2015 was supposed to be the year that Elio Motors delivered its long-anticipated 84 MPG trike, but alas, it’s not to be. KSLA reports that Paul Elio, CEO of Elio Motors, says production of his 84 MPG trike has been push back from mid-2015 to “early 2016” citing a lack of about $240 million. And until Elio gets that money, even the 2016 production date is tentative at best.
It’s a dreary admission from the often-bullish Elio, who has proposed selling his 84 MPG, two-seater trike for as little as $6,800. 2015 looked to be off to a good start for Elio with the release of their engine design, but with production pushed back at least a year, the difficulties of building a brand new vehicle are starting to become apparent. Despite owning a surplus of equipment and a former GM factory, Elio has yet to secure either a major investor or a line of government credit.
Elio had planned to raise the cash itself, through the sale of old equipment, but it’s been slow going. The startup is also pursuing $185 million from the just-revived Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, and has cleared the first round of questioning. There’s a lot of competition for that government green though, and while indications seem positive, there’s no way of knowing when they’ll get the money.
Thankfully, Elio has received a six-month extension on a requirement to employ 1,500 people by the end of this year. But while Paul Elio remains sure that his three-wheeler will be built, I can’t help but wonder how many of the
13,000 38,000 reservation holders share his confidence after this latest delay.