Elio Motors Timeline, 2014-2016: Plans, Promises, No Cars

James Raia

An early prototype of the Elio Motors' three-wheeler.

In early 2014, The Weekly Driver reported on the ambitious plans of Elio Motors to debut about a year later an unnamed three-wheel vehicle conceived by company founder Paul Elio. The attraction was startling: the futuristic-looking contraption was touted as costing $6,800, and it could achieve 84 mpg.

An early prototype of the Elio Motors' three-wheeler.
An early prototype of the Elio Motors’ three-wheeler.

Further, the company promoted the vehicle as featuring an eight-gallon gas tank with a 672-mile range and a top speed of more than 100 mph.

The small front-mounted engine in the Elio was promoted as 1.0 liter, with three cylinders and 70 horsepower. It would feature two seats, with an optional fold-down passenger seat for cargo space.

In the nearly three years since Elio Motors received its first public notoriety a lot has happened with the pending vehicle, but simultaneously not much has happened.

Elio Motors began calling its vehicle the Elio. Prototypes have been built, business relationships with suppliers have been announced. Nationwide tours have occurred, and commercials have been made. Jobs have been promised.

According to the company website, more than 60,000 wannabe owners have provided deposits to buy an Elio.

Elio’s early marketing campaign began at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Arizona and the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Most recently, Elio had an understated booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November.

But the vehicle has never debuted.

Last week, the website Gas 2.0 published Security Exchange Commission documents detailed Elio has reported it has more than $123 million debt. Paul Elio questioned the company’s ability to continue.

Since our first article, The Weekly Driver has published 26 additional posts about the company.

Here’s the timeline and the list of our reporting:

12/12/16, If Elio Motors fails, Canadian EV start-up will honor deposits

12/9/16, Elio Motors: So long, farewell to your three-wheel hype

8/17/16, Elio sets higher price, compares three-wheeler to VW

6/30/16, Elio debuts test vehicle, but no production car date set

3/18/16, What else is new? Elio again delays futuristic car debut

1/26/16, Elio Motors debuts TV commercials for its $6,800 vehicle (video)

1/11/16, Elio Motors counters NHTSA rule with spirited retort

1/10/16, Could pending NHTSA rule mean Elio Motors is doomed?

11/18/15, Elio set for live debut of $6,800 car at LA Auto Show

11/6/15, Elio will display cheapest car concept at LA Auto Show

1/16/15, Elio sputters again, production now in 2016?

1/6/15, Elio Motors’ woes continue with hometown doubts

10/3/15, Elio scam worries rise after recent woes

1/8/14, Never mind Tesla, Prius, Elio. Buy the Flatula Backfire

7/10/14, Elio markets fleet sales but still no cars

6/13/14, Elio Motors suffers further setback, debut in late 2015?

6/4/14, Elio start date halted after funding delay

4/29/14, Elio Motors, Pep Boys establish service deal

4/23/14, Elio Motors: 15,000 now believe, but will they build it?

4/23/14, Elio gets last gas as cow fart criticism backfires

3/28/14, 3-wheel Elio interest soars, 3,000 more reserved

3/16/14, God is good, but it’s no name for the Elio three-wheeler

3/14/14, Three-wheel vehicles like Elio: Who makes the rules?

3/13/14, Elio Motors: To reserve or not? Nearly 12,000 say yes

3/10/14, Fact or Fiction? 3-wheel, $6,800 Elio praised, panned

3/7/14, Will the $6,800, 84 mpg Elio change the auto industry?

2/28/14, Coming soon, 3-wheel Elio: $6,800, 84 mpg, 100 mph

Article Last Updated: December 15, 2016.

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