If Elio wants to start building cars next year, it’s going to need a lot more money than it’s raised from pre-orders. In fact, Elio needs to raise about $200 million before the first batch hits the road. They’ve got a few million in the bank, and (like Elio’s factory) the rest may be coming from you and me.

That’s right, Elio Motors is looking to the government for the $185 million infusion of cash it needs to get production of its 3-wheeled autocycle going. That government money may come in the form of a Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan from the US Dept. of Energy, and Elio has already passed the first of the three phases of approval it needs to get the money.

It’s worth noting that Elio is the first company to have gotten this far since the program’s extensive revamp following the failures of Aptera and Fisker, among others. In that, Elio certainly has something to celebrate. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not the final production version of Elio’s autocycle will meet the company’s stated price and fuel economy targets- but we should know soon enough!

You can check out the official Elio press release, below, and let us know what you think of Elio’s chances to get the loan- and make it to production!- in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!


Elio Motors Passes First Review Phase for DOE’s ATVM Loan

Elio Motors Inc., makers of the ultra-fuel efficient Elio, announced today that its application for a DOE ATVM loan has passed the first of three phases of review. Now deemed “substantially complete,” the application will move to the due diligence phase.

Elio Motors is seeking a $185 million ATVM loan to accelerate the company’s plans to begin production of its enclosed, three-wheeled vehicle in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2015.

The DOE ATVM loan program supports the production of fuel-efficient, advanced technology vehicles and components in the United States. The program has invested billions of dollars in projects by major automakers such as Ford and Nissan as well as startups like Tesla Motors. Congress created the ATVM program with $25 billion in loan authority in 2007; the program was revamped recently and resumed activity in April 2014 with more than $16 billion in remaining loan authority.

“While this is just one step and there is a long way to go, we are pleased that DOE has moved expeditiously thus far on our loan application,” said Paul Elio, CEO of Elio Motors. “With a $6,800 sticker price that makes ultra-fuel efficient transportation affordable to the general public, we believe Elio is exactly the kind of American-made innovation that the loan program was designed to foster.”

Elio Motors will create approximately 3000 jobs, 1,500 in Shreveport alone, where the company will occupy approximately 1.5 million square feet of a 4.1 million-square-foot former General Motors manufacturing facility. The company is in the process of working with its manufacturing partner, Comau, to sell surplus GM manufacturing equipment that Elio acquired along with the plant. Those sales will help raise additional funds toward the production of the new vehicle.

Elio already has more than 35,000 reservations for the innovative vehicle, which will get up to 84 MPG and sell for $6,800 – setting it far apart from other ultra-fuel efficient vehicles available to the general public. A prototype is attracting the attention of thousands of people during a nationwide tour.


Information provided by Elio Motors. Photo by Neil Blanchard.