Elio Motors three-wheeler release and production woes

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Since the launch of the Polaris Slingshot at the start of the week there has been a renewed interest in Elio Motors three-wheeler release, as it would be a far cheaper option for those of you wishing to have some fun on three wheels. However, there seems to be a few production woes from the general public, and some of them have been contacting us to share their thoughts.

Will the Elio ever be sold to customers? This seems to be the question that has been debated and there doesn’t seem to be a huge belief in Elio Motors promise of releasing its three-wheeler for $7,000. Here are a few reasons why in the words of some Product-reviews readers.

One of our readers said, “Elio has now pushed the production of its car back once again, making it the fourth time. Delivery is now expected September 2015, which is funny considering the original date was the fall of 2012.”

Another reader has commented saying, “Elio has only managed to raise around the quarter of the $200 needed to begin production, hence the delays.” If this is the case, then if they do not have the funding today, then there is no way a delivery date of September 2015 will be met.

The reason why is because getting the tooling and setting up the assembly line takes time, and that’s without training the staff to manufacture these vehicles. You might think a year is a long time, but it isn’t when you take those things into consideration.

Then there is the Elio price, as another reader said, “Getting a vehicle like this with features such as air bags, traction control and the sort of expected performance will come at a price greater than around $7,000.” There is always doubt when someone comes along and states they can produce a vehicle that is almost half the price of the competition. Let’s just see what happens because they could surprise us, especially as there is already a fourth prototype, which the media has tested.

What do you think the chances are of the Elio Motors three-wheeler being released next year?

Also See: Elio Motors 2015 release skepticism parallels Ford Bronco

Elio Motors three-wheeler release and production woes

 
  • hambdiscus

    The Elio will never hit the market for anywhere near the rumored $7000 price tag. It is doubtful whether it will hit the market at all.

    Polaris is not a company run by idealists and if they market a 3-wheeler, very spartan and with rear wheel drive (rear drive is significantly easier and cheaper to engineer/build) and feel that a $20,000 price is profitable, then how can Mr. Elio promise a much more sophisticated design for 1/3 the price?

    • Just saying

      Rear wheel drive is apparently easier and cheaper to make which is why most cars on the road are front wheel drive. That’s more true when you get to the very cheapest cars.

      If you even bothered to look into the Elio, you’d understand how he’s making the vehicle inexpensive… half as wide, half the materials, using existing parts, engine designed to be inexpensive. The engine will probably put out fewer than 60hp which also means it is simple and inexpensive. The car has no rear window, no expensive rear wheel drive setup, only one door, one set of door hinges, one door lock… the list goes on and on. There is a chance that Elio can make their profit selling CAFE credits alone. With 25,000 pre-order already and a plant that already has an automobile production line set up in it, they are set to hit the ground running. Yes, there are challenges but they are quite open to what those challenges are and you can read all about them from their website or any number of forums that keep track of progress. Yes, I’m a fan of the company so there is no reason to shoot daggers this way. I’m really hoping that the low cost, enclosed cabin, 84mpg (again, half as wide, very light weight, very aerodynamic), three wheeler makes it big… imagine if it got really popular, copied in spirit, and sold (including knock offs from others) in the order of hundreds of thousands a year. How would America come out if suddenly, industry wide, the average fuel consumption dropped a lot. I, for one, would like to see the US less dependent on oil imports. I believe that the Elio is a great step in the right direction and I think they are making good progress. Will there be no more delays? Who knows? But, give someone a chance to drive a $6,800 brand new vehicle getting 84 mpg vs. a decade old Camry and you’ll make a difference both to that person’s wallet and to the good old US of A! Go, go, Elio!

      • Dino

        I completely agree. Elio has the best business plan I have ever heard. It takes time to build new company and car. Even the biggest comapnies can’t get a new car model off the ground in 5 years. If the Elio car is late, I think the loyal followers are understanding. How many other companies have have $5.5 million (only counting the $1000 all in payers) without producing a final product? Many start-ups, are new technology driven, Elio is not. It surprises me how the media loves Tesla (at $100K per car) but shoots down a new $7K car. Go Elio!- and I am eager but willing to wait for the car to be right.

        Made in America
        85% American parts
        No haggle pricing
        $7K sticker
        84 mpg
        5 star safety rating
        Great design inside and out

        Great standard features
        Buy only the additional options you want
        800 Service centers
        $25,000 people have put money down, almost 6,000 put $1000 each.

        I have no doubt – it will be a hit, copied, and exported around the world.

        One more tip: if it was a scam, and they are cash strapped, then why would they not let us pre-pay the whole thing? They won’t. It is a bad article with little facts.

        • Bob

          I have a deposit down, love the Louisiana connection and really want to believe. I live in France and both my cars combined have 98 horsepower and i do fine on the big highways. I cannot buy the 84 MPG. I never had a motorcycle come close and my 125cc Vespa can only get 65 MPG. A motorcycle at 1/2 the weight and same HP is lucky to break 50 MPG. I don’t think you can buy a 900cc motorcycle for less than $8,000. I am pulling for them.

        • ClLy

          I believe the highway is 84 but the city is just under 50mpg if I read correctly

        • AZ

          5 star rating not proven.
          84 mpg also not proven
          Hit? Copied? Like Elio copying the Messerschmitt?

        • RIMSPOKE

          MESSERSCHMITT PRODUCED 50,000 VEHICLES FROM 1953 TO ’64 .
          I HAVE OWNED & LOVED SIX OF THEM .

          THE MESSERSCHMITT KR-200 WAS THE CHEAPEST CAR YOU COULD BY IN THE LATE 50s .
          THEY ARE REMARKABLY ROADWORTHY , A REAL BLAST TO DRIVE AND YES , CAN GET 80+mpg !

          THESE DAYS , BASKET CASE MESSERSCHMITTS ARE SELLING
          FOR MORE THAN THE PROJECTED PRICE OF THE ELIO .

          NOTHING COULD BE BETTER THAN A MODERN VERSION OF THIS GREAT CONCEPT . I HAVE AN ALL-IN DEPOSIT ON AN ELIO AND CAN’T WAIT TO PARK IT NEXT TO MY MESSERSCHMITTS .

      • Dan Ashley

        They can’t sell CAFE credits. The Elio is a motorcycle by law. CAFE credits do not accrue to motorcycles.

        • Just saying

          There is still a chance the Fed Gvt will allow CAFE credits as the Elio will be a direct car replacement that gets significantly better mileage than the cars it would replace which is, after all, the purpose of the CAFE credits in the first place – to encourage the production and purchase of more fuel efficient vehicles.

        • AZ

          No there is no chance. If they allow Elio to sell credits, Elio will be forced to meet automotive standards. Don’t you think Polaris would have tried this already? Elio classified as a motorcycle for a reason, they don’t have to meet the standards. If there were a chance this would happen, BMW would have pushed for this long ago.
          As a $1k “All IN’ depositor (April 2013), I realize the likelyhood of this being built is very slim. A lot of people know better, but they want this to happen so badly they ignore the harsh realities. They don’t have the money. Since Paul Elio starting pushing this thing in January 2013, they have only raised $55m, or just over $3m a month. It will take 48 months to raise that kind of capital (based on Elio history).
          The delays, the lack of funding, the claims before ANY testing, ANY wind tunnel work tells me they have not thought this through.
          People forget, Elio did not release how many depositors they had, changed their mind. only all in’s counted, next, well any deposit. So those 25k deposits, I doubt it, they have given me no reason to believe them. I think Paul Elio is a good man, but in over his head. A year away from THEIR (ELIO) production date and short $145m. WAKE UP!!

  • Kent Beuchert

    There obviously is quite a lack of knowledge about the Elio and its circumstnces, some referring to events two or ven three years ago as their latest information. The engine Elio had to design and build, since the only three cylinder pit there was out of produciton and also out of date, has been completed and prototypes made for testng by IAV, one of the world’s very best independent engineering frms, and they also wil designand build the tranies – in fact the entire drivetrain is in ther very capable hands. Now how anyne can know this (may don’t) and yet still cling to the silly idea that Elio Motors, with its distinguished board of directors,will not produce a car is laughable and displays an enormous amount of sheet ignorance. They have succeeded in getting the old GM Hummer plant and are now staffing and preparing the facility. With their 4th prototype/mule design,along with the delivery of the IAV drivetrain, they are very close to the initiation of testing the final design. Paul Elio has said that final financing is assured to begin production and the have 25,000 deposits in hand and a contract with Pep Boys as servicing agent. How in the world anyone can view what has transpired and yet still cling to the bizarre notion that all this will somehow disappear in a puff of smoke makes me wonder which planet these folks call home. Being skeptical is one thing, being really, really ignorant and yet having a strong opinion is quite another. Get in touch with reality, people. The Elio is every bit as real as the morons who think it’s not (some would say more so)

    • Dan Ashley

      BRP in Canada has a 3 cylinder “triple” in production. It pushes about 106 hp, I think. It is 1330 cc engine. Or, if you will, 1.3 L. This makes it about 1/5 the size of a Chevy or Ford big block engine. So, Elio does not need to spend thousands of man-hours developing a new engine. Elio does not have a dedicated engineering department anyway.

    • Richard Skelly

      Whatever flips your skirt. They don’t have the funds or we would be seeing your geek three causing traffic jams by now. 25,000 is not making you get it any faster so I don’t know why this number seams to be the magic number. To hear quotes from Paul, He said this he said that. What so funny is people follow him like a cult. Let’s say he pushes the date out futher again which has been the trend, people like yourself will just go along with it and defend him like as if someone was attacking your Mom. Get off it already. If it’s makes it to production and you get one then Woo Hoo for you and if it don’t then Too Bad So Sad. Who cares? Oh, 25,000 people do. Having heaver hitters don’t guarantee you that your going to win the ball game. Here today gone tommorrow, you see that all over the place. I got tired of Elio a long time ago. Just wanted another laugh. Hee Hee or Ha Ha. What ever…

      • Larry Larrabee

        What scares me if they set back the date , and people with a refundabke reservation , will want there money back , which is starting to happen now, that will prolong it even longer , for those with a non refundable reservations

  • Kent

    Elio should be half the price as it is half a car. Elio also has the advantage that it doesn’t have layer after layer of corporate executives sucking up the gravy. If you knew the true marginal cost of producing a car, you would understand that this is very doable and a great idea that should have happened decades ago if not for the innovation stifling management of Corporate America.

    • ThelmaCHiser

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  • Richard Skelly

    Zero chance that you will see them on the road in 2015.

  • Doc

    What are the chances? About the same as the Titanic docking in New York harbor!!

  • Jon Krüger

    Vaporware!

  • MarkinTX

    I have confidence that Elio will be a significant success and will deliver in 2015. I also believe that we will be seeing the traditional automobile companies, both American and foreign, scramble to get competing products to market and chasing Elio’s lead. Elio will succeed. After all, they are Americans… ;)