Elio sets higher price, compares three-wheeler to VW

Michael James

Elio Motors has again delayed its debut - now until 2017.

Elio Motors has “locked in” a base price of $7,300 for its three-wheel vehicle that hasn’t been manufactured and has no definitive debut date. It’s an increase of $500 from the original price the start-up company has promoted for several years.

Elio Motors founder Paul Elio.
Elio Motors founder Paul Elio founded his company in 2009 and is still without a debut date.

Touted as an ultra high-mileage, ultra low-cost vehicle that will achieve up to 84 mph, the newly announced price will be available to the first 65,000 non-refundable reservations the company receives. The company has more than 56,000 reservations total, according to its web site totals.

Elio Compares Concept to VW Beetle

In the latest of dozen of press releases, Elio said it “aims to disrupt the American transportation industry with its low-cost, highly fuel efficient vehicle, much like Volkswagen did with the Beetle in 1968. The Beetle’s $1,699 sticker price from 1968 is $11,767.92 in 2016 dollars.”

“Volkswagen entered the market in 1968 with an extraordinary vehicle at an incredible price and shook up the industry,” said Paul Elio, Elio Motors Founder and CEO, via the release. ”We are on the path to launching an extraordinary vehicle, as well, but are setting an even more aggressive and affordable price, and doing so in a way that will create American jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, be better for the environment and strengthen American manufacturing. We have developed more than $350 million in pre-production sales with over 56,000 reservations, with the vast majority being non-refundable.

Revised guidelines recently published by the Department of Energy (DOE) in June 2016 now specify that start-up companies need to further demonstrate market acceptance through firm sales commitments.

Elio Locks In Price For First 65,000 Buyers

Because Elio Motors has applied for a $185 million Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan from the DOE, the company is now seeking the necessary binding purchase commitments to meet the recent change in loan criteria.

As an extra incentive for the non-refundable reservation holders, the company will lock in the vehicle price at an even lower $7,000 base price for those that make a binding commitment to purchase within the first 65,000 reservations.

“We applaud the DOE’s recent ATVM guidelines,” said Elio. “Anything that makes us work harder to strengthen our company is ultimately going to be good for our future customers, our team members, our shareholders and the communities where we build, sell and service the Elio.”

“We have always taken extraordinary positive measures to do whatever it takes to move our company forward, utilizing policies such as Regulation A+, or loan programs such as the ATVM,” Elio said. “Both of these tools have been put in place through government and private sector collaboration. The legislators who have put these programs in motion are creating an atmosphere where innovative companies can flourish and move our economy forward.”

Elio Offers Incentives For Larger Reservations

Elio Motors offers reservations of $100, $250, $500 and $1,000. There are two types of reservations — non-refundable and refundable. As an added incentive for non-refundable reservations, a limited time 25 percent bonus on their reservation will be applied to the purchase. For example, potential buyer providing a $1,000 deposit will receive an additional $250 toward their vehicle the time of purchase.

Elio Motors was founded by car enthusiast Paul Elio in 2009. The three-wheel vehicle is engineered to attain a highway mileage rating of up to 84 mpg while providing the comfort of amenities such as power windows, power door lock, cruise control and air conditioning accompanied by the safety of multiple air bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. Elio’s first manufacturing site will be in Shreveport, La.

The company’s latest announcement continues its series of forward-thinking progress reports.

Still, among numerous updates, including stock funding, job projections, numerous prototypes and several projected deadlines for the vehicle’s debut, Elio’s manufacturing date is still undetermined. The fledgling manufacturer also produced The 30- and 60-second television commercials etitled “Own the Future.” The commercial featured sweeping shots of the company’s P4 prototype.

According to the one company press release, “Elio’s goal is to strengthen American manufacturing, create American jobs, provide access to low-cost mobility for millions of people and reduce our overall oil consumption.”

Reservations for the vehicle began 2013 with an anticipate initial manufacturing date of 2015.

In its earliest marketing, the manufacture described the vehicle as “perfect for individual commuters looking for an inexpensive and fuel-efficient mode of transportation, but who also yearn for a unique expression of their passion for driving.”

The vehicle has been praised and it has detractors: Editors with the website Engineering.com. were the among the first to question the vehicle’s feasibility:

“Even with heavy funding in place, a location secured to build the product, and suppliers on board for production there is a heavy question in the air of whether or not the Elio can become a fully realized product.”

Previous articles about the Elio

Elio Motors has again delayed its debut - now until 2017.
Elio Motors has again delayed its debut.
The Elio is a three-wheel vehicle scheduled to debut in the United States in early 2015.
The three-wheel vehicle Elio was originally scheduled to debut in early 2015.

Article Last Updated: August 17, 2016.

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