May 22, 2013 – Vol.18 No.10
WHY NOT AN ELIO?
by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News
Fed up with oil? Don't buy it or buy as little as possible. Consider an 84 mpg Elio.
Drive alone most of the time, or maybe with an occasional passenger? Keep a runabout car in your garage. There's tandem seats in the Elio.
Need more range and top speed than a low speed electric vehicle (LSV) can offer? Nearly 700 miles to the tankful and more than 100 mph tops, an Elio would do the trick.
Want a big vehicle for long trips and hauling and that runabout for everything else? For less than the cost of an electric vehicle or plug in hybrid you can have a brand new small sport ute AND a $6800 Elio. Two vehicles for the price of one!
84 miles per gallon highway. Almost 50 around town. $6800. Made in the USA. Elio Motors is now taking reservations on its trike, which, although a fully enclosed vehicle with door, windows, radio, air conditioning and all, will likely be registered as a motorcycle in your state. Check with your state about a helmut: You may not need one.
A runabout or a commuter car. Leave the SUV or big sedan at home.
It's loaded for safety with air bags and a safety cage construction. The company expects a 5-star insurance crash rating with its steel framed, plastic composite-clad body. It runs on that dreaded regular gasoline and stops with anti-lock disc brakes on all three corners. And, it's bigger than you think: It has the wheelbase of a Honda Accord and is as long as a Honda Fit. (It's just skinny.)
Front wheel drive, a 70 HP engine, manual or automatic transmission round out the Elio.
The price alone may start a revolution in motoring. If you missed it, $6800. How, you may ask, can ANY enclosed, highway capable passenger vehicle be built in the United States and sold for that price? Simple (mostly): Use as many off-the-shelf parts and components as possible. Don't develop from scratch unless absolutely necessary. The Elio vehicle is said to be mostly a repackaging of readily available parts.
Then to keep cost down there's careful planning and accounting. Build it where labor cost is historically low. (The company plans 1500 employees soon.) Build it in a low cost, recycled facility. (It will be built in an old auto plant in Shreveport, Louisiana.)
At 6800 bucks many might just try it out for fun and take their lumps if they don't like it. What the heck, you know, give it a shot.
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