By Lin Smith
The Elio: Inexpensive and High MPG
March 23, 2014–The Elio is a ray of hope, as an alternative, to the monstrous, fossil guzzling vehicles currently on the highway. It’s not electric and it’s not hybrid (and it’s not exactly a car) but it is an affordable means of transportation at 84 mpg and $6800 brand new. You’ll be spotting these eye catchers in the 1st quarter of 2015, but you can reserve one today with a downpayment of $100, along with the reportedly 10,000 people already on the reserve list.
What’s an Elio?
On Elio’s Website, Eliomotors.com, they state, “Elio is not a fling. It is not a novelty. It is a product of a mobile society, naturally evolving to a more efficient and practical form of transportation.” Paul Elio is an engineer, founder and CEO of Elio Motors. With 3 wheels it’s kind of a car, yet kind of a motorcycle. The AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicles) wants to change the classification of what constitutes a motorcycle to better accommodate the Elio. Currently, it is the number of wheels, which would make the vehicle a motorcycle. The AAMVA is seeking to change this classification to the type of seats and the type of steering wheel, a round wheel or handlebars. A seat with a back and a steering wheel would be called an autocycle and treated as a car, requiring a driver’s license. The AAMVA has drawn up the documents and, even though they don’t have the power to change laws, they will be admitted to the DMV where the law can be changed.
Stats for the Elio
Mpg: 84 Highway miles
Seats: 2 one of which will lay down for stowing gear
Colors: 8 different colors including Licorice, Sour Apples, Rocket Silver and Marshmallow
8-Gallon Tank (672 miles to the tank!)
Anticipated 5 Star Crash Test Rating: 3 air bags, Anti-Lock Braking, and reinforced roll-cage
5-speed manual or automatic
Heat and Air
Standard Features: Power windows, tempered glass, AM/FM radio, front-wheel drive
Production of the Elio
The Elio Company is based in Phoenix but the car will be manufactured in Louisiana, 95% of parts being made in the U.S.A, and creating 1500 jobs with more as they grow. The maintenance cost is predicted to be low, with most parts already in production, and purchasing of parts easy to obtain at your local auto parts store.
Paul Elio says, ” My dream has been to build a new kind of safe, reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle here in the U.S,” and it looks like he’s accomplished it. It’s not a no-carbon footprint car, but it certainly is a lower-carbon footprint car!