More Delays for Elio Motors, and More Lies?



The last time we checked in on Elio Motors, the company was reporting more than $21 million in “expressed interest” from suspect investors and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was shaking hands with Gulf Port Spinning Company, who would be taking up some of the factory space left unfilled by the fledgling manufacturer. Although, can you really call Elio Motors a manufacturer if they don’t actually manufacture anything?

That’s a question we’ll have a few more months to ask ourselves, it seems, because company CEO Paul Elio says his latest prediction for a production start date has been pushed from mid-2016 (which, last I checked, would have been June/July) to the end of 2016.

“All along, we have said, funding will determine the production date, now that funding is getting clear we have a much better feel on our production date,” says Elio, who had yet to collect on any of the “expressed interest” (read: crowd-funded) money at the time of this writing.

Assuming that $25 million does come in, Elio says he’ll use the money will be used to build 25 additional three-wheeled prototypes. For those of you keeping score, that translates to roughly $1 million dollars per Elio Trikke, and not the $6800 oft-quoted price that the increasingly suspect Elio PR people and the idiot auto writers over at the Motely Fool keep repeating, who totally fell for Paul Elio’s professional charm during an interview w/ Paul this past August at Motley Fool headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

I’ve talked to Paul Elio several times, and he’s a charming guy– but even he has to admit that spending $25 million on 25 prototypes might seem a bit strange to people who’ve watched the rise and fall of automotive startups past. Especially when the major components are either done, or (supposedly) based on “existing technology”.

If those 25 prototypes get built- and that’s still an “if”- they’ll get built in Detroit, and not in Shreveport. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Paul Elio also claimed that he was building 25 prototypes back in September of 2013 in this Red River Radio interview.

“It’s a teeter-totter, and right now,” Elio told Red River, back in 2013. “It’s engineering-centric and most of the action is in Detroit because that’s where the supply base is. As we get closer to 2014, it will become manufacturing-centric and the center of gravity will be in Caddo Parish.”

That’s right, kiddos. He really did say, “As we get closer to 2014,” and this is all starting to sound a bit repetitive, at best, aren’t they?

Even those who believe in Paul Elio and his little trike thing are starting to get sick of the delays. ArkLaTex resident Elio Motors Reservation Holder Mark Muenzmaier, for one, didn’t take the news of the latest Elio production delay well. “It’s not just disappointing to myself, as someone who wants the vehicle,” he told Louisiana’s KSLA. “But it’s disappointing to the folks that have been waiting on jobs in the ArkLaTex are going to keep being pushed back over and over again.”

As of now, the only people employed at the former GM assembly plant that have been tasked with selling surplus equipment to pay down the company’s debt. The company’s SEC filing reveals the company has outstanding secured loans totaling $30.6 million dollars, of which only $1.6 million is classified as short-term.


Sources: KSLA News, Red River Radio, the Motley Fool, et al. Check the links before flaming.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • J_JamesM

    Once you’ve seen enough companies rise to success or fall into obscurity, you start to notice the rhythm to these things. Elio Motors was doomed from the start, as many of us have been saying this whole time- which a more polite way of saying “I told you so” to the people who were less than courteous in defending Elio when these flaws were pointed out originally.

    • I don’t need to say “I told you so,” to anyone, man. I just hope the most gullible people get their money back and the folks who are depending on Elio to bring jobs back to that region can find something else.

      • J_JamesM

        “I don’t want to say ‘I told you so…’ but I did bloody tell you.”
        – Alfred

    • Nothing can happen, nothing can change, no one can succeed, 1959 will go on forever and ever and ever and ever…
      Yet somehow, the future happens everywhere else but here. Brad Bird was right with “Tomorrowland”: America don’t want no stinking future. Like old men wearing suspenders and a fedora, they want to lock in to whatever they were when they young. Change – BAH! It never works. Look at the track record of newness. Failure! We should never try anything. Damned be they who do.

      • J_JamesM

        A flawed example of inductive reasoning. Just because this effort was always doomed to failure does not mean others are, and vice-versa. Change is certainly possible, but who made it a law that Elio Motors HAS to be the one to usher it in?

        • Who made it so? Why, all the people who sunk their money into Elio, of course!

      • You are one crazy nutter, “sir”. I do, however, applaud your nonsensical rantings and incredible ability to ignore innovations like GPS, smartphones, the incredible progress of Moore’s Law (which isn’t really a law, by the way- it just seems to be a law because of the innovative efforts of companies like Intel), the rise of autonomous vehicles on the land, sea, and air, the advancement of synapse-controlled prosthetic devices, spray-on skin for burn victims, the re-growth of organs from stem cells, and an ever-growing list of other futuristic and very American advances over the past few decades, years, and even months!

        It’s OK, though. You can have your 3 cylinder crap-mobile. THAT is the “real” progress!

  • rogwild

    – Elio Motors is not a ‘New Company’, they’ve been around since 2008, and have a ‘history’.

    – – Just remember, back on (Sep 6, 2013); “Founder Paul Elio told Red
    River Radio that 25 prototypes are – under construction — in
    Detroit as the company enters into the product testing phase. “
    (Never happened, and they still have not started “construction”)

    – – (Jan 11, 2014) When asked; “You will actually be delivering Production
    vehicles of this car, WHEN?” Paul Elio answered, “ First Quarter
    of 2015!” (Never happened)

    – – BEWARE
    — Elio Motors has been taking ‘RESERVATIONS’ for 2 ½ years, but is
    still short $230 MILLION needed to reach ‘production’. – Since
    2008 they have ‘raised’ and -SPENT- $70 million!

    – In fact, their $100 – $1,000 reservations DO NOT guarantee that you will ever
    get a vehicle; Elio Motors says: “ we are under no obligation to
    supply you with a vehicle.“

    – And when asked, they refuse to provide which ‘reputable financial institution’
    is responsible for their “Refundable” escrow account.

    – Even with the “$19 million collected for “reservations”, they have NOT
    BUILT nor TESTED one complete Pre-Production Prototype with operable
    systems to ‘validate their claims’ of fuel economy, or safety!”
    …. since 2008.

    – In the past, If you asked any ‘difficult’ questions, or express
    ‘discontent’ on their FaceBook page, it was [DELETED], and you were
    “BLOCKED”’; or the post was [HIDDEN] from the general readership
    (seen only by the ‘poster’ and ‘Friends’)!

    – Interesting ‘concept’; but NO WAY they will be in production and on
    the road, by Mid-2016, as they ‘claim’. – Their ‘Production Date’
    has already ‘slipped’ from Jun/Jul 2014 → 1st Qtr 2015 → 3rd Qtr
    2015 → to First ½ 2016! (now mid to late 2016?)

    – They have NOT demonstrated their “84mpg” and do not guarantee their
    ‘selling price’ of $6,800. They have never ‘demonstrated “at least
    75mpg” to QUALIFY for the ATVM LOAN. They are ‘fleecing’ our
    citizens.! Please do your ‘Homework’! Paul Elio said that they will
    be producing 179,000 vehicles the FIRST year (only 45,000 reserved);
    so no need to “Reserve” … if you are ‘interested’!

    Mr. Paul Elio, gets $250,000 per year…… and has PRODUCED and SOLD

    • Are you referring to the Red River Radio interview cited in the article? Like, did you even read this, or are you just on some kind of vendetta?

      • rogwild

        Yes, the Red River Radio interview; and yes I did read the article. Just pointing out some of the ‘points’ that Elio Motors and their ‘Press Releases’ Fail to disclose.

    • George Davenport Sr.

      The more complete truth

      – Elio Motors is not a ‘New Company’, they’ve been around since 2008, and have a ‘history’. True. Most all companies have a history.

      – – Just remember, back on (Sep 6, 2013); “Founder Paul Elio told Red River Radio that 25 prototypes are – under construction — in Detroit as the company enters into the product testing phase. “ (Never happened, and they still have not started “construction”) Unproven. The person doing the story made the statement. There is no proof Paul Elio ever made this statement. When contacted about this, Elio said quote “what was said was either mis-reported, mis-spoken, or misunderstood.” One side chooses to believe this. One side does not.

      – – (Jan 11, 2014) When asked; “You will actually be delivering Production vehicles of this car, WHEN?” Paul Elio answered, “ First Quarter of 2015!” (Never happened) True. He also made statements includng the words “Targeted and Projected” during that same year. One side chooses to believe this was a purposely stated lie. one side chooses to believe it was by accident. One side doesn’t care.

      – – BEWARE — Elio Motors has been taking ‘RESERVATIONS’ for 2 ½ years, but is still short $230 MILLION needed to reach ‘production’. – Since 2008 they have ‘raised’ and -SPENT- $70 million! True It does take a lot of money to start a company of this size and magnatude. I cannot confirm or disprove the remark about $70 million but do not challenge the amount spent. One side chooses to believe that some of the money has been mispent or misappropiated. One side chooses to believe it has been spent in development and building the 5 prototypes, engine program and transmission development along with the other necessities to complete the autocycle. One side doesnt feel they have enough infomation to make a judgement.

      – In fact, their $100 – $1,000 reservations DO NOT guarantee that you will ever get a vehicle; Elio Motors says: “ we are under no obligation to supply you with a vehicle.“True. It is clearly stated in the contract that there are NO guarantees of it ever being built. Please read all contracts before signing. If you dont understand what you are reading, do not sign.

      – And when asked, they refuse to provide which ‘reputable financial institution’ is responsible for their “Refundable” escrow account. I can only assume There are laws requiring escrows to be kept in secure deposits. I am not aware of anyone who has requested a refund not receiving it.( I want in)

      – Even with the “$17 million collected for “reservations”, they have NOT BUILT nor TESTED one complete Pre-Production Prototype with operable systems to ‘validate their claims’ of fuel economy, or safety!” …. since 2008. True. development and testing have been slower than antisipated. This has caused one side to become disenchanted. Some have decided it to be a scam. One side is believes it to be a viable company and are watching the progress, albeit slow at times. There are 46,000 plus deposits made to date. There are 2 known Facebook sites dedicated to negative Elio remarks. 1 has just under 200 likes (CAUTION profane language used here) and the other just under 800. There are 3 Facebook sites dedicated to the positive aspects. One has just over 1500 members, One with just over 2000 members and the Elio Motors site doesnt list numbers.

      – In the past, If you asked any ‘difficult’ questions, or express ‘discontent’ on their FaceBook page, it was [DELETED], and you were “BLOCKED”’; or the post was [HIDDEN] from the general readership (seen only by the ‘poster’ and ‘Friends’)!True, but not now. You can ask any question pro or con on the site and it will be answered. The im button on the top left of the site usually gets questions answered in a few minutes.

      – Interesting ‘concept’; but NO WAY they will be in production and on the road, by Mid-2016, as they ‘claim’. – Their ‘Production Date’ has already ‘slipped’ from Jun/Jul 2014 → 1st Qtr 2015 → 3rd Qtr 2015 → to First ½ 2016! (now late 2016?) False and true. the targeted date is late 2016 not mid 2016. Target dates have been missed. If this is a problem for you, this is probably not a good time to invest. If you have no problem with the delays and believe this to be a real possibility, there are several deposit options available. Please read ALL contracts before you invest in any venture. If you don’t understand any contract, dont sign.

      – They have NOT demonstrated their “84mpg” and do not guarantee their ‘selling price’ of $6,800. They have never ‘demonstrated “at least 75mpg” to QUALIFY for the ATVM LOAN. They are ‘fleecing’ our citizens.! Please do your ‘Homework’! Paul Elio said that they will be producing 179,000 vehicles the FIRST year (only 45,000 reserved); so no need to “Reserve” … if you are ‘interested’! True And opinion. None of the 4+ prototypes have been tested. All testing has been done on computers. 25 units are to be built for such testing after funding is complete for that project. No gaurentee is made to the funding, however it does look to be gaining momentem. As of 10/19/16 there were 46,411 reservations. You do not need to reserve a place in line, but once production starts( once again, there is no guarentee of this)you will receive your autocycle sooner if you have a reservation. Otherwise you can get one in the second year of production according to Elio.

      – Mr. Paul Elio, gets $250,000 per year…… and has PRODUCED and SOLD nothing! True. As are most people in business Mr. Elio is compensated.

      • rogwild

        Glad to see that you could not PROVE that ANY of my statements were FALSE. On the other hand, you statement; “”True, but not now.”, about Elio Motors FaceBook no longer BLOCKING people and HIDING posts ……. is UNTRUE. On 18 Oct, 2015 one person reported, “got blocked on Elio FB”, and I personally have had two comments [HIDDEN] within the last week!

        • George Davenport Sr.

          I just cant imagine a nice guy like you getting your comments hidden. Just because you call Elio comments “bold face lies” And “bordering on criminal” I am glad you are glad though. Like the headline says “The more complete truth” is simply to let people know there is more to what you say than your solipsism allows. Oh(since you used the word, I thought I would) I am still waiting for your proof the P. elio made the statement about the 25 prototypes being built. If you cant supply one of him actually saying it, then it didnt happen which makes your accusation FALSE.

          • rogwild

            “If you cant supply one of him actually saying it, then it didnt happen”, it was in an article by a national publication, and a reputable author. The facts that Paul Elio, nor Elio Motors NEVER DISPUTED it, at the time, or asked for a ‘correction’ or retraction….. speaks volumes of its ‘veracity’. I have a written document stating ‘He said it’….. you have not provided a source or date of when or who said; “”what was said was either mis-reported, mis-spoken, or misunderstood.” (could it have been Paul Elio who had “mis-spoken”?) It was you who said; “I cannot confirm or disprove the remark about $70 million” ….. so I provided “confirmation”!

          • George Davenport Sr.

            Let me see if I have this right. You want a statement of him saying that he didnt say what he didnt say even though you have no proof of him actually saying what you say he said. Is this what your saying? Just show proof he said it and I will gladly concede. Until then, If he didnt say it he didnt say it.

          • rogwild

            “Founder Paul Elio told Red River Radio that 25 prototypes are under construction in Detroit as the company enters into the product testing phase.” —

          • George Davenport Sr.

            Once again, if you show where he, not Kate Archer Kent said it, then its fact. Until then its false

          • rogwild

            A reputable news organization and reporter PUBLISH IT (facing Libel Laws), Paul Elio never ‘disputes’ it; …. and YOU don’t ‘believe’ it. Sounds like ‘someone’ is in DENIAL!

          • George Davenport Sr.

            Zero reports of him ever saying this before the interview. Zero reports of him ever saying it after report. Zero. Sounds like you want to believe a misquote.

          • rogwild

            He probably ‘realized’ his MISTAKE (it was not TRUE) and did not repeat it. As Paul Elio, himself said (at the NYC Auto Show); “Thank God, I don’t think things through!” Red River Radio stands by their article….. Paul Elio, not so much.

          • George Davenport Sr.

            Zero. Zero. keep drinking the koolade

          • rogwild

            NOT “Zero”…. ONE = Published ‘Statement’…. that Paul Elio has not refuted or explained. If you ‘BELIEVE’ all of Elio Motors’ undocumented ‘CLAIMS’ of Price, 84mpg, Safety, and that they will have an “Elio Motors ENGINE Manufacturing Facility” producing 1,000 IAV engines per day, in addition to assembling the 1,000 vehicles in Shreveport, by the end of next year…… the “koolaid” is on YOUR table!

          • axel3foley

            You appear to have drank all the koolade.

          • George Davenport Sr.

            Hows that?

  • FujiS2500HD

    I understand all the negative evidence piling up on Elio – but, I also understand the magnitude of what they’re trying to accomplish, and the volatility of production estimates. To anyone who criticizes them, I suggest going out & building your own car company. See how well *your* production estimates hold up.

    In any case, I think it’s fair to give them one last chance. There better be a stream of bright orange autotrikes comin’ outta Shreveport by Q3 2016 – or else they’ll lose all credibility for good.

    For now, I’ll wait and hope.

    • What Paul is trying to do is huge- and, honestly, he probably needs closer to $250 million than $25 mil. to make it happen. My concern is that we’ve been hearing these stories from Elio PR for so many years now that they seem to be in syndication! 😀

      • FujiS2500HD

        Elio is banking SUPER hard on the 186 mil DoE loan to put them into production, according to other recent news stories. Without that, though, they’re more or less screwed…

        • I’ve thought that if the DoE idiotically turns them down (why thre frigging holdup? Time is critical for the lease) then the last Hail Mary will be for us to offer to pay for the cars in advance. At least a down. 40K reservations… five thousand bucks each, down payment? Should do it. How much do we want it?

          • rogwild

            NO MORE MONEY FROM ME! DoE ATVM is on hold until Elio Motors ‘proves’ they QUALIFY….. they have yet to demonstrate a vehicle that “achieves at least 75mpg on gasoline”……. a REQUIREMENT for the fuel efficient loan.

          • Mike Wheeler

            I can see a pattern in the responses. Those that have skin in the game and are so convinced of the trike’s success they, beyond all reason, rail against others that restate history, look at (and mention) the actual business plan or just know a snake oil salesman when they see one.
            Any company that can only survive with taxpayer’s money (DOE) like DeLorean Motor Co. , Solyndra, etc. will, in the end, fail. I’m hoping the coming elections put common sense back in the administration and support real businesses and employment.

          • FujiS2500HD

            Bro, just @ me.

            I am not debating Elio’s sketchy past. (I’d love to do more research to actually confirm all the mud-throwing, but for an Internet argument? nah.)

            All I’m saying is: give ’em one last chance. They’re now at the no-turning back point, with the SEC reg A+ in the wild, DoE loan filed, and the P5 being made. They said Q3 2016? Fine. It better fucking be. Because if they fall on their faces – in front of all the media exposure – it will be the death of any new automotive startup in America for the next decade, at the least.

    • No chances are required, as it is not an election. He either does it or he does not. Credibility with deriders, especially in fora such as these, is irrelevant. It’s not about us, it’s all about the DoE. They give him the loan – finally – or they don’t. Y/N, Succeed/Fail, Win/Lose. Loan yes, car yes. Loan no, car no.

      • FujiS2500HD

        Very succinctly put. Our piddling discourse has no impact on Elio, in the end.

    • Magnitude? It’s a glorified motorcycle.

      • FujiS2500HD

        Fine. Get a glorified motorcycle rolling out of a factory at somewhere near Elio’s specs, then come and thump your chest about it.

        Until then, kindly realize that this is not a quick nor easy matter.

  • Rich
    • How many prototypes did Aptera build? There’s one in Chicago’s MSI, no?

      • Rich

        The similarities at a high level are a little surprising.
        Aptera generated a lot of hype. Had money issues. Had design/engineering issues. Took $5k or $6k reservations. Went under and people were having a heck of a time getting their money back.

      • An auto executive was hired to run Aptera, (short story), fired the founders, told everyone to go back to formula, spent all the money making a bigger, fatter, more complex car, failed, and didn’t get a DoE loan. It was a great concept, killed by his desire for cupholders, retro-fitted front-wheel drive, and a desire to fit really fat people.
        PS: all the prototypes were crushed. Um, at least they tried to crush those. There is a great Youtube vid of the fired employees trying, and failing, to break the shells with a forklift. Would not break.

        • Rich

          I’ll look that up. I did see an energy efficiency competition the Aptera was in with other concept cars. During turn maneuvers through cones, the doors would pop open. Slight safety problem. Aptera didn’t make the cut.

  • Marcel

    Lies or not, that ‘car’ looks awful and not very safe… Work harder, buy a Tesla.

  • Joe Stockman

    My question to Jo is what did Elio ever do to you? It seems you accumulated alot of hate for Elio. I understand your all for wasting money and being a douchebag above anything else but damn you must be pretty butt hurt to publish an article that makes you sound like a shit salesman with a mouth full of samples. You claim Elio lies, well who are you to call anyone a liar. Maybe you should stop being afraid of new ideas and embrace other peoples dreams. You need to have an understanding that not everyone thinks the same, but people that want to hinder another persons freedom to think for themselves is a cancer on society. Keep your negativity to yourself, if you don’t believe in idea than walk away. Don’t forget karma is a bitch.

    • rogwild

      “Another person’s freedom” to TAKE from others…… and produce NOTHING!

    • There are so many ridiculous arguments and grammatical errors in your nonsensical post that I hesitate to take issue with it, since you might actually agree with me and just be terrible at communicating it. That said, I invite you to put your money where your mouth is and pony up $6800 to these guys you’re (a contraction of “you” and “are”, by the way, since you seem to have missed that) so eager to defend.

      Have fun being $6800 poorer, if you do. 🙂

      • Joe Stockman

        I just wanna know why you’re the person that thinks he knows everything and actually does. You’re not. Your just some jo smo that happens to have a site about high octane luxury cars and you have to shit on anyone that wants to believe in anything that you don’t happen to like. My grammar doesn’t matter. You wouldn’t of even pointed it out if there wasn’t a point you wanted to completely overshadow. Answer the real question, why do you hate on others ideas when you don’t bring shit to the table? You’re sad. I hope you get help. Dream ruiner.You’ll get what’s coming to you.

    • Andy Allenton

      I’d love to see Elio Motors succeed, but they’re not doing anything to endear their public. Why don’t they at least:

      a) Get the fuel consumption verified?

      b) Sell body/chassis units for kit car fans?

      Point a) is just a case of lending their car to an unbiased car magazine. It would cost NOTHING, so why not?

      Point b): Surely a $3,000 body/chassis unit would attract many amateur builders, fitting whatever engines they wish. Feedback from this would give Elio great R & D info, publicity (seeing them on the road) and spread badly-needed goodwill.

      In summary, if anybody can show me that it’s not just a big ego trip for Paul Elio, I’m all ears…

      • Joe Stockman

        Sorry it took me so long to reply but I felt obligated to correct you. Well first of all they can’t get the fuel consumption verified yet because the final version of the p5 hasn’t been created. The new engine needs fine tuning after being dropped in the p5. Rigorous test are being performed as I speak to ensure that the p5 is going to be everything it needs to be in order to succeed. And nobody cares about kit cars btw.

        • Sam McClyde

          Kit cars are far more successful than Elio Motors, they have product.

  • I don’t understand the thrust of this opinion piece. We’ve been clear that Elio is waiting on the DOE loan for over a year. The DOE requested, through the Elio people, that no one lobby for the loan on Elio’s behalf, and that they’d announce their decision when they were done reviewing the application. Paul Elio exhaustively has explained this. You keep asking the same, answered, question again and again and again… the answer is: when the DOE announces their decision, then we’ll know. The Elio people guessed, and it was only a guess, that the decision would come in September. For some reason unknown to anyone at all outside the DOE, they have not made a damned peep. If I had to guess, I’d say politics: the usual hatred of loaning money to a company for the purpose of reducing oil consumption. Such loans are a small risk for a big payoff, but, this is not a rational country.
    As for the prototypes: they need them. They have one – ONE – mule running around the country in a truck. They should have ten. They also need the prototypes for real world testing with the actual engine – distance driving, fine tuning the design, suspension, all that. And to get some real crash testing – nothing says safe like a video of the dummy surviving a collision. The money for the mules are coming from new investors, and I don’t see the problem.
    In conclusion, Elio has worked his ASS off, every damned day, to get this company off the ground. He looks tired in that TED talk last week. They all have worked their asses off. Paul invested his life in this. They have kept us in the loop about what they are doing, and if you can’t be bothered to read, what can they do?
    Unfortunately, this piece will hit number one on the Google search page.

    • rogwild

      I WANT the car, and have had my money ‘in the game’ …. for years. But Elio Motors has had seven years, SPENT $70 million, collected $19 million in ‘reservations’; and has NOT produced ONE vehicle that “achieves at least 75 mpg on gasoline”, in order to QUALIFY for the ATVM Loan…… no wonder it has not been APPROVED! Oh, and Elio Motors’ ability to ‘repay’ the loan….. while they are already millions in debt, and behind on other loan payments!

    • The “thrust” of this piece is that Elio claimed he was building these same 25 prototypes 2 years ago, when he had 25 million less dollars. So, it seems like he was either lying then, or he is lying now. Either way, we’ve gone beyond a playful sort of “give the guy a chance” and are now in the totally different ballgame of “what is this money for, REALLY?”

  • Honoring_Honore

    Just wonder what the hang up is? How serious is the fight against regulators and feds?

  • DapperDon

    This is a scam that first took place about 75 years ago. It was featured on an episode of Mysteries at the Museum.
    Sad to see so many more people are falling for it now.

  • 208s

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare the prototype cost to the MSRP.

    • I don’t think it’s fair to tell people you’re building prototypes for 5 years and not deliver after spending literally millions of dollars on PR, marketing, and your own salary.

  • Abaraxas

    What’s far worse than all this, Shreveport officials had the opportunity to go ahead and sell the GM plant in Shreveport to Land Rover to begin manufacturing cars right here, but instead, continued to hold out on Elio’s promises even though not one has come true. (rumor has it the very corrupt Shreveport government is lining their pockets with kickbacks- that’s where your pre-reservation money is going). Many have looked into the manufacturing promises of the Elio and the numbers simply aren’t there to bring it in at the cost they promise without substantial subsidies from the government. They are also finding many States, like Texas, will not allow one to operate it without wearing a helmet as they classify it as a motorcycle instead of a car, thus reducing its appeal even further. I have a feeling we’ll still be talking about delays and more unfulfilled promises a year or two from now just like we have been the past several years.

  • ponce

    Introduced to the Elio several years ago by an Elio “angel investor” of my acquaintance. Have been following along with the PR blurbs that hit my Facebook page ever since. Just the other day, saw one that headlined ‘The next step in transportation, anticipated in 2016’. In my experience, ‘anticipated’ is about as squishy a PR term as you can get.
    If the Elio makes it into production, and early adopters substantiate the price, performance and mileage claims, I’ll gladly wait out the first year while you work out the bugs. In the meantime, I’ll watch the bomb throwing from the position of not having gone all-in.

  • Steve Moyers

    Being a gear head and asking questions about the functionality of Elio’s purposed vehicle got me banned from their social media pages. And not only was I cyber stalked by their followers they also attacked those in my friends list that had never heard of Elio Motors. Get a grip children, They have been on this since 2007, where are the testable prototypes? Where are the test results. They claimed the P4 display car cost over 100k to have built but it is limited to 35mph and has no muffler. Now they have built another display car……………………..

    • Fred Smythe

      You are correct. Had Elio followed a design, build, test, repeat cycle, they would have real results to include in their advertising and fund-raising. Their failure or refusal to do so raises legitimate questions about their credibility, capability, and intentions.

      • Steve Moyers

        After reading what they submitted to be allowed public funding I don’t think Elio Motors will be around much longer. Their debt load is off in swamp land. For investors their reservation collecting program just adds to their debt. For each reservation the product has to be discounted to that customer. Because they have already spent that money. It is a debt, not an asset. Correct me if I am wrong but it looks like they are going to need 68 million dollars just to clean up existing debt. What investor would look at this train wreck of financial disaster and offer a dime? Each reservation increases their debt load.

  • Chuck Haase

    Hey Joe Borras, KUDOS You are right on the money about Elio Motors…….. I want to thank you for re-enforcing my earlier decision not to give Elio Motors any of my hard earned money. While I do feel sorry for anyone who has put down a deposit for this nonexistant never to be produced (my opinion) vehicle, I would hope they could get their money back, but their chances are slim to none of that ever happening. Elio Motors appears to be nothing more than a PR scam to make money for Paul Elio, and I will go so far as to predict that we all will one day read about Paul Elio being tried and convicted for Defrauding the American Public!! Maybe they will put Mr Elio in a cell with Bernie Madoff and they can discuss their criminal behavior together…LOL

  • lol $6,800

  • Fred Smythe

    A bit late to the party. This is a good article. One of the key points that was mentioned, but perhaps under-emphasized was the SEC filing for the Reg A+ funding. After all the years of misdirection and unsubstantiated advertising claims, Elio has had to put real numbers, with audited financial statements, out in public sight.

    Roger’s one-man information campaign has been fun to watch, but it is much better to have the information in an official format. The SEC filing refutes many of the claims that Elio and their supporters have made over the years.

    While people can still place a reservation without reading Elio’s statements as submitted to the SEC, the Reg A+ investors are going to have to read the warnings, or at least claim that they did. If they still want to send in money, it’s all fair and above-board.

    Hopefully the government officials in charge of the ATVM process will actually base their decision on financial viability and respect for taxpayer dollars. It’s a lot to ask, but hope is a good thing.

  • Budsygus

    I have to laugh every time I read one of Mr. Borras’s articles about Elio because his dour outlook gets less and less subtle, and the comments get more and more polarized. Some people are betting against this thing and have no room for optimism, others are betting FOR this thing with no room for skepticism. Me? I’m just hoping it happens. I’ve seen companies pulled out of the crap-pile by the sheer tenacity of their founder. I work for such a company, in fact, and I’ve seen first-hand how the negativity and impatience of people can be overcome by a vision and a LOT of hard work.

    Will I ever get to buy an Elio? Maybe, maybe not. I haven’t put any money in and I definitely won’t until I can drive my car off the lot, but it’s a concept that intrigues me and I’d LOVE for this or some vehicle like it to make it to market. Great mileage and a low sticker price are the only things that interest me. I don’t care about looks (though their latest prototype is actually pretty cool looking IMO) and I don’t care about image (my wife and I currently drive an ’03 Alero and a 2013 Elantra). A car is to get me from point A to point B. People who stake parts of their ego on their car obviously won’t be interested in a sub-7k trike, but I am.

    I genuinely hope this works, but I’m not holding my breath. Call me a middle-grounder.

  • Dave Kester

    I’m posting late on this article. Frankly I just haven’t spent much time in the last three months reading up on Elio’s status and am just getting back to it

    Background, i’m in with a small $ amount. I love the look of the prototype. I really want one of these cars.

    When I made my decision I figured two things: 1) their mileage estimate was based on models not actual testing. So I gave it a +/-30%. Figured they could ver likely at least hit 86-(86*.3) = 60 mpg. Also figured their $6800 has a similar margin of error. So 6800+(6800*.3) = $8840.

    This calculation is not based on any analysis of their design or engineering. I am a project manager and I always put error bars on any estimates both in time and costs. I did this as a matter of course in making my decision of rather I would still want one of these.

    In 2013 when Paul started announcing slides to projected production start dates I reviewed everything I could find about the the product and project in 2013. It became clear to me that this project was in serious trouble. But that is not abnormal in the automotive industry or outside of it. It is an average experience of projects to run over and take longer. The question is, “can the team at Elio turn this thing around.”

    That we cannot know without a lot more information on the team at Elio. Something as outsiders we are not going to get.

    Now let me share a statistic with you. In studies on projects it has been observed that 80% of projects that are cancelled, they are cancelled at 200% of budget/time.
    My personal observations is that this is because of the emotional and logical reactions to hitting that level of overrun. At 200% we humans seem to reach both an emotional and logical conclusion that the project will never be satisfactorily completed. It is a cliff people are not often willing to go past.

    In the case of the Elio I think this creates a very interesting set of perspectives on the project.
    1. When Paul started in 2008 he likely had a plan to get to production by 2012-2013. I think there is evidence that he stated this and I believe he was genuine in his presentation. However, over time I’ve come to realize that people have an emotional stake in believing in timelines that are unrealistic. I do not know if this is the case for Paul or not.

    2. The financial and engineering aspects of this project are bigger than Elio had ever solved for before. It seems they promised performance numbers without validation. It also seems that their target price is based on high production numbers. Likely they need this production numbers to hit target costs on supplier components and they can’t hit their cost per unit without them. This means they need a lot more money in hand to buy all those components and build all those units.

    So even though I’m not an insider and I don’t know their current situation from anything not available on the web I’m putting forth the following projection. I’m betting they come in around $8-9k base model (which is the result of 1) a need to reduce their required initial investment that drives 2) them to reduce the first year production quantities. They will be right at 75mpg (i’m basing this on what others have said about how Elio has to hit this to meet the necessary bar for getting the loan they need.) If they are to succeed they will need to start production in 2016 or the run the risk of breaking through the mental project performance cliff that many of the potential customers, suppliers, and investors have in place.

    I’m hopeful that Paul has the right team to get this done. My analysis says needs to secure the funding to start production, achieve and demonstrate his performance targets using actual production quality components, and start production in 2016. If he doesn’t the entire thing will collapse in on him as the companies and people commited to his success change their level of personal and prossional commitment.

  • disqus_DDEkcLuNfY

    haters gotta hate