Elio Motors 2015 release skepticism parallels Ford Bronco

By Peter Chubb - Dec 2, 2014

Elio Motors’ 2015 vehicle, which is a three-wheeled car has caused a lot of controversy ever since plans were announced to start the new project. There are several reasons why there is a lot of skepticism with this new vehicle, one that parallels rumors of a 2016 Ford Bronco.

Ok, so we know the reasons why some people feel these vehicles will not be released are different, but they do share one thing in common, they won’t ever see the light of day – well according to the skeptics.

The 3-wheeler from Elio loks rather impressive on paper at first glance, with its 84-mpg fuel economy, 2 seats, 3 wheels, 5-star crash test and a price tag of $6,800. However, a controversial article has listed 6 reasons why this is all too good to be true.

First of all this is not actually a car because it is technically a motorcycle and for that reason most states, along with Canada will require you to wear a helmet. We know Elio is trying to get around this issue with government officials, but we’re not sure how far they will get. This is not as good for the environment as you would think, and as such this is one of the reasons the company has yet to announce its official emissions ratings.

Elio has yet to even provide a running engine, as they have a few in mind, with the Suziki G10/Geo Metro 3-cylinder engine being the most obvious. One of the biggest issues is money, as they don’t have enough of it, which is why they have been collecting deposit money up to get the vehicle production ready. The vehicle has a lot going against it and you can read more on this from the source above, or gain a reaction from our readers.

Ford bronco 2015

It would seem there is still a great deal of hype for a Ford Bronco, and while the U.S. auto manufacturer has not made any sort of announcement about the truck, try telling that to the huge number of websites that still claim it will happen. This all started with an April Fools, which tricked a lot of people and since then there has been a surge in people wanting to see the model re-released.

There has been rumors that it will come to the U.S. once again after a similar model was released in Brazil, which is the biggest car market in the world right now. However, there is a great deal of skepticism for various reasons, one is there is no longer a need for this type of vehicle in the U.S. and sales of the Jeep is surely proof of that. However, Ford could make a number of changes to adapt it for today’s needs, although not sure an F-150 approach with an all-aluminum design would be welcomed?

What do you think has more of a chance of a release, the Elio Motors 3-wheeler in 2015, or a Ford Bronco in 2016?

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  • reid


  • Jorge

    19 states have helmet laws.

    • guest

      There are exemptions in many cases for an enclosed 3-wheeled vehicle. There are only 5 states that currently require a helmet to be worn by drivers over the age of 18.

  • Annoyed

    This is some of the worst link baiting I’ve seen in an article in a while; the worst before this one, ironically enough, is the very article they site as a source. Five minutes of research will shred every single negative point in this article about the Elio.
    1. Elio might have seen a problem with helmet laws a decade ago, but laws have changed in the vast majority of states long since, and all of the very few states remaining currently have proposed amendments to absolve the issue.
    2. While federally confirmed emissions have not been released, Elio has itself released numbers that, while not absolutely final, rate it to be EXTREMELY enviro-friendly. Arguing that they are completely fudging these numbers is quite frankly imbecilic, as Elio doing so would be business suicide. They aren’t that stupid.
    3. Elio has a working engine of their own design currently going through dynamo testing and it is expected to match all simulations on performance, including emissions and mileage (those simulators are crazy-accurate). The testing has been going on for over a month now and we should be expecting released results soon.
    You know what? You get the picture. I’m not wasting my time on this anymore.

  • John

    “most states…will require you to wear a helmet.” If by “most” states you mean a max of 5. What a joke of an article! Can’t even get the basic facts straight.

  • Dino3721

    This article is why people should not believe what they read on the internet. No fact checking at all. Do you know another car company that 37,000 people have wanted so bad they will put down money for- most of which have not ever seen the car in real life? To me, that shows how much interest there is. Let me tell you why it will be a huge succes where others have failed. 80% off the shelf parts. No new technology. Great design. Affordable. Made in America. 84 mpg. They are not trying to replace your pickup or minivan. If I lose my money, then at least I invested in something I can believe in. The fact the Elio will not accept more than a down payment- tells me they are not planning on taking the money are running. The fact is a hybrid motorcycle/car only clears the way to get it in production. I am happy to wait for mine, and if takes a year or two- I will still be happy. I doubt Pep Boys would want to be part of this- if it was a pipe dream. The list of suppliers is impressive. You do not have to love the car or the idea, but a little fact checking is not to much to ask.

    • AZ

      How much money did Pep Boys spend to be part of Elio? Probably nothing. Having a group of suppliers means nothing, Paul Elio complained in an interview that it was hard getting parts because the American car (all brands produced in USA) industry was doing so well, suppliers had no parts for them. So you have companies you buy parts from, wow. I have an exclusive membership to buy products at a discounted price too(Costco).
      80% off the shelf parts? Doubtful. Engine no, transmission no, body, frame, tail lights, glass-NO. And the systems that are “off” the shelf like airbags still need to be engineered for the application. If they had 25 prototypes running around the streets testing it would mean something. They don’t, but people keep falling for everything they say……yeah they’ll meet that $6800 price, but that shipping charge will raise from $700 to $1500.

  • AZ

    Elio is a joke delay after delay. 1st they need $200m now they need $250m (loan applied for plus loan they applied for). Paul Elio stated he was not looking for more investors, than applies for loan. BTW they were originally turned down for loan in 2010. That’s after 3 wheelers were made eligible for loan. Elio passed phase 1 of three step process. Good for them, now they have to show ability to PAY back loan. What do they own? Rights to an engine no one else wants. Do they have the ability to pay back loan. So process, and approval, not a done deal. Let’s not forget delays have been due to funding (interview with Paul Elio, look it up). What is the backup plan if Elio does not get loan? How much longer will it be delayed?

    No prototypes being tested. No crash tests performed. 84 mpg not attained yet(possible? maybe).

    What’s comical is how they compare themselves to luxury car makers(sales). A reservation is not a sale. 37K reservations, and according to Elio forums only 25% of those reservations are at the “all in” $1k mark. So to assume 37K reservations results in 37k sales is misleading. Have any of the refundable depositors asked for their money back?

    The Elio marketeers and supporters are crazed fans. Compare Paul Elio to Henry Ford? Paul Elio has not made 1 production vehicle. Does not wrench, design, engineer the vehicle himself. Is not building a car, but a motorcycle (as classified by the feds).

    The big 3 or any other auto manufacture does not care about this vehicle. Not even a blip on the radar.

    Elio keeps adding options to vehicle to confuse people into thinking they are hard at work developing the vehicle. Special email, press release about the optional $1500-$2000 Infinite Skyz dash, does not get a prototype on the road any sooner, but it does give potential consumers that warm fuzzy feeling that they are actually doing something.
    The Bronco and the Duke axial engine have better chance of production before the Elio makes it to production.

  • macrumpton

    This article is so full of outdated information and just plain errors it is hard to imagine that it is not just linkbait.

  • Lex

    The ONLY reason why the Elio wouldn’t get built, is the big three will do to them just like they did Tucker. Add apathy of Americans to deal with their feudalism. Don’t like it? Stop buying anything the big three have their hands in.

  • Jim

    If they produce them, I am ready to buy two. Hey Elio ! Build them, we will come!

  • Arthur Burnside

    I have been following the Elio story for over a year and can shred this article’s claims without half trying. There are NO states that will require helmuts for the Elio – those two or three that still have laws on the books have had legislation introduced to eliminate that requirement. Secondly, Elio Motors has an application in with the Feds for a $185 million loan that has already passed the first hurdle and is certain to be granted, which eliminates any need for additional funding. This article falsely states that Elio “has a few motors in mind” Hardly. The motor they will use has already been designed, prototyped and delivered to Elio and is being tested for performance and emissions right now. There is also a rather stupid claim about the Elio “not being good for the environment.” This has to be the dumbest claim yet – the Elio on the highway will emit less than 25% of the emissions of the Tesla electric Model S, and is as clean as most of the engines on the road. This has to rank as the
    worst, most inaccurate article about the Elio in the past two years. There is no excuse for anyone expressing skepticism at this stage and no excuse for the errors and lies published here. This is a journalistic disgrace.

  • Ty is Here

    The picture. That was about all you got right. Even a couresty glance at Elios home page would have corrected most of this irresponsible, horrible writing. Research. Look into it.

  • jeff fearnow

    This article seems to be written by someone looking for a grade (a student) but not someone in the big time. Editing, outdated sources and one spiteful counter argument does not a good piece make.

    That said: the Elio is a fantastic idea and i plan to own one(and no, I’m not counted in the ‘pre-order’ column for reasons). I give zero fraks about the Bronco.

  • Cris Cassity

    Did anyone do any research at all before commenting on the Elio? The Suzuki engine has been history for months and Elio has contracted their own engine.They are half way through approval for a government loan. The helmet thing is the opposite of what you report with most states not requiring them.At 84 mpg it is extremely environment friendly no matter what.

  • Hornetsnest

    1. I am sure that the Elio will not produce more emissions than the Ford Bronco
    2. 45 States down… 5 to go (Helmet exemtions for Elio … Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Nebraska)
    3. Elio has about 37,000 already reserved?….
    4. Elio will only be struggling for money because of the Tech packages they want to include

    Elio wins by a landslide.