A little over a year ago, we looked at a new company in Louisiana called Elio Motors. They were promising to build a new, enclosed three wheeler with two tandem seats, capable of 84 mpg on the highway, meeting automotive crash standards at a price of $6800. I was a bit skeptical that it would accomplish all that, if it was ever built at all, but a few days ago I received an email from the company saying I should take a look at what they have done. So I did.
It looks like they have prototypes driving around and available for inspection at numerous events around the country. They're calling it an "autocycle" because it's considered a motorcycle for registration purposes, as all three wheelers are, but it has the enclosed cabin and steering wheel you expect from a car, not exactly a new concept though some news anchors seem to think it is. During TV interviews, company CEO, Paul Elio, ran off some of the features:
- 3 airbags
- 2 seatbelts
- power windows
- power door locks
- heating and air conditioning
- front wheel drive
- electronic stability control
- 3 year/36,000 mile warranty
- 90 percent North American content
Did I mention, $6800? There aren't many motorcycles at that price point.
They have a long list of companies that work with the big automakers supplying parts and doing engineering. It sounds like a great little car and as a commuter vehicle it looks to be a perfect fit. It's being built in Shreveport, LA in an old GM plant and you can pre-order one today for production slated to begin in 2015. I like it, I hope it sells like crazy and is wildly successful, but as I look at this I keep wondering, what am I missing?
Link: Elio Motors