Automotive startup Elio Motors is still pushing to get its super-affordable three-wheeler to production, it just needs to raise more money to do so. As it stands, they need about $240 million to kick things into gear, and they only have $65 million.
The plan for founder Paul Elio is to make a $6,800 car with 84 mpg. The two-seater is powered by a three-cylinder, 55 horsepower engine and is meant to be an affordable, safe commuter vehicle for those priced out of car ownership by average vehicle and fuel costs. A recent interview with TTAC reveals that the project needs to raise the remaining $185 million before moving into production.
Mr. Elio revealed during a public meeting that production has been pushed back to 2016 while the finances are sorted out, and has even started to sell off some equipment from a renovated plant in Shreveport, Louisiana that Elio purchased in a leveraged deal. We don’t know how big of a dent that will make, but millions of dollars worth of equipment have been listed for sale.
Another way to raise the remaining funds is to apply for a loan from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, which the company has done. Complicating things even further is that the company will now most likely miss a deadline to reserve floor space in an old Shreveport-located GM factory Elio planned on subleasing.
So far, it doesn’t bode well for the three-cylindered, three-wheeled two seater, but it has some options in the process, with a lot of people rooting for its success.