The auto industry is currently in a massive state of transition, and because of this new and exciting landscape, big opportunities are available for those with a compelling product. Elio Motors, with their ingenious design for a sub-7k, 84 MPG tandem-three wheeler, has been poster child for this brave new world, and they are now ready to take the next step by starting production on their line of automobiles in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The American-born company, founded in 2008 by Paul Elio, is setting up shop in northeast Louisiana, where they will begin production on their super-affordable, highly efficient flagship car in the first quarter of 2015.
The plant itself is not new, but rather a repurposed General Motors Assembly and Stamping Plant, giving Elio the ability to immediately begin development instead of building everything from scratch. It will also bring an estimated 1,500 jobs to Louisiana, making the Caddo Parish Industrial Development Boards decision to purchase the former GM plant a potentially lucrative move for both the state and Elio.
Entering the scene with a great initial design, the Elio three-wheeler has gone through several improvements, including a new 55-hp 0.9 liter inline three-cylinder. The miles per gallon (84mpg), top speed (100mph), and range (672 miles) are still the standard, along with the impressive price ($6,800).
While three-wheeled cars have been flash-in-the-pan concepts up to this point, with the steady transition to smaller, more cost-efficient cars in effect, Elio has a massive opportunity to prove that this is a viable technology with widespread appeal. If successful, it could also open up more opportunities for similar designs to take root, improving the overall landscape for green energy going forward.