US company announces plans to create 1500, after securing a production facility at a former GM site in Louisiana
Matt Burt
10 January 2014

Elio Motors showed off its three-wheeler at the International CES technology show in Las Vegas this week and announced the next step in its plan to put the vehicle into production.

The US company's model plan is to produce an ultra-frugal, low-cost vehicle using 90 per cent of domestically sourced components. The Elio is a three-wheeled two-seater powered by an inline three-cylinder, 0.9-litre petrol engine that produces 54bhp.

The company says the car will be capable of 84mpg US (equivalent to approximately 98mpg UK) on major roads – giving it a maximum range of more than 670 miles – and 49mpg (58mg UK) in the city. It intends to sell the vehicle for $6800 (about £4100). The vehicle will be available with either a five-speed manual gearbox or an automatic transmission.

Elio Motors has rented production space in the former General Motors Assembly and Stamping Plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. Work at the facility stalled in 2012 when GM's financial crisis took hold, but Elio Motors hopes to bring 1500 jobs back to the region.

At the CES technology convention, company founder Paul Elio explained that funding for the project has surpassed the $7m (approximately £4.2m) mark. Elio expects his company to begin commercial vehicle production in the first quarter of 2015.

"My dream has been to build a new kind of safe, reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle here in the United States. Acquiring this plant and all of the equipment in a fully operational state will allow Elio Motors to thrive right off the bat once commercial vehicle production begins in 2015," he said.

The CES visit is part of a US-wide tour to showcase the prototype vehicle. The company has been accepting pre-orders and currently has 6300 prospective buyers on board.

Join the debate

Comments
2

10 January 2014
Please no.

11 January 2014
We have been here before.....look at the Dale Car on Wikipedia amusing read.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again