savings? I can’t see where they might come from.

    • Matt

      Really? Because it doesn’t “Have To” Pass crash tests, EPA tests – For CARS, and other Govt. B.S. I worked for a company that made aircraft oil filters, ours were pretty much the same as a car one, it just cost 3x as much, due to Govt. certification requirement…

      Common sense is not a gift, it’s a punishment. You have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.

  • Albert Chambers

    I’m in South Texas. No helmets in sight. 100 sweltering degrees. Everything is 500 miles away (except Mexico).
    The Elio looks pretty good.

  • Bill Thompson

    Wow, what an ill-informed article. It has less than four wheels, so it is registered as a cycle. Check. From there, you go downhill fast. Suggesting that a single front wheel is more stable than dual fronts ignores physics, science, and a hundred years of three-wheeler automotive history. Helmets?!? Geez, dude, do a little research — rollover protection obviates the requirement for a helmet. It’s legally a motorcycle, but constructionally it’s a three-wheeler car, with crumple zones, airbags, and stressed monocoque cage. They’re aiming for 5-star safety ratings. This thing should handle like it’s on rails, be a featherweight blast to drive, give spectacular mileage, and have all the creature comforts of a sedan. Gee-whiz jet-fighter tandem seating a plus. For less than seven grand? It’ll be a game changer in the American market. Plus, its dead sexy, like the love child of a Morgan, Lotus Seven, and 300Z.

  • Cunning_Linguist

    I drive 80 miles round trip to work each day and live in Florida, which doesn’t have a helmet law. At $4 a gallon for gas, I’ll save roughly $2400 a year driving the Elio to work vs my current vehicle that gets 30mpg. For those challenged with math, that means the Elio will pay for itself in 3 years. With those numbers, I can justify having a second vehicle for weekends and vacation that fits my lifestyle but doesn’t necessarily get great fuel economy; like a sports car or large SUV for hauling toys.

    There’s hundreds of thousands of people in similar situations in the half of the country that doesn’t require helmets on “motorcycles”. Also, are changes in law really that uncommon? The Elio may in fact fail, but it shouldn’t and I’ll have one before it does if it’s ever produced.

  • BAD f3

    Black Art Designs and Suplex designed and produced the initial coil-overs (dampers) for Morgan’s new 3 wheeler. 3 wheelers can be a lot of fun. I respect Mr. Elio and the entire team for all their hard work and vision. I for one, hope they reach all their goals. If they do, I believe we will all benefit.

  • jquigly

    I live in a metro area where you can see occasionally ferraris among the numerous mercedes, porches and bmws. A lot of people in this area make enough in one day to buy a $6800 car. There is a larger number of people that make more than that per week. If this car reaches the market it will immediately be seen on HOV lanes. People will buy a motorcycle helmet at Walmart and keep it in the car. When you go for your test for a motorcycle permit you would just drive it wherever, takes no practice to learn to drive it.

  • lug

    Success is always hard but this vehicle has a few things going for it. Price – This is cheap enough that more may risk it as opposed to a full priced vehicle. Another is that it eliminates the motorcycle’s main weakness, no all weather capabilities. This is enclosed and air conditioned. I highly doubt he will sell his target numbers but I’d want to see what is his break even number before making a guess.

  • Steve

    Have you seen the number of Smart cars on the road. People are lookin for affordable transportation, and I think the car looks pretty cool. My only concern is with all the hype, where are all the cars. Even in small numbers, he should be selling them now, instead of running around hyping them. Thats what is making this look like smoke and mirrors. Stop taking advanced sales, start making cars.

  • garito

    They all laughed at Fulton and his steamboat……as the song goes

  • Dr Louis Choquette

    Oh-oh, I did some research on the 1.0 liter engine used in the Geo Metro, which is the same engine the Elio is using with a modified head. This engine uses a timing belt and not a timing chain. Vehicles with timing belts is a deal-breaker for me because I don’t want to pay for any preventable maintainence. This coupled with the fact there have been several years the Geo Metro 1.0 liter engine had a tendency to break timing belts – not good. Personally, I’d like to see a small diesel engine with a timing chain in the Elio. I’d bet it would get over 100 mpg.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Let’s see.

      In order to avoid a charge of a few hundred dollars to change out the belt after 60k miles you’ll pay thousands more to purchase another vehicle and then pay thousands more on top of that for fuel.


      • Dr Louis Choquette

        If I was willing to buy a care with a timing belt, I could buy a used VW diesel for under $5000, pocket the $1800 differnce and use it for fuel plus have safe vehicle that has room for 4 or five passengers. Of course the advanages of the Elio over a used VW are 1) the Elio is new, 2) it can drive in communter lanes in California because it’s classified as a motorcycle, and 3) the VW gets 42 mpg while the Elio gets 84 mpg.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Heck, I’ll sell you a used Ranger pickup for even less than that, you can pocket even more money, and haul stuff in the back.

          I was getting ready to donate it our public radio station, but I’ll make you a nice deal.

          Comparing used to new is bogus….

          • Dr Louis Choquette

            I’m comparing $ to $, and transportation to transportation. The only difference between new and used is often just safety or styling concerns. A used reliable vehicle is better than an unreliable vehicle that costs more to maintain. In the case of Elio, the reliability of the structure is unknown but the relibility and weaknessess of the Suzki 1.0 Liter engine are known. Elio could use a known reliable design that uses a timing chain and the problem would be solved.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Come on, that’s an intellectually dishonest argument.

            If you’re talking about making a personal buying choice, then you can compare the Elio to a dog cart if that’s what you want to do.

            But judging a new vehicle on its merits requires comparison to other new vehicles.

          • Dr Louis Choquette

            You work for Elio marketing department – right?

          • Bob_Wallace


            And you’re a proctologist who really puts his head into his work – right?

          • Dr Louis Choquette

            Not really, I just like to look at the whole picture and not just the view someone tries to sell me. I do hope you realize that different people have diiferent prospectives and reasons for buying a vehicle. Your view is not the same view that is shared by everyone. And surprise, neither is mine. Good luck work for Elio.

    • Casmige

      It comes with a timing C-H-A-I-N. Your ass-ertion is invalid as a result.

      • Dr Louis Choquette

        I hope you’re right, but HEY what’s with the attitude?

        • Casmige

          French Canadienne.

          Our Attitude is oft mistaken for “Attitude”.

          But then again? the Article probably set my teeth upon sour grapes just a little bit, my apologies.

          It’s really a great time for this type of affordable automobile here in the States.

          Oil & Natural gas are at an all time over-production Glut however we’ll NEVER see the price under $3.00USD per US Gallon ever again.

          It’s the US Money Supply Monetised Debt Thimble-rig really.

          “They” did it to you guys in the 70’s where “They” inflated the money supply & then commenced with “Inflation” starting with energy & then a creeping up-tic across the board ending in an up-tic (Finally) in wages.

          Scarcely cannot believe the manner in which you supposedly educated American’s actually vote for imbeciles on the Left.

          Gone are the days of the JFK Democrat.

          There is apparently more worry about a timing chain versus belt…….lolz.

          Even belt technology has progressed beyond the need to replace every 60K, now it’s almost double that figure….& easily a DIY at most 4 hour project.

  • GJPinks

    This twit has palmed this uninformed oped to several web sites. He is laughably wrong. Only two or possibly three states will require helmets and or M/C liscencing . If they cand bring 70+ highway mpg, A/C, heating and radio to market under 8,000 dollars, they will create a major automotive shift. If they can do it for $6,800, they will sell 100,000 units the first year (if they can handle the production load). That would be about 10 years supply of Chevy Volts.

  • Dr Louis Choquette

    Mr. Bob Wallace. Your hypothesis that the increase to motorcycle fatalities is due to older drivers is actually an interesting one. I did a quick search on the internet and found that there is some merit to what you say – in 2011, motorcycle drivers inthe 50 to 69 year old had alot of fatalities but so did the drivers in the 20 to 29 year old and the 35 to 39 year old groups with the most fatalities in the 25 to 29 year old group. These statistics of course are only for one state for one year so I can’t say what the overall trend is for all 50 states for the past 10 years is but it does seem that drivers in the 30 to 50 year old age group were the safest motorcycle drivers in Illinois in 2011.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I live in an area that is a prime draw for motorcycle tourists, very scenic and some great cruising highways. Because of that my sample of older riders on very large machines is probably skewed.

      We have our share of accidents and fatalities. Just an informal guess is that the majority are not the riders’ fault, but bikes getting hit by cars. The more mature riders are generally very responsible riders, but getting hit by a car is not something that is easily avoided and protection is slight.

      We get a few younger riders on smaller bikes and some of them are just stupid riders. This time of year I can expect to be passed by a rider who crosses a double yellow heading into a curve in order to ride significantly over the speed limit.

      Again, that’s not data but only observations. And probably says nothing about the safety of the Elio. It will be most interesting to see how well that machine sells if it comes to the market. It looks like a very practical commute machine and would greatly increase our petroleum efficiency.

      • Dr Louis Choquette

        As battery technology gets better and cheaper, we’ll see more and more vehicles achieving great MPG, but as you correctly point out, the Elio would make a great commuter vehicle and lessen our dependence on petroleum. I believe vehicle mpg will get better over time but I’m not as confident about motorcycle safety. I do hope the Elio motorcycle is as safe as they predict. Other manufactures like Lit Motors are also planning on delivering enclosed motorcycles with seat belts and air bags next year but the Lit Motor’s C-1 all-electric 2-wheeler will cost around $25K. If Elio really is safe, gets great mpg, and costs $6800, Elio is positioned to be a runaway success. The real question in my mind is “Can Elio walk the talk?” or are their claims all hype? Time will tell.

  • Dr Louis Choquette

    Crash fatalities in automobiles have decreased over the past decade but have increased in motorcycles. If Elio does live up to it’s marketing and provides the protection, mpg, price, and fun to drive factor it says it will, I think it will sell very well. An 84 mpg two-seater for only $6800 gets my attention! I do hope it really is a safer motorcycle.
    PS. I’d like to know more about the drive-train.

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” but have increased in motorcycles”

      I wonder why.

      Seems like there are an awful lot of old farts (my age) out riding big two-wheelers these days. Might the reason be older drivers with poorer reflexes, or more bikes on the road, or something else?

      Having come close to being hit a few times (while on four wheels) by people busy talking on their cell phones, might that be the problem?

  • Wendy Wagner

    I am already working this into my budget. Wearing a helmet is such a small price to pay, and I know some people in my state government that could help fix that issue.
    As a former member of the middle class (now the low end of that group is the working poor, with less to spend than the food stamp set) I can pay over half the price for one of these with a tax return. Liability insurance for the year on a motorcycle in Missouri would cost less than I would save in a month. And I would get to drive a cool new car for once.
    I can even get a big Made in the USA sticker for it. They should make that an option!

  • Pedro Suarez

    It’s not like texting laws ever stopped us from buying a car. Drinking and driving stopped us from buying a motorcycle.

  • Matt Radcliffe

    The info-graphics are lies supplied by the Detroit news and the author can’t comprehend the idea that anyone might disagree with him. He thinks that it should have been made as a delta trike (the kind that tip over when they turn) for no reason at all.
    Wearing a helmet in the car would be annoying. Riding a motorcycle every day, rain or shine and being comfortable is well worth it. Sure it isn’t as much fun as a Monotracer or a Carver but it is a tenth the price. They will sell like hot cakes. Think of them as all the practicality of a scooter, and then some, comfortably, in any weather.

  • Marrio

    The Author is just a Hater. I’m buying one.

  • Steve

    Whatever Jo , I am gambling my $100 to get in line. This is an idea whos time has come. I want one!!!

  • Jason Landstrom

    I’m willing to get a motorcycle license and wear a helmet if I get to use the commuter lanes. I wish them all the successes and I am willing to support them.

  • MKB

    The Elio will succeed because the Can-Am is a success.

  • Bob Merg

    Oregon DMV “Operators of motorcycles with an enclosed cab are not required to wear a helmet or have a motorcycle endorsement.”
    Even if I had to wear a helmet, or have a M/C endorsement, I still want an Elio. This is the “motorcycle” for those that wouldn’t buy a motorcycle. Try to buy a motorcycle for $6800. that gets 80+ mpg, and can do 100 mph. Good luck! I haven’t had a motorcycle in the last 20 years that got more than 50 MPG. I’m betting your behind the curve, and haven’t a clue to a start up that auto, and motorcycle manufactures will envy.

  • Ed

    My motorcycle insurance is much less expensive than my car insurance, so that argument doesn’t hold up

  • mself61

    hummm and WHO ARE YOU ? funny there is NO NAME attached to this OPINION review.. so yeah.. WHY SHOULD ANYONE TAKE YOUR WORD ?, you seem to be bent on helmet laws where in fact most state already approve a vehicle like this requires NO helmet, even if it did I still think it would be worth it !, so again I want to ask who made you an authority on the auto industry and how it is “supposed” to work ? maybe they should have teamed up with GM and all the others that WENT BANKRUPT and got BAILED OUT ! savvy?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Jo Borrás is not a name?

      How about you save the shouting (all caps) for the clouds? It hurts our tender ears….

  • pateriot

    My Uncle is fairly Liberal and he has put $1000 down to be one of the first ones to own one of these. I am very Conservative and I can’t get one fast enough! If this guy is successful at manufacturing this vehicle, at this price, he will very quickly be the richest man in the World!!!

  • Lee B

    Negative much? You should applaude this endeavor and hope that it is a success. I am pretty sure you would not be required to wear a helmet (even in MA) as it is an enclosed vehicle. Also, MC insurance is not expensive.
    Elios is built backwads? No, this is far a more stable platform than the single wheel in front.

    As for the price .. I doubt they can do that but if so or even close, I am very interested. Hell, it is hard to get a motorcycle at that price that fits my 6’4″ 280# frame.

    I hope they do well.

  • doug

    This op-ed isn’t very well thought out, has obvious inaccuracies and poor logic. There are plenty of states where helmet laws are not in effect – not to mention the fact that they can be dispensed with in a new class of vehicle hybrid built around a roll cage and passing automotive crash test standards. It is NOT built backward and the idiotic evidence offered is silly – apparently the author did no research on engineering and chose instead to do a quick internet search and pick the first thing that seemed to be a dissenting design. Blithering imbecile.

  • Ender69

    I like how this guys hate for a car that is not even out yet, has made very one prove him wrong with support and love of the plan to give people a high gas mileage low price car. He must feel like an asshole right. I bet he is already on the waiting list for one now. haha I know I’m going to be. 😉

  • 32yellowtub

    It is obvious to me, whoever wrote the article doesn’t know anything about three wheelers. Two wheels in front, front wheel drive is the right way to build a three wheeler. the torsional stability (torsional resistance) you get with two wheels in front is almost like driving a four wheeled car, with the exeception the roll point is the center of the rear wheel. you would more than likely spin the car than roll it due to that fact. There has been several books written on the engineering of three wheeled cars. As far as licensing the drivers, in California a three wheeled motorcycle can be operated by anyone. A side car is different.

  • aryes

    Here in Nevada it is classified as a car as it has 2 of the wheels as drive wheels. Any 3 wheeler in Nevada doesn’t require a helmet. Author of this article has done little homework. Under Fed law it may be considered a motorcycle which would only require it to have a 1 year warranty instead of the 3 year which would bring the price way down. Being made in America there will be no import duty tax, bringing the price down in comparison to all the foreign motorcycles.

  • 47Driver

    I’ll stick with my 210 HP 300+ FT LB VW Jetta Sport Wagen TDI. I get 35 MPG at 130MPH, 45MPG at 85MPH, and 52MPG at 65MPH. All road tested, not on the computer display. I can fit my whole family in it, my dog, and luggage. Yes, I upgraded the ECU, and I’ll keep it forever.

    I’d be afraid to run into a traffic cone with the Elio, let alone another car!

    • Pedro Suarez

      U are driving a toaster.

      • E-Cigarette Vaping Redneck

        NOPE! I have a 2009 VW TDI Sportwagen, and they are SOLID on the road!

  • Mickey

    They’ll sell like crazy if they actually build them and they’re halfway decent quality. Motorcycle riders will buy them to drive when it rains. Kids will buy them in droves.

    The helmet laws will be quickly amended to exclude enclosed vehicles…..assuming they’re not written that way already. That’s a non-issue.

  • Mickey

    There is almost no cost OR hassle in getting a motorcycle license. And I insure my BMW K1200LT, a $25,000 motorcycle, for about $200 per year. Per YEAR. Full coverage.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Folks, it’s quite unlikely that Jo is seeing any of the constructive criticism you’re sending his way. I would imagine he’s turned off this feed long ago.

    But if you would like to get your message to him you might want to visit his site and the Elio article there.

    I’m sure he’d be glad to hear from you….;o)

  • nerys

    Man its been a long time since I read such a truly horrible clueless article. did you even do any research?

    let me go over the delusions present in this article.

    #1 it being a technical motorcycle is its biggest BONUS not a hindrance. its a primary reason they can sell it for $6800 and its a primary reason they can even BUILD IT (the vast majority of those regulations are not to keep you safer (though some in fact do) but to keep the “surf” out of their territory is seriously selling cars)

    it being technically a motorcycle IS THE WHOLE STINKING POINT its what makes it SO viable SO alluring SO cheap.

    Second motorcycle means CHEAP INSURANCE $75 to $100 a year. what are you paying for your car sheep?

    third. MOST states do not require M rating for vehicles like this and MOST states do not require helmets for cars like this (the cabin COUNTS as a helmet in most cases) and in those states not accounted for they are working to change those laws (now many)

    it won’t effect your insurance except to LOWER IT. in fact one of my primary fears is the insurance lobbyists will ruin it for us and get the law changes to let them charge CAR RATES for these things (that would suck)

    next crank forward (two wheels up front) IS the correct way to do it. every tip over a tricycle? duh.

    it will easily get 84mpg driven properly. heck I already get 65mpg in my geo metro (1700 pounds 4 wheels much larger) in fact I am surprised it ONLY gets 84mpg. I expect once “I” get my hands on one it won’t take long to surpass 100mpg.

    IF they manage to get these things built their biggest problem is going to be making ENOUGH of this.

    this here family already wants 4 of them. on the spot as soon as possible. you can’t ask for anything better for a daily grind commuter car. comfortable small efficient with AC and no motorcycle hassles but all the motorcycle goodies (low insurance good gas cheap cost etc..)

    its a win win all around. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. IE big auto to try and squish them via a hostile regulatory environment.

    and design esthetic? I can deal with that simply enough.

    these cars look FREAKING HOT. if elio says kill someone and you can have this car I might actually think about it for a fraction of a second.

    $6800 car single over head cam (simple cheap to maintain) I REALLY wish it was based on the G10 (would make maintenance silly cheap and easy)

    SIGN ME UP. I want 4. and I know my sister and her boyfriend wilL EACH get one. its so cheap anyone can afford it especially if their “gas card” payment idea pans out. (genius)

  • rogwild

    “Clean Technica” please vet your authors better: Jo Borras’s ‘article’ is so full of inaccurate statements, personal bias, and supposition, that it ‘reeks’ of BS. NOT the quality of article, I would expect here!

  • Brett Evans

    Built backwards, eh? The Morgan 3-Wheeler disproves that, as does how much the Reliant Robin sucks. The DeltaWing isn’t even a trike. This guy’s credibility is completely shot.

  • Sherri wharton

    Hey buddy, you pay my gas bill and we can talk. You are crazy to think that I wouldn’t do all the negative things you listed to save 500 dollars a month. It’s worth a little prep work. In this day and age the big cars are out especially or short distances. Sorry you are dead wrong.

  • notrupert

    The 1937 Morgan Super Sports conclusively proved 2 wheels in front is correct, by outrunning many larger, more expensive, sports cars of the day.

  • michael johnson

    Yes this has a high chance of failing. However a simple Google search would find that there are exceptions to the helmet laws for trikes in various states. Also the fact that some states don’t require a motorcycle license for three wheelers. shame on the author for not pointing out these exceptions.
    I for one am very hopeful that this unit at least makes it to production. Really, so many Americans could use a highly efficient vehicle that is affordable.

  • jupiter2

    I don’t know Jo Borras but I for one hope it doesn’t fail and would in fact buy one. I need an inexpensive simple commuter “car” that is good on gas. Period. I have a mini van for the kids and an old pickup truck for hauling my toys. I NEED a daily driver to get to work that won’t kill me in gas. I would love to drive a motorcycle but I’m nervous on two wheels and living in Michigan I only have about 5 months on a bike. Plus I prefer an enclose vehicle. I will give it a serious look when they come out.

  • BillMilligan

    Georgia, one of the most backward states in the union when it comes to most things, will not require a special license or helmet to drive this car. I checked. The motorcycle law explicitly excludes fully enclosed vehicles. From what I checked most states are similar.

    I am one of the people who has quite enthusiastically plunked down actual dollars to reserve one of these. I’m spending $150 on my weekly commute with my existing car. If Elio’s estimates on mileage are off by as much as 40% I will still be more than doubling my existing mileage, and this car will pay for itself at warp speed.

    When I first started driving I used to love taking long drives to anywhere on weekends. I did this less and less as gas rose over a dollar, two dollars, three, and now as it threatens four my days of recreational long distance ground exploring would be over — except for what Elio is promising to deliver. I love the idea that from Atlanta I could hit Miami or St. Louis on a single 8-gallon tank. Last week I made a business trip to Raleigh from Atlanta and that short trip alone takes about 20-25 gallons. What a difference!

    This vehicle is not being marketed as a motorcycle. I can imagine that a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts will turn their noses up at this. That doesn’t matter to me, I don’t like motorcycles, but I’ll tell you what — for all the beneftis I’d be getting out of adding this car to my driveway, I’d be willing to wear a helmet if that’s what it took. I can’t wait until this car will be ready!

    So, the author of this piece can pooh-pooh all he likes, whatever, he doesn’t have to buy one. But there *is* a market for this car and I am living proof.

    • Kyle Lockhart

      I ride a Harley, and I for one am buying an Elio. It isn’t the same. I’ll feel safer taking my daughter to school in the Elio, It’ll be a lot warmer on winter mornings, and the best MPG I get on the bike is 55. When I want the wind in my face and the freedom of the bike, I’ll ride. Otherwise, the Elio will be the perfect car for my needs.

  • da na

    This author shows his ignorance in so many places. Most state laws that have motorcycle helmet laws define a motorcycle as a 2 wheeled vehicle. Yes by making it 3 wheels they thread a hole the Fed’s don’t consider it a car for regulations, but states don’t consider it a motorcycle for licensing, or helmets.

    Then he continues to show his ignorance by comparing it to a 4 wheel rear drive delta wing. Uhm how about comparing it to the successful Can Am Spyder three wheel layout 2 in front one in back

    Oh well in these internet days of getting clicks, junk articles like this are often written just to get people to link them or get more clicks.

  • Ryan Bennett

    To the author of this article

    How dare you. regardless of what this vehicle is classified as by the DOT or each state, Paul Elio is willing to take a risk and try to build a better vehicle. Also in doing so he is putting Americans back to work. The release of this article is a disgrace. The last time press like this was released was in the age of the Tucker Motor Company, the Press killed his company with the help of the big 3, I have to wonder which of the big 3 if not all you are collecting payroll from to release an article like this. Where are your articles trashing foreign companies importing scooters and motorcycles, have you seen what some companies are building, they look like Smart cars but they are junk Chinese imports.

  • Riyaz

    I was expecting the author has some serious business points to talk about. He is not proving anything with his points. The only claim he is has around helmet. At best he is making fun of himself. Helio might fail or succeed – but this article has nothing to do with thay

  • DemandSider

    The government of Lower Saxony in Germany owns a controlling stake in Volkswagen because it is difficult to maintain much profit selling predominantly economy cars in a company’s DOMESTIC market. Also, neither Japan nor South Korea makes much profit at home. Whether this car survives or fails is really up to our government, but, since we like to maintain more of an illusion of “free market” in the U.S, it will probably be allowed to fail, as current brands have a lot of political clout.

  • Guest1

    I guess the author got what he wanted, a Jerry Springer article. Every one of his points are incorrect: You cannot get top rate suppliers like they have without tons of hard work, good plans, and connections into each supplier. The Firestone example is simply ridiculous. These suppliers are very cautious because of the companies that have folded and left them hanging with costs and are running with smaller staffs than ever, making their time hard to get. These guys seem to have made some real inroads. Secondly, (and seeming the 3rd point as well?) helmets are an issue in maybe 7 or 8 states, and they have just gotten a bill passed in Louisiana (no helmet or Motorcycle license) recently. After sitting in one last week I can’t imagine any state making either a helmet or special license mandatory in this motorcycle. They do call it a motorcycle too BTW. Not sure about the insurance once they come out but my motorcycle insurance is way less than my car today. I appreciate you looking out for people, but at least get one thing right…

  • Haywood

    If I wear a Helmet, that means I DON’T HAVE TO WEAR THE SEAT BELT.

  • SamSkwirl


  • gram56

    Funnily enough the law in the UK allowed people with motorcycle licences to drive 3 wheeler cars . A vehicle know as a the Reliant for many years enjoyed success.
    The Elio is a better design with two wheels up front for stability. .. No tipping…I think the Niche market will at least exceed that of the smart car…

  • JaySens

    Helmets protect your head from hitting the ground when you fall off a motorcycle. There really is no “falling off” an Elio so it shouldn’t be *too* hard to convince legislators to amend their state’s statutes to reflect simple common sense. Especially when constituents are always looking to bring down their gas costs and many are thinking about the impact of fossil fuels on the planet.

    Not to mention, you underestimate how badass people look in helmets anyway.

    I’m putting in my pre-order this month. Somewhere between 1-2k people already have, and we’re still over a year away from production.

  • SamSkwirl

    That’s fine, Ill wear the helmet. But I DONT HAVE TO WEAR A SEAT BELT ON A MOTORCYCLE!!!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Please don’t shout at us –

      • SamSkwirl

        wipe the sand out of your vagina

  • mark

    This guy is a big POO-POOer on progress ain’t he…Good grief. It is my personal prediction that Elio Motors will NOT fail…that in fact, they will be a HUGE success. I’ve already put down some money for one of their “cars”. The oil/gas companies can then KISS MY ASS.

  • torr10

    sounds like Jo Borras is upset because he’s stuck writing for a third rate website while the guy at Elio is making his dream come true. Maybe it’s a new shade of green….

  • K. Stacy

    I’m a 40yr old, 6ft 240lbs, retired Navy redneck from Mississippi (and now again living in MS) that wants nothing more than a 4 wheel drive, crew cab, turbo-diesel Ram 2500. That said… when I first heard about these little cars a couple months ago I laughed at the thought of these little green peace hippy freak cars. But then the more I looked into them and the more I thought about my current daily 60 mile commute in my Yukon XL…. the more I liked the idea of these little cars. You can bet I’ll soon be putting a deposit down on one.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I imagine you’ve figured out the fuel savings moving from your present ride to an Elio for your commute. It would be interesting to hear how much money you’d save a year. (It’s probably better to assume something more like 75 mpg for commuting.)

      • K. Stacy

        Yes, my weekly gas bill would go from $90 to $12. The car would pay for itself in just under 2yrs. To save that kind of money, I’ll gladly deal with all of the weird looks from all these rural folk.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Paint it the colors of the highest regarded football team in the area. Fly one of their flags.

          (Where I grew up it would be Volunteer orange.)

          And maybe add “My gas bill used to be $360 and now it’s $48”.

          That’s some significant savings….

        • Wendy Wagner

          HEY! I’m rural and I want one to!

    • Guest

      I’m thinking the same thing. I get a little nervous about safety due to the size (even with airbags, you get plowed into by a Yukon you won’t be walking away), but still, my current Dodge Caliber isn’t all that big. And I only get high 20s low 30s mpg, and the Caliber is probably as slow or slower than this Elio. For my 30 minute commute, I’m thinking one of these things actually might not be a bad idea. Of course, my Caliber has a lifetime powertrain warranty and is only five years old, so it might not be quite time to switch, but maybe in a few years something like this will make sense.

    • pateriot

      Even being a risky adventure and me not being wealthy, I am putting my $1000 down to be one of the first to get one of these cars/motorcycles. Those who do not, will have to wait in line for years for delivery (if they actually succeed in making them).

  • savy12LI


    I’m a senior riding a Auto Moto trike for 1 yr now and love riding it. Great as a commuter and local rides, its different, gets attention, gets 70-75 mpg,and it tilts!

    I will be putting a deposit on the Elio when they bring the prototype to my area on Long Island,NY. We need more innovation in smaller, more efficient, more affordable cars… and it’s not coming from the big auto guys.

  • Totally disagree with the author. I will be in line.

  • plunger

    i think the last time you had a movement you flushed your brains.

  • J.Griffin

    If they get anywhere CLOSE to 84mpg@$6,800 you would be surprised what people will put up with-
    ESPECIALLY in CA where
    (as others commenters have already noted)
    helmets are not required in such vehicles by law.

    Motorcycles in CA can ride in the commuter lane-
    EVERY Californian on the road
    can tell you how wonderful
    that is!

    This article easily passes for pro-Detroit “anti-Tucker” style propaganda…

  • drivin98

    “… and the fact that (sort-of) three-wheelers like the DeltaWing have effectively proven that the Elio is built backwards.”

    Wrong. Actually, the Reliant Robin effectively proves the Elio has done the three-wheel configuration correctly.

    • Right. It is all about geometry and center of mass. Either configuration can be every bit as stable (or more so) than the average 4-wheeler. I have a Honda Gold Wing trike. The Gold Wing already has a very low center of gravity due to its low-mounted horizontal-opposed engine. Then on this trike conversion, the rear wheels are really wide apart. Short of driving it into a ditch, or being rammed by another vehicle, there is no way this vehicle is leaving its feet. The amount of force I would have to apply to the handlebars to force it into a roll would snap off my arms long before the vehicle would roll. And even if my arms were strong enough to do that, I would be thrown from the vehicle due to G forces before the vehicle would roll.
      Having said that, I think a rear drive to 2 rear wheels is a smarter design for several reasons. 1) The cost would be less by limiting the steering to one wheel that doesn’t have any drive components, and 2) you can move the storage to the front, and that allows more opportunity for a safer crush zone. But either design could work. The proof will be in the pudding.

  • I’ve been following the Elio for about two months now. I’ve shared about it on some discussion boards I’m on and I’ve heard many people scoff and poo-poo the idea, but on the other side there are just as many people who are thrilled with the idea. $6800 isn’t a lot of money to come up with and I’ve met very excited prospective buyers. Also, I’ve met some of their execs, engineers and marketing people, they aren’t idiots. They’ve raised enough money to build a very solid prototype (I saw and fondled it in St Louis three days ago), which of course isn’t cheap, they’ve also secured a factory space. I believe the helmet laws can be adapted to a vehicle that’s built like a Smart Car and that has front and side airbags. Oh and the difference between riding a motorcycle without a helmet and riding in an Elio without a helmet? The Elio has windows that can be tinted. 😉

    • Bob_Wallace

      I would imagine they’ve penciled out an electric version. Have they said anything publicly?

      I can imagine battery options good for 20, 40 or 60 miles. A 20 mile range cheap EV would be a great choice for many people who have limited distance commutes. Great second car for scooting to the grocery store when one realizes they forgot the sour cream for the borscht.

      • pateriot

        Why do you want to screw up a perfectly good vehicle with battery powered nit-witery. Did you read the article? 84 miles per gallon, 1500 pounds, $6800 price tag, New York to Detroit on a tank of gas, and no expensive battery to replace every two years.

        • Bob_Wallace

          You aren’t going to make wise decisions if you start with faulty information.

          EV batteries certainly last far longer than two years. The Tesla Roadster batteries are holding up well at 100,000 miles.

          84 miles on $4/gallon gas = 5 cents per mile. Add in for engine maintenance, oil changes and more frequent brake rebuilds.

          If these things are getting 84 mile/gallon then they would probably use about 0.15 kWh/mile. At 11 cents/kWh that’s less than 2 cents per mile.

          • Jim Bob

            …and then the vehicle weighs twice as much and you totally defeat the purpose…

        • mself61

          maybe hybrid ? for even better mpg which probably would not be practical, but maybe Hydrogen power would be awesome, but they need to walk first. we need to get past the big boy US auto makers and Honda and Toyota, make Elio our American dream to get America back where we belong, In our own Country ! they can smash my Honda that just recently got stolen by some Asian dude, what I read are the part on an Elio are mostly readily available parts that already are in the market. so if we stick with a “commuter car” that has affordable replacement parts it makes it cheaper for consumers and Insurance to replace.

  • California doesn’t require wearing a helmet in an enclosed 3-wheeler with seat belts. I know this because I had the law amended myself.

    • admired

      you the man!

    • torr10

      Since when does Ca have any kind of helmet law? I rode without a helmet when I lived there….

      • Bob_Wallace

        V C Section 27803 Safety Helmets Required

        Safety Helmets: Required

        27803. (a) A driver and any passenger shall wear a safety helmet meeting requirements established pursuant to Section 27802 when riding on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.

        (b) It is unlawful to operate a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle if the driver or any passenger is not wearing a safety helmet as required by subdivision (a).

        (c) It is unlawful to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycles, or motorized bicycle if the driver or any passenger is not wearing a safety helmet as required by subdivision (a).

        (d) This section applies to persons who are riding on motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized bicycles operated on the highways.

        (e) For the purposes of this section, “wear a safety helmet” or “wearing a safety helmet” means having a safety helmet meeting the requirements of Section 27802 on the person’s head that is fastened with the helmet straps and that is of a size that fits the wearing person’s head securely without excessive lateral or vertical movement.

        (f) This section does not apply to a person operating, or riding as a passenger in, a fully enclosed three-wheeled motor vehicle that is not less than seven feet in length and not less than four feet in width, and has an unladen weight of 900 pounds or more, if the vehicle meets or exceeds all of the requirements of this code, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and the rules and regulations adopted by the United States Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

        (g) In enacting this section, it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all persons are provided with an additional safety benefit while operating or riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.

        Amended Ch. 32, Stats. 1991. Effective January 1, 1992.
        Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 710, Stats. 1997. Effective January 1, 1998.

        • torr10

          All I asked was when….guess they punked out on being free.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Free to make taxpayers responsible for hospital and long term/lifetime care after you smash your pumpkin?

          • torr10

            actually you have hit on a stupid point. Why not require bungee jumpers to pad themselves with packing bubbles? Like it or not, you’re already responsible it, I’m a vet and your president forced his healthcare on us…so yes…Free to make the choice. Perhaps you should wear a helmet next time you cross the street since more head injuries occur from that than riding without a helmet. Or perhaps you should check the facts and figures from states that don’t have those laws before you try to sound smug and end up sounding stupid.

    • Gary

      I agree, Ian…. I just checked, and you dont need a motorcycle license for it either…. a class “C” license works…and I dont think that it would be classified as a motorcycle anyway… its a front wheel drive car, that happens to have only 1 wheel in the back. it has all the standard safety features as a regular car, so to say you need a helmet for the thing is not right. How much are ya getting paid to “poo-poo” this idea, Jo?

      • Jo Borras

        LOL! I wish I was getting paid. Still, if the only think that made people look stupid behind the wheel of a 3-wheeler was the helmet we’d all be driving Reliant Robins or (at least!) Corbin Sparrows.

        This thing is going to tank, just like all the others before it, and for the same reasons: it’s ridiculous.

        • Lee B

          Reliant Robin-very unstable

          Corbin SParrow=Expensive

          That is what is wrong with those.

  • Harold

    I’d like to have one, just for going to work and back. Hope to see them hit the market, later this Summer.

    • grunt

      correction: later next summer (but you can reserve one). Elio production doesn’t start till June 2014

  • I certainly hope it lives up to promises and meets with good reception. I think its far past time that Detroit offered ultra high milage vehicles. I recall my Tercel of 1990’s vintage 40mpg whereas today car makers thump their chest in commercials when they get over 30 touting “advanced technology”. The Tercel was unadorned, but inexpensive to buy and own… We need more of that.
    Elio style? hell, I like its looks.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We could go back to those lighter weight designs of the 1990s and earlier if we were willing to give up safety features.

      • luke

        And other ‘gadgets’ – who cares if I wind my own windows, push my own seat forward and back, change gears for myself, close my own tailgate etc. etc.

        Much of the weight in modern cars is not only from added safety.

        • Bob_Wallace

          After close to 50 years of car ownership I finally got my first car with power windows.

          I’m not sure I’d give them up.

          And give up power mirrors? No way.

          Actually, I suspect neither add much, if any, weight. It’s the side impact beam, crumple zones, stronger A and B pillars, bumpers, ….

          • nerys

            power mirrors power windows power locks AC and heat ALL PRESENT in a $6800 elio.

            heck yeah. bring it on. I want …… hmm can’t decide between the bright blue and the bright orange. I WANT BOTH.

          • Dave McCall

            You can probably afford both!

          • Get both and switch days.

          • Katnapper

            I live in Boise. An orange and blue Elio would make me look like the ultimate BSU fanboy. Would be ironic since my Alma mater was AMEDD Center and Schools Academy of Health Sciences US Army.

        • Katnapper

          Adding power options and air-conditioning in an EV seamed counter productive. Whether you’re trying to make a green statement or trying to eek out as much range as possible out of that battery, couldn’t your green beliefs/money pinching allow you to sacrifice some creature comforts? SMH… such a first world problem. Americans have become such premadona, winey snobs.

      • face214

        You are such a hater! Grow up, wake up, and get out of people’s business. Why do you feel you need to watch out for others? Who are you? What moral high ground do you stand on?

    • DemandSider

      The Saturn S series sedans and coupes are still pretty common on Minnesota, while most Asian cars of their vintage have long gone. I disagree with your choice of car, but I agree with your basic point about the need for simple, cheap, easy to maintain cars. BTW, I average 33 mpg, but I had a 5spd SL that got 40.

      • Doug Dever

        I got 55mpg hwy in my ’88 crx hf. Wish I could find one!

        • MontanaDriver

          I had an ’85 crx hf and averaged 58mpg and hit as high as 64mpg. Had it for 230000. Still wish I did. I’m interested in on of these.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I doubt Honda could get that car past 2013 safety standards.

            Lots of older cars that got high mileage did so by being lighter. Less crash protection. No air bags.

          • jon

            I had a 1990 Geo Metro 2 door hatchback and manual transmission. Mine averaged 54 mpg over the 160,0000 miles I drove it. Super easy to change oil and filter, and to do a tuneup. Plenty of room to work on that 3 cylinder engine. The only problem I ever had was the muffler rusted through at about 120,000 miles. At 160,000 it was still on the original clutch AND the original front disk brakes. I had even bought a set of brake pads thinking it would need them, but it never did. Best car I ever owned. GMC took over Geo, and later dropped the line. In 1990 they were right about $7000.

      • Wendy Wagner

        Love my Saturn. But nothing last forever.

  • arne-nl

    Although I agree with the author that this car it is not a very compelling offering, I don’t think it is built backwards. I have been involved in recumbent bicycles and velomobiles for nearly a quarter century, and nearly all three-wheelers are built like this: two front wheels, one rear wheel. What I remember is that all vehicles with 2 rear 1 front wheel layout tended to be unstable.

    Another area where many threewheelers are used is solar racing. Nearly all cars have the same layout: 1 rear, 2 front wheels. For solar race cars, this is aerodynamically suboptimal, the reason for choosing this configuration is stability. (For the World Solar Challenge in Australia coming October, four wheels are mandatory)

    • Bob_Wallace

      “What I remember is that all vehicles with 2 rear 1 front wheel layout tended to be unstable.”

      Something that I also remember from my tricycle riding experience during the first half of the previous century….

      • elio-excited

        and where do you think the center of gravity was with you on a tricycle? ….compare that with the elio now…surprised now?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Obviously it was in the wrong place when the single front wheel was turned abruptly at speed.

          The Elio avoids this problem. Even if your were to strap a road kill deer on the front to take home for a BBQ.

      • Katnapper

        3 wheeler ATV’s that had one wheel in front, two in back were prohibited to manufacture in the United States since the late 19 80’s because of safety concerns.

  • elkar

    Despite helmets are required for motorcycles in my country too, this (×426/3ebf7784832393df62d0e0402bfe879c/01-BMW-C1-125-action-1.jpg) is authorized. Even in your country, laws can’t be so rigid not to be reasonable and adaptable to reality.

    A poor communication campaign for a small company, what did you expect ? Not all companies can afford high grade communication.

    Not being able to become a market leader does not mean you will fail. You are very severe. Let them do. Even in a niche, it could be profitable.

  • rkt9

    If they do everything they claim on their website, and the price is what they say it will be, I will be looking to buy one.

  • Geoff Kim

    Not true in California:

    “This section [Helmets Required] does not apply to a person operating, or riding as a passenger in, a fully enclosed three-wheeled motor vehicle that is not
    less than seven feet in length and not less than four feet in width, and has an unladen weight of 900 pounds or more,…”

    • Charles Vise

      Well, California suks anyway.

      • Why because we don’t have to wear a helmet in an Elio? Most of their sales will be in CA and NY anyway. The Muricans in the middle will want to keep their trucks.

  • nevadabill

    Tandem, enclosed against the weather, 5 speed, 70+ mpg on the highway.. I believe there are plenty “out there” ready to disagree with you about the Elio. Many will consider it as a welcome 2d car economical alternative pure fun machine. Then again, it doesn’t really matter what either of us believe, the true test will come in 2014 if production is achieved.

    • SamSkwirl

      Um, it has 1 door

      • nerys

        he meant two SEATER I believe

        • Jaxx

          He means second car.

    • Joe

      I would buy one today. I commute 124 miles every day in Kentucky and the roads I commute on are a motocyclist’s paradise. I just bought a Scion FRS for the commute last month and I would STILL buy one of these TODAY if I could get one.

      I could even drop by Sam’s club on my way home and pick up pretty much everything we would need except furniture and maybe a gas power washer…

  • Paul Kuehnel

    When you look at declining income, retirement, the cost of good used cars…at some point a niche opens up. We are the new India and China.

    • I completely agree. There are a lot of aging motorcycle riders who would be interested. The real issues that will get them are a) gas power in a world moving towards EV and b) the overall economics. I don’t believe the $6800 price for a minute. But if they can deliver a high-quality product for somewhere in the $10K range, I think this has a very good chance. The EV thing is a different proposition. Today’s EVs are all in the $40K range or higher. I’m just not going to plunk down $40K for a car I can’t drive every day. But I would definitely spend $15K for one I could drive most days. If they could get 70 mile range for about $15K, I bet there are a bunch of people who would be very interested in this as a second car. Yes, of course the styling needs to be dressed up, but that is the easiest part of the whole process. That’s just plastic and paint.

      • Bob_Wallace

        The Nissan LEAF is $21,300 after the $7,500 federal subsidy.

        The LEAF has a 75 mile range as tested by the EPA. If one failed to pre-heat the cabin with grid power and ran the heater at full blast in very cold weather they would get a few miles less.

        If they drive conservatively and go easy with the heater/AC then range is more than 100 miles.

        • Gary

          wow…. for $28,000 you could buy 4 Elios!

        • DemandSider

          It get’s down to 40 below and colder in Minnesota, do you really think full electric is practical here?

          • Ken Sherman

            At -40 EVs will power right up and drive away. Fossil fueled cars sitting outside without a block heater are much less likely to start. Look at EV sales in Norway! Much more reliable when it gets really, really cold!

        • pateriot

          Exactly! I would not even consider an electric car close to the price and range of today’s offerings. I am all over this vehicle!!

        • Jim Bob

          Not to mention you must then charge the thing for 5 hours in order to go anywhere….

          • Bob_Wallace

            Gosh, Bippy, you should avoid buying an EV.

            If you can’t handle plugging in at night you should stick to riding the bus.

          • Schwartz52758

            That $7500 subsidy is a tax break as far as I know, it does not come off the price of the car, have looked in to this. Look again, doubt you will find a new one under $30,000 with all the taxes and fees, more like $35,000 plus! Plus look at the resale value as soon as you drive it off the lot, drops drastically, look at and see for yourself.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The $7,500 is a tax credit. If you pay at least $7,500 in annual income taxes you can change your withholding immediately upon purchase and use the $7,500 additional you get in your paycheck to pay down your car loan.

            At the end of the first calendar year your car loan will be $7,500 less than the purchase price. (Small change will be lost to increased interest during the pay down time. $65.76 or $10.96 per month on a six month paydown on a 4% loan.)

            Now, you may want to push and shove on that in order to claim that it does not make the car cheaper, but I suspect you’ll have trouble selling that idea to people who have the ability to reason.

            Now, can you find me a car, other than a limited edition ‘special’, that doesn’t greatly depreciate upon leaving the dealer’s lot?

            I suspect we’ll see that EVs and PHEVs hold their value better as do fuel efficient cars. Who wouldn’t be willing to pay a little extra up front in order to save significantly over the life of the vehicle? (Other than testosterone-poisoned young guys yearning for a muscle car.)

          • Schwartz52758

            You are exactly right, it is a tax break, it reduces your taxable income, that is not $7500 in your pocket. I just do not get how this will make your car loan $7500 less, maybe I am missing something, the only thing it does is reduce your taxable income by $7500, not the loan price, but if I am wrong, show me. And you are right, all cars lose their value when you drive them off the lot, so do others, these to me just seemed to lose a greater percentage of their value. I want an EV car, would be a perfect commuter car for me, I drive about 55 miles round trip, just can not justify the price right now, but hey, show me where I can get a brand new Leaf off the lot for $21,000 plus taxes, and I will strongly consider it (guessing that does not include the $3000 for the electrical hookup in your home either, right?)

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you understand that if you decrease your withholding by increasing your claimed dependents that your take-home increases?

            That is money in your pocket.

            The $7,500 is not a tax deduction. It does not lower your taxable income. It is a tax credit. It directly decreases taxes owed.

            If you drive 55 miles per day then you can recharge a LEAF using a standard 120vac outlet in 11 hours. Most people are home 11 hours a day.

            If you aren’t then you could install a simple 240vac outlet such as used by an electric clothes dryer for small money. That would cut your charge time to under 6 hours a day.

            Now, I don’t think you’re going to find a new 2013 Nissan LEAF for $21k off the lot. For any new car purchases their are additional costs – license, sales tax (some states), etc. And the dealer is not going to front you the $7,500 tax credit.

            I did a quick look on the web and found a site claiming to have three dealers selling for $28,766. That’s $21,766 after you pay back in the tax money you save.


            At 55 miles per day, 20,075 per year. (Calculate down if you don’t drive on weekends.)

            Right now if you are driving a 25 MPG gasmobile you’re spending $240/month for $3.59/gallon fuel. If you’re driving a 50 MPG hybrid you’re spending half that. One option would be to lease a LEAF for $199/month, sell your present car, and put the proceeds away toward a new EV purchase.

            (Don’t forget, you’d not only be saving a bit from gas purchases, you’d also not be paying for oil changes and other maintenance.)

            Unless you’re already driving something very efficient you should save a bit each month, add it to your present car’s value, and after the lease is over have some sweet cash to purchase new. (Or a previously leased EV.)

          • Ken Sherman

            The tax credit reduces your taxes by $7500 not your taxable income. You don’t need to spend $3000 for an electrical hookup. A 240V dryer outlet will work just as well. You can buy a Leaf for 21k plus taxes if you pay at least $7500 in taxes or lease one very cheaply because the lease company can take the tax credit. Many can get a new EV and make the lease payments with the money they save on gas.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Just for fun I took a look at ‘drive it off the lot’ depreciation. Edmunds says that the typical car loses 11% of its value when it hits the street.
            The 2013 Volt is selling (with no goodies added) for $34,995. Take off the $7,500 tax credit and it’s $27,495,

            I used your Kelly Blue Book link and put in a basic 2013 Volt with 100 miles on the odometer. Your site told me that the value was $31, 726. That’s a 15% appreciation.

          • Joel Mercedes

            The deal is that the thing cost less than the “TAX CREDIT/DEDUCTION” AND STILL LOOKS GREAT!!! then it also gives almost better mileage than the LEAF when you do eMiles and just looks great!!!. Put it this way: i love electrics and IT will be the way to go, down here in every-elsewhere in the world we are ALL waiting for something like ELIO to get us out because there are more places on EArth than just “Merica!! where electricity is lame and oil really spensive ($7+/galon)… I would love a TESLA right now or a leaf, but you get a small dealer of elios for a tesla’s worth and need 3 times as much o r more for a leaf. if this guys at Elio pull it off i will even fly to big old ”Merica!!! to get one to my country!!!

        • Steven

          The Nissan Leaf will fail. It has only sold to 0.0151% of the US population. And that’s after 5 years. Epic FAIL!

          • Bob_Wallace

            The Nissan Leaf has made it to market. It has been selling for a few years now. It’s doing good enough that Nissan has been able to drop the price.
            The Elio has yet to be manufactured.

            Do you understand the difference?

          • Steven

            Yes, Bob. Using your math, we can all agree that the Nissan Leaf is statistically irrelevant and should never have been brought into the discussion.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Using your logic we discover a logic failure.

          • Steven

            I was simply trying to communicate on your level. I apologize for failing.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You weren’t able to fail up.

            I understand….

        • Robert Chow

          ev may be good for short run but where will these lit batteries go after its usefulness? only two countries have this inert mineral, China and Russia. also if you drive one of this ev, the medic and fire department will have to wai for hazmat get there first due to battery chemical battery spill. that’s a nightmare the ev driver has to deal in major accident. that’s why our family held off buying ev vehicle.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Huh? Are you talking about lithium batteries? Lithium is found all over the world. Many countries, including the US, have large deposits.

            After lithium (or whatever sort of batteries) have dropped to about 70% capacity they will likely be put into service for stationary service. After several years doing that job they will likely be recycled. The lithium is not consumed like gas in an ICE.

            Chemical spill? You really ought to learn more about batteries before forming an opinion.

      • Marc

        the company seems to suggest the more you risk now, the better deal you get when in production.

        up to $1000 that is

      • Marty

        I don’t think you understand the economies you get by only having 1 door, Having half the size of the front windshield, and half the size of most everything else. It really chops the price of the car into a quarter. It just does. This is why $6800 is doable. That and the “you can have any color you want as long as it’s black.” ford-type selection process reduces the costs further.

    • joe

      Ever since I drove a Cushman three wheeler as an ice cream truck in 1973, I’ve been a huge fan of three wheelers with the pair in the FRONT. Most of the cornering weight goes to the outside FRONT tire. When you don’t have one, there can be problems.

      A three wheeler with two in front can become a serious handler with not much tech in the suspension, depending a great deal on its light weight.

    • Robert Chow

      add one important aspect, it can go on reverse into parking space, not like the motorcycle requires human legs to move backward to park space. i place an order with $100 deposit last week. i am former airline technician and very keen on this new concept motorcar. best part is keeps me dry in the rain. beside why would Elio expand so much $$$ on getting this out to the public? it can also sell oversea or build it oversea to offset shipping cost, not necessary depend on US sales. it does have great potential especially oversea where high gas price $14HK per liter amount to $6US to $7US per gallon. that’s what makes this country great with new idea and newer technology. GOOOOOO Elio!!!!

  • No way! The author’s points aren’t really hidden truths, rather just another random company with poor marketing trying to sell a meh niche transportation product similar to that of many past startups. Probably not even worth of an article to be honest because these are the same kind of marketing ploys any startup would use. The reason they won’t sell is because no one drives three wheeled vehicles in the US….just take a look around. We got hummers and trucks and gas yaaaa!!! Frack it!!! Merica!!!….I’m gonna move closer to my office and get a bike instead. Simpler and cheaper solution that doesn’t require “technology” if there is any in Elio. Come on people!!! You can do better than that!!!

    • torr10

      No one drives three wheelers? You’re blind as a bat. Trikes and Can Ams are all over the place, dumbass….

    • SamSkwirl

      Uh, What country are you from? Are you a Saudi??? Idiot

    • Ralph Furley

      Get a grip. If you don’t want to buy an Elio. Then don’t and shut the heck up. Go away.

  • No way! The author’s points aren’t really uncovered truths, rather thats just another random company with poor marketing trying to sell a meh niche transportation product similar to that of many past startups. The reason they won’t sell is because no one drives three wheeled vehicles in the US….just take a look around. We got hummers and trucks and gas yaaaa!!! Frack it then burn it!!! ‘Merica!!!….I’m gonna move closer to my office and get a bike instead, its a simpler cheaper solution that doesn’t require “technology” if there is any in Elio.

    • SamSkwirl

      repost much?

    • Jess Me

      That’s so dufussed! No one drives a three wheeler, simply because they aren’t available. Nowif you look around a bit, OH wait! the Reliant was a huge success in Britain. Why? Mostly because they built on the basis of what the public needed, not what they could make the most profit on. Yes a situation of chicken and egg exists for three wheelers in the US, not world wide. But that egg may very well be about ready to be broken.

  • No way! The author’s points aren’t really uncovered truths, rather thats just another random company trying to sell a meh transportation product. The reason they won’t sell is because no one drives three wheeled vehicles in the US….just take a look around. We got hummers and trucks and gas yaaaa!!! ‘Merica!!!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Well, no no one. I see three wheelers on the road from time to time. Three wheel touring motorcycles show up now and then.

      • sure but thats a small and insignificant niche market that wouldn’t likely provide much of a return on investment. People in Paris and Beijing would still rather ride bikes.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Paris has great public transportation.

          The ‘big city’ close to me is 30,000 and has towns of ~10,000 about ten miles to the north and south of it. I can see something like this being very popular as a commuter vehicle for that area. Public transportation is limited, the buses are good but they don’t come very frequently. We have a lot of crummy weather in the winter.

          A new, safe vehicle for $7k that gets 80 MPG and can travel at highway speeds between the big and little cities. I can see people buying one.

          There are a lot of modest sized cities in the US which will never have ‘big city’ public transportation systems. If these people can produce what they claim and have the ability to hang on for a few years while recognition builds ….

          • MeeLee

            And a lot of people will just buy it as a fun, but slightly expensive, toy; or a second, but affordable car.

        • What???? There are probably 10-50 times as many trikes on the US roads as there are all EVs, yet I don’t see people saying EVs are an insignificant niche. And have you looked at what people pay for a good trike? $35K isn’t uncommon.

          I’m not saying Elio will displace high-end Harley or Gold Wing trike sales, but clearly they will get some of that business if they build a quality product. And they will open up another market segment.

          There is nothing at all wrong with the concept. If they can do anything close to the power, efficiency, price, quality, and schedule they are promising, they will be able to sell tens of thousands of these every year, and that probably gets them to critical mass.

          The transportation market is changing. Sure, the big three plus Chrysler/Fiat will continue to be important, but Tesla has proven it is possible to break through into this marketplace for the first time in about 40 years (not counting Delorean).

          I think Elio is choosing exactly the right target. It makes no sense for them to try to build a better Camry or a better Tesla. It is much smarter to go after a segment that doesn’t have a big gorilla established yet.

          • Floridon

            They will most assuredly get my business. I am going to sign up this week, at the $1,500 level, to get the $500 discount. This will be a PERFECT commuter vehicle for me.

          • kenny_ray_58

            that’s for a good trike! — what do you think you are going to get for $6800? That’s the same price as a mid-sized Japanese motorcycle, and they are VERY efficient at producing them! Tesla is not even in the same market — that is a COMPLETE niche vehicle at $70-90K! They simply cannot deliver for what they are saying — not unless it was 100% made in China!

        • In 2006 smartphones with touch screens made up a small, insignificant percent of phones as well.

        • kenny_ray_58

          absolutely correct! They just won’t sell in the numbers that it would take to be profitable and they have it priced for what the Japanese sell a mid-sized motorcycle? Sorry, it’s a complete scam! If they had any hope of making money it would have to be priced $12K+ — especially considering it is supposed to be made in America!

          • Chip Pronteus

            Their costs should be at least as high as a Can Am Spyder and that lists for about $14K. I’d be very suspicious of these price claims.

          • stankyhanglow

            im figuring auto trans 10grand mpg around 60hwy 40city

          • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

            The Elio 5 speed automatic is a stick shift that is automatically shifted like a hydraulic transmission and actually gets better mileage than manual shifting ! It is made by a big company that makes these for several new current cars.

          • Robert Goggin

            Umm, have you priced a Can Am Spyder. That is for the stripped down, nothing extra model. They go up to over 30,000

          • Vladimir Poutine

            Can Am, built by Bombardier, right. Like when they assembled the VW ILTIS in Quebec. CAF could have had the VW ILTIS for $26,000 apiece. After Bombardier got done, the ILTIS was $84,000 apiece !

      • True, but a small and insignificant niche market don’t you think? If I remember correctly there was a way cooler 3-wheeled vehicle startup ( from your neck o’ the woods that hasn’t seemed to surface commercially. Just a reference point =)

        • Geoff Kim

          Yeah I remember those before they remade themselves as Persu, they were originally going to resell the Carver. Cool vehicles, but they were also $50K.

        • rogwild

          Yes, and the Venture/Persu people were all ‘HYPE’; they backed out of the X-Prize competition, and never were able to produce even a ‘Running Prototype!…. still have a website…. but NO vehicle!

        • Floridon

          The Persu is slated to cost $25K. That does indeed make it a niche market. As cool as it is, I can’t afford one.
          At $6,800, that’s accessible to a major market share. At that price, I can afford one of these – and I will buy one, when they are available.

          • kenny_ray_58

            unfortunately there is no way they can sell for that profitably. In volume, they could probably make money at $10K, but then they’d be competing against real cars and the volume sold would drop by 80%. It will still be a niche vehicle, but really right no it doesn’t pencil out.

    • DLW

      There is at least three companies who convert two wheeled motorcycles to three wheels at a cost way more than $6800. There is also two motorcycles with two front wheels that can cost over $30k without ac, top ,pw, or pdl. If they can stay in business then I think there is a market for the Elio.

      • Mark Mann

        YES! You are right!!!

      • Bob D

        I ride a Harley, I have friends with Harley Trikes(don’t handle that well) ,Spyders, I have driven them, Ok at best. One friend of mine added two outrigger wheels to his Harley, stable but caused his mpg to go way down. The real upside to this Elio, is getting you out of the weather, Mr, sun will turn your exposed skin to leather if you aren’t carful. I am buying one of these vehicles.

    • Roy DeSoto

      Hummers are ugly and dead dude. In addition gas mileage sacked and they are one of the ugliest vehicles around. Cash for clunkers Wil take them for scrap.

    • wackydan

      Can Am Spyders are now the 5th best selling model of motorcycle sold in the US. They don’t sell as much as Honda, harley, etc, but in the individual model segment for sales they are ranked 5th. That is after only five years on the market. Campagna Motors T-rex is a popular 3 wheeler with a partially enclosed cabin. The Morgan 3 wheeler is also sought after. The difference in these are that the Spyder starts at $18k+ for the low end model and ranges to $28K+. T-rex’s start around $50k and have a waiting list. Morgans are also $50k. None of those offer the practicality and enclosed cabin the Elio does. None of them are priced for the budget buyer. They are all considered toys. I suspect that the Elio will sell for a bit higher once in production, and that some states or many will alter their regulations to accommodate a new class of transportation which is what the Elio represents. Have there been other 3 wheeled cars before? Yes, but in an era when there weren’t regulations that would have made those designs fail in the eyes of the gov’t. Reverse trikes are very stable, but the only way Elio will succeed is if the states allow a new class of light weight vehicle to be licensed and driven by ordinary people.

    • Josef Roesler

      1000s of people who have made deposits would disagree with you.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Thousands out of 330,000,000.

        • Josef Roesler

          You like being obtuse, don’t you? I don’t think he intends to sell 330,000,000 of them. And these are merely deposits from the “true believers.” The point is, if thousands are willing to invest on a speculation, there will be many more buyers if it goes through. So “no one drives three wheeled vehicles in the US” is incorrect and a terrible gauge of potential sales.

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, I don’t like to be obtuse. I make a big effort to communicate things in a way that most people can easily understand my point.

            I’ll lay it out a bit simpler for you. There are “thousands” of people who have paid a non-refundable thou so that they can purchase an Elio if/when they are produced. And, interestingly, now it’s set up so that people can pay more non-refundable money to jump the line and get ahead of you, but I digress.

            I can’t find the number so how about we use 5,000?

            5,000/330,000,000 people in the US = 0.0015% of the population. That’s such a small number that it essentially zero.

          • Joel Mercedes

            the same web-page says it clear and up to date: 15,000+ deposits, geesshhh!!! some people….!!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Missed that.

            15,000/330,000,000 = 0.0045%

            Still essentially zero.

          • UwasaWahya

            330 million at least half are not old enough to drive then you have those that do not drive or are too old to drive that would knock your numbers down to around 100 million. The fact that 15,000 put down a deposit is just as meaningless as your 33o milion analogy.

          • Bob_Wallace


            There are approximately 196,165,666 licensed drivers in the US.

            15,000 / 196,165,666 = 0.008%

            Still essentially zero.

            What we have here is a very small portion of all US drivers who are excited about the idea of this vehicle.

            That does not mean:

            a) That the vehicle can be manufactured and sold for the projected price.

            b) That the market will be even as high as 15,000. Many people may have second thoughts and not follow through.

            Now before one of you goes fanboy and starts spewing on me, I’ve got no desire to see this project fail. If it works as claimed then it would likely be a good thing.

            It’s just that I’ve seen people oversell their idea and then not come through a lot of times.

          • Joel Mercedes

            As accurate as that sounds… the fact is that all major “exotics” on the market are not marketed and all get sold ASAP and then everyone knows them. What i meant is not that everyone is going to buy one i just make the case for a company as such where as you point out small fraction number, again they maybe just need >0.052% sold to make a profit out of selling them. And remember that there is more than tha USA as a market for them and where i may fancy a nice jaguar or a bimmer, there are people willing for whatever, even at 3,000+ if the MPG at least get to 70+ .

          • Bob_Wallace

            We’re talking about a vehicle which, while exotic, is suppose to be offered at bargain barn prices. Exotics sell for premium prices, lots of room to recover the cost of low volume production.

          • Mo

            Me personally, I am waiting for a test drive before I put down a deposit, but honestly if they build a good quality product within the 7k price range, you will have to wait years for your Elio, they won’t be able to build them fast enough for the demand just think tesla x 10.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sure, a good quality product for $7k is likely to sell.

            Take a look at your 18th word….

          • JacFlasche

            I can only assume you have no accurate concept of what zero represents. You are one person out of about 8,000,000,000

            .000000000125%. Yet you seem to take up some space, and may even have some significance to some other insignificant percentage of total persons. If you are called an idiot you probably even react, at least subjectively. Nothing but zero is essentially zero not even 10 to the minus googolduplex. There is nothing so small that it is essentially zero. There are magnitudes that are so proportionally small that they are virtually zero, but only in the context of significant relative magnitudes with regard to the number set that is being considered. So stop talking Sh*t.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you understand that in order to sell at the suggested price this vehicle has to be made in sufficient numbers?

            20,000 (I think the current number) people putting down a $100 deposit does not mean 20,000 sales. Easily most could decide to not follow through and the real number could be far below 10,000. If this company does produce a vehicle but can’t bring volume high quickly they may not be able to find funding for a long period of market building.

            (I do understand fanboys who let their emotions override their ability to think.)

          • Tim

            There seems to be many mathematical projections regarding an abstract concept in the early stages of its fruition. Though compelling to join in the onslaught against one who is providing numerical reasoning with scant information and unrelated (and ethical? why?) comparisons that don’t suit well in the world of risky investments, it is neither factually accurate nor pertinent to any real analysis. So, before any EBITDAs and market volume-to-investor confidence data can be obtained, this argument will remain one based solely on theory and cautious optimism.

            While the conversation may continue on its projected though inconsequential path, let us instead redirect our efforts towards the potential for this product–and company–to please customers and investors alike. The bottom line on SEC Q3 2013 and Q3 2014 show that Elios has 0 sales. Yep, you read that correctly–zero, nada, zilch. Investor opinion details that company executives believe 63,000 units will be sold this year and 250,000 units will be sold every year thereafter. Those are confidently absurd numbers for a fledgling company, and there is as much room for growth problems as the number of cars sold (yes, zero). I am a 9-10 risk investor (high risk) with a seven-figure portfolio and room to put money in a high risk, and I’m not favorable with this company springing up. There are obvious exceptions to the rule that a company with zero volume can instantly become a money-making enterprise (Netflix, Monster Beverage, Tesla to name a few) but the exception set represents a very small number compared to the list of failures. Even if Elio Motors becomes successful–and I hope it does, for its vehicle concept and set ethos are compelling and capable of unprecedented growth–it will take on average 5-6 years for a company to transition from red to black. Automotive industry companies, and especially those not producing multiple-passenger vehicles (>2 passenger capacity) take just over 6 years to establish profitability. Figures come from and

            I’ll finish with a hypothetical situation to sum things up. If you had $200,000 to invest and do nothing else with, would you put all that money solely in a company with no proven track record vice hedging a safe bet with AliBaba (up 33% since mid-Oct) or Nike (up 20% in the past month)? If you answer no, and we’re only talking about money, then are you willing to risk your life in a vehicle that is not proven safe and durable? This is not even bringing to question maintenance contracts with Pep Boys or call-back concerns if the product fails.

            For those of you still willing to invest and/or purchase this product…well, good for you. Many historical examples have shown individuals acquiring instantaneous wealth based on risky propositions. Many more untold stories involve those same “risk-all” decisions that led to crippling financial wealth disasters. Numbers don’t lie, and I’d rather grow my wealth with educated risks rather than visions of grandeur based on questionable treatises.

          • Merle

            Just couldn’t resist replying to this! You posted this 11/8/14 and AliBaba peaked 11/10/14 at 119.15 – it’s now trading at 66.63 – how is that “safe bet” working out?

          • RicCrouch

            These are pre-build deposits, not sales. How many people put down pre-build deposits on the Prius? Oh wait… none. That would not be “essentially zero.” That would be REAL zero. Toyota had the money to do the research, development, and manufacture without it. Elio is doing it differently. Don’t confuse the two.

            It MAY turn out to be a flop. It MAY sell thousands once it comes out. Wait and see.

          • Jess Me

            HUH? .0015% pretty stupid argument when you seem to consider many models selling a lot less to viable. But not the Elio? The smart was considered successful at 10k units/yr.
            Look dud, if the elio has the quality, and the price in this form, IT WILL sell, That’s proven. Arguing it won’t sell is extremely lame. Stick to the issue of WILL they get it out the door at that price. There you do have some traction. But also consider trying for $7k give to the reservations, doesn’t mean they can’t raise the price to $8500 for everyone else. But dud! that’s still a success.

          • Bob_Wallace
    • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

      Hummers and trucks ?
      Where does the money come from these depression days to buy those and their gas ??

      • hummer is bankrupt, whats ur point?

      • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

        I remember being on this page but I do not remember making this post and I do not know what it is refereing to ?? !

  • While I suspect Elio’s going to fail for styling and financing reasons, I don’t think the helmet thing is as big of a deal as it seems, and it’s not built backwards.

    For starters, a few states with helmet laws waive them for three-wheel motorcycles, especially ones with roofs. (Ohio, where I live, doesn’t, but Ohio only requires helmets for your motorcycle permit and the first year that you have a motorcycle license.)

    Second, there’s always lobbying – it worked for some of the companies importing Chinese three-wheelers.

    Also, as far as it being built backwards… delta vehicles can work, but require a very different chassis design, and have certain advantages and disadvantages that tadpoles don’t (and vice versa). The DeltaWing is a very long vehicle, with the driver as far back in the chassis as possible, against the engine (which is also in the back), and very clever (read: expensive) chassis and suspension design. It has very poor packaging for a street car, though, and tadpole layouts can offer better aerodynamics when the DeltaWing’s specific set of aerodynamic requirements aren’t needed – basically, a delta ends up having its widest and tallest parts near the rear, which is suboptimal for aerodynamics.

    Also, tadpoles, especially front-engine FWD ones like this, tend to have better stability than deltas (the DeltaWing aside – its packaging and chassis/suspension design eliminating those concerns).

    • jquigly

      I don’t know if you have seen one in person, but I have. People standing around, male and female, liked how it looked. To each his own, but here’s my point, this design is a rare thing. It is a completely rational design. The front opening looks like a Formula One car, because that is the most rational way to get air into the engine compartment. So if you’re like me and you think the old square Volvo’s look better than the kitschy-curvy late models, it would appeal to your taste.

      • kenny_ray_58

        Look up the T-25 by Gordon Murray – WAY more practical, and more car like THAT is what Elio should be! Too fugly, and WAY too cheap to make any money — it will fail!

        • Marty

          T-25 is likely to be way too expensive. I’m guessing about the cost of a smart car which is twice the cost if this car, t-25’s narrow stance means that it isn’t a 4-season car. You get out of the t-25 by lifting the top and letting all of the rain in. That’s an awesome design the t-25 has – not.

          • kenny_ray_58

            The lifting roof is truly no big deal. Isetta had the big single door that is tilted back (as is the Heinkel) and the Messerschmitt opened just like a cockpit — WIDE open! It just doesn’t matter. May that’s a problem if you live in PAnama, or perhaps Bangledesh! The Elio isn’t going to cost hardly less than a Smart car to produce — it’s got what? One less wheel and brake? This is how you know the promoter is scamming people. Everything else is the same cost; plus, Smart has a factory that cranks out tens of thousands of cars! This guys is TOTALLY blowing smoke. Your suggestion that the T-25 isn’t a 4-season car is absolutely baseless — it was designed my the same guy that did the Mclaren F1 and he also did a lot of formula cars. The dude is a genius compared the shyster that is hawking the Elio! It would out-handle the Elio with utter ease! I’ve been into microcars for 30 years. I have an original FIAT 500 and am building a 3-wheeler called the Buckland B3. I’m not against the concept, but this dud is pulling folks legs!

          • Marty

            Messerschmitt, seriously?! What are you – a NAZI? This isn’t about planes built by bigots nor Formula-1 race cars which can’t be driven off a race track. This is about a car everyone can drive and can be manufactured inexpensively.

            My suggestion that the T-25 car is not a 4-season car is not baseless. You have a very high car which is very narrow for its size. A 60 mph gust while being driven at 80 mph will cause considerable problem in controlling the car. Oh, that’s 100kph and 130 kph since it seems you’re British.

            Smart cars are built by Mercedes who are the epitome of not having a clue about how to build a car inexpensively. Smart cars are actually crap. They cost more and have worse gas mileage than most cars twice their size. Only reason to buy a smart is easier parking. That’s it.

            Mentioning that the Smart car is expensive doesn’t prove anything about how inexpensively the Elio can be built.

            Mclaren may be a genius, but he hasn’t ever successfully designed anything that people might be able to buy. If you love Formula One I can understand why you love love the guy, but as I said this isn’t about cars which can’t even make it off the race track.

            The Buckland B3 would be a show car in the U.S. and couldn’t even be legally driven on the roads.

            Elio is hawking the Elio, he put his name on it. Something Mclarin felt wasn’t worth it on the T-25, which is difficult to even find online.

            Everything Elio has said about his car is quite possible and he is on his second prototype and will like soon finish his production prototype.

            Additional financing will come from the U.S. government green industries start-up fund. He’s not blowing smoke. He has actual product with actual testing. This is an American car for an American audience.

            The T-25 may be popular in Europe where they value style and cuteness over practicality and people rarely if ever drive. The Eilo will be valued in the U.S. for its practicality where people drive at least 100 times more than any other country.

          • kenny_ray_58

            To show you whay a colossal *sshat you are you can print this out and post it on your wall anbd when it turns out that you are full of sh*t you can eat the print. The Elio will be an utter failure. If it EVER makes it into production it won’t sell very many. The rest of your post is so utterly wrong it not worth even replying to since you can’t fathom a single point. You should send Elio your $1000 bucks today! Let us kbow how that works out for you. Moron.

          • Marty

            It’s clear you lack the sense and common decency to carry on a civilized conversation.

          • kenny_ray_58

            your inability to see any other point and your dismissive attitude toward any other viewpoint brought it on — you really are an *sshat. You wouldn’t know a civilized tone if it bit you in the *ss. Really — you really should send these charlatans $1000 of your hard earned money if you believe in them so much.

            You, in fact CAN guess how much it will cost based on other vehicles. Everything that goes into a car is a commodity and has a value no matter where it comes from. The ELIO is supposed to be made in USA from USA parts! You think that stuff is going to be cheaper? PA-lease!

            And FYI, a Messerschmitt KR 200 is a micro car, not a plane! — this stuff is not new — educate yourself, and THEN join the conversation

            You mouth off about stuff you don’t know the first thing about and you have the audacity of accusing ME of not having civility? LOL You aren’t worth my time — reply or don’t, I couldn’t care less!

          • Bob_Wallace

            And after this the conversation went off the tracks….

            Civility, gentlemen.

          • Sven

            If it was legal in this backwards country of ours. I could build a car, similar to the Elio for about 3k including my time. Building a car for 6800$ isn’t as far fetched as one might think.
            Look at this for example, European cars up until recently had better handling and power and styling then almost all US made cars. Why, because the manufacture was more concerned about the bottom line then making a good car/truck. Ford F150 for example is made cheep as possible but is still the best selling truck in the world. Yet Toyota makes a better truck but it’s not allowed for import. This being the Hilux diesel. We as a country have alway brought profit margins before quality. Not surprising that when a US manufacturer comes out with at car that makes sense and will be economical that its shot down. 80+ mpg and with release of synthetic gas at 1.50 a gallon. This is a great car. Who cares what it looks like.

      • mythink

        I don’t think it will fail for it design don’t particularly like most of the paint schemes. As for the Design Look at the Spider it has 2 front wheel and single wheel in the Back and it’s selling well and a much higher price than the Elio also it requires expensive Premium GAS. If the Spider can sell why not the Elio. Anyways for $7 ~ 8K for a commuter car that can go in the HOV Lane I don’t care if I have to wear a helmet I’ll just get the DOT Half-Helmet.

        • E-Cigarette Vaping Redneck

          If I get one, I will absolutely REFUSE to wear a Helmet!

          From Canada.

          • Bob_Wallace

            World’s way over populated.

            Cull the dumbest. Improves the herd

          • E-Cigarette Vaping Redneck

            First, we cull the NANNY STATE.

          • Bob_Wallace
          • E-Cigarette Vaping Redneck

            NOPE! Henry Ford II said the VW Beetle would NOT sell.

            Look what happened? Out produced the Model T and the production run went from 1936 to 2003(mexico)

          • E-Cigarette Vaping Redneck

            NOPE !

    • Repeal Bush/Obama Patriot Act

      I bet the Chinese unfair market tactics will out do ELIO Motors for sure.

      • MeeLee

        Nothing like US craftsmanship.
        They’re capable of cloning the car, but parts will rust and break faster.
        Chinese scooters usually last 14-24k miles before they’re completely goners.
        Italian or Japanese scooters last at least triple that, with way less problems…

        I have no reason to believe that the chinese won’t stay long in business.

      • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

        China probably will, With child slave labor 20 hours a day !

        • Ted

          average wage in usd in China was $8500 last year ….I am sure all the gobal corporations wish they could go back to the “good ol’ days” in China of paying worker 50 cents an hour but that is over….still cheaper for most stuff to be manufactured there but for some items when factoring in shipping costs it is almost on parity.

    • kevin

      i wish i could tell the future maybe you will win the lottery. everyone is entitled to there opinion in America we can thank our vets for that. they tried to make hmv vehicles back in the 80s they had the freeway i have a friend that has one 16 hp engine runs good and very stable. the sold i think 800 nice try.
      we even had an electric car that worked. now we have the smart car the honda civic gets the same fuel economy they screwed that car up. they should have left the diesel engine in it but some states have laws about diesel cars.
      i have an 1984 rabbit diesel that gets 42 mpg with the ac on.
      in my opinion the car companys could have done this back in the 80s but the millionaires wanted to become billionaires a 1992 roadmaster wagon v8 gets 25mpg and a 2003 wind star van v6 gets 18mpg
      i hope elio makes it. i like it hope to get one

      • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

        Volkswagen converted gas engines too make the rabbit diesel and most kept blowing head gaskets !

    • Jonah Giacalone

      I wouldn’t bet on that. With fuel prices constantly trending higher and hybrids and plugins still too expensive, this car just might be a winner. If I need to wear a helmet, so what? How many people first resisted helmets on motorcycles and bikes? And the styling is not a showstopper. With more companies locating away from metro areas for cost considerations, people are commuting farther and often without public trans options. This would be a great commuter car. I’m sold if the driving and safety specs are there.

    • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

      The Elio looks very good and will succeed well, It already has 42,000+ Deposits of $1,000.00 each and the license and helmet situation has been worked out in about 45 States so far. !

      • Bob_Wallace

        When is the first one expected to roll off the assembly line?

        Proof in the pudding, and all that….

        • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

          They say sometime in the first 6 months of 2016 ?

          • Offgridman

            Before they said would be in 2013, then it was going to be 2014, last year they said 2015 for sure.
            Now here we are a third of the way through ’15, and they still haven’t cleared the old assembly equipment out of the plant that they got a discount lease on, and are still trying to borrow money from the government to be able to start the business (first couple of applications got turned down).
            So feel free to keep your fingers crossed for 2016, but you might not want to hold your breath.

          • Tom Buyea — Fla.News service

            I have not given them any money so not too worried !

          • Offgridman

            That is your choice, just wasn’t sure if you were aware of how long they have been playing this game of production starting next year.
            I was very interested a couple of years back, but then they came out with their custom engine design that is very similar to the one that gave the original Geo’s multiple problems in warmer climates, so with that, other problems, and continuing delays have given up.
            With the low prices on the used Leafs now (10-15$K), it seems that it might be a better choice. You end up with a real car that can carry the whole family safely, and even if the Elio gets the promised mileage, once gas goes back up around 3$/gallon the operating expense per mile will be cheaper in the Leaf.

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