Can cryptocurrency and Overstock save Elio Motors’ 84-mpg commuter?

Elio Motors

Elio Motors, the Arizona-based startup that boldly promised to change the way America commutes, has received a $2.5 million rescue package from The investment should help Elio pay its debts and begin building cars after years of costly delays that sapped its credibility, angered the officials who helped it, and threatened to topple the young firm.

Overstock purchased $2.5 million in Elio’s common stock. Patrick Byrne, the retailer’s founder and CEO, observed he shares Elio’s vision of bringing an affordable, super-efficient commuter car with three wheels (pictured above) to the American public.

“I believe Elio’s vision and business model to build a $7,500 ultra-high mileage, ultra-fuel-efficient car-like vehicle is a win for America,” he said. “I am confident that this will become my car for at least two-thirds of the days I drive,” he added. He recently sat in an early prototype on the streets of Manhattan and concluded it’s a hit in the making.

Byrne hinted Overstock could sell Elio’s first car, a move which would help the startup save a substantial amount of money by bypassing the traditional brick-and-mortar dealership model. The company would presumably sell its cars online, though it would still need stores to perform repairs.

Of course, Elio needs to build a car before it can start thinking about selling one. The company’s decision-makers confidently stress they can start production in a former General Motors factory located in Shreveport, Louisiana, before the end of next year, according to The Verge. Overstock’s investment won’t cover the full cost of launching the three-wheeler, so Elio is turning to cryptocurrency in a bid to raise capital. It will introduce a security token offering (STO) named ElioCoin that it claims is the first digital token associated with production of a motor vehicle.

Only institutional accredited investors will be eligible to purchase the initial tokens. The tokens will be traded on an Overstock-owned platform named tZero, and investors will ultimately have the option of redeeming ElioCoins for a car, The Drive explained. Elio has consequently canceled plans to raise money through a $100 million IPO, according to Nasdaq.

The news comes as a relief to the roughly 65,000 hand-raisers who sent the company a deposit in exchange for one of the first spots in line. Though Louisiana officials previously warned reservation holders had lost their money, Overstock’s involvement represents a glimmer of hope that Elio will make its intriguing three-wheeler — which promises to return a jaw-dropping 84 mpg without any kind of electrification — a reality.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.

4 women innovators who are using tech to help others live better lives

Meet four women leaders who are not only at the forefront of technology today, but also using tech — from robotics and medicine to food and undergarments — to help others.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.