By creating a vehicle that’s less than a car, but more than a motorcycle, Elio Motors claims to have the world’s eco-friendly answer to high gas prices. Due to roll out publicly in 2015, consumers who want to be the first to own one can reserve theirs now for as little as $100.
Save on Initial Investment and Operating Costs
At a sale price of under $7,000, the diminutive vehicle is the brainchild of Paul Elio, who wanted to provide a cheap transportation source, while also providing employment opportunities to Americans at a time when so many jobs are being outsourced to other countries. Boasting 84 mpg on the highway, it could be the commuter’s dream.
Is it a Car or a Motorcycle?
Underneath the body, Elio is constructed much like a motorcycle with three wheels, but unlike a trike, there are two in front, and one in back. In fact, since it has less than four wheels, it’s technically classified as a motorcycle, but should be able to be driven by anyone who knows how to operate a motor vehicle, and likely won’t require a special license.
Is Elio for You?
Because of its small size (it has a single front- and even smaller back seat), Elio isn’t meant to replace the family vehicle, but to be complementary to it. Mom can still shuttle the kids to various activities in the van or SUV, and Dad can motor to work in the city with the Elio (or vice versa, of course). Because it’s completely enclosed, students can buzz around campus inexpensively while remaining protected from the elements, unlike riding a bicycle or motorcycle. It might be small, but Elio Motors boasts that “the tallest person we have had in the Elio is a 6’8″ former college basketball player, the largest is a 6’3″ 365 lb man, and the smallest is a 5’0″ woman (no, we didn’t ask the weight!).
Is Elio for Me?
I love that the Elio is small enough that it can be parked most anywhere, is environmentally friendly, and will be made entirely in the U.S. My car gets good gas mileage and I don’t do much driving, but if I needed a second vehicle, I would seriously consider getting an Elio. Its small trunk would probably be large enough for the amount of groceries I purchase at one time, but I don’t think it would be able to accommodate 50-100 lbs of pet food along with 125 lbs worth of three dogs who love to ride.
For photos and up-to-date information on Elio’s rollout, follow the Elio Motors blog or their Facebook page. You can also see the mighty mini in action on their YouTube channel.
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