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, 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.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.