Elio Motors: So long, farewell to your three-wheel hype

James Raia

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

The fate of the much-hyped, low-cost, high gas mileage, three-wheel vehicle manufactured by Elio Motors may end before it starts. A report on the website Gas 2.0 details the company’s massive spending, substantial debt, and severe concerns it will continue.

Elio Motors founder Paul Elio.
Elio Motors founder Paul Elio and prototype of his three-wheeler in 2014.

Elio Motors, which has touted its predicted 84 mpg futuristic vehicles for several years, has missed many deadlines for the vehicle’s debut. It has produced five three-wheel prototypes, but its prediction of creating 1,500 jobs at its Louisiana plant has never materialized.

In a partial description of the company’s Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filing on the Gas 2.0 site, Paul Elio, the company’s founder and president, reports an accumulated debt of $123,212,422 as of Sept. 30, 2016.

In the company’s words:

“We have a working capital deficit of $25,769,911 as of September 30, 2016. We had a net loss of $34,787,800 and $13,873,656 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

“These factors, among others, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. If we are unable to continue to obtain financing to meet our working capital requirements, we may have to curtail our business sharply or cease operations altogether.”

In addition its impressive gas mileage and lost cost, the Elio vehicle was predicted to all feature other impressive specs: a fuel injected, SOHC gas-powered, 3-cylinder, .9-liter, liquid-cooled 55 horsepower engine. The top speed is estimated at more than 100 mph and the acceleration from 0-60 speed is 10.8 seconds.

From its debut in 2009, Elio Motors has had many supporters and many detractors. More than 62,000 reservations for the vehicle have been secured via deposits, but the first announced deadline for the vehicle was in 2014.

Several other release dates have been missed. The originally announced price of the car has also been increased $500 to $7,300.

Elio Motors had an understated small presence at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. Company representatives detailed Elio Motors’ story to visitors with one of the company’s prototypes on display in a small booth.

Article Last Updated: February 10, 2017.

5 thoughts on “Elio Motors: So long, farewell to your three-wheel hype”

  1. Gas 2.0 has been down on this vehicle from day one, so I would take anything they post with a with quite a bit of salt.

  2. Sloppy. Units matter. It’s not a top speed of 100 mpg; it’s 100 mph. Seems pretty basic to a website about cars. Also the 3 cylinder engine is not 9 liters displacement; it’s 0.9 liters. Doesn’t a three cylinder engine with 9 liters displacement seem improbable?! If you can’t get the basic stats right, why should we trust your suppositions?

  3. LOL. The Elio enthusiasts will never give up hope on this vaporware. “The company is $127 million in debt with $1.00 in the bank. When do I get the car I reserved?”


Leave a Reply

Share to...