Elio: A new truly green car following a new U.S. demographic

5.11.13
For the low and middle income side of the U.S. population, there is a continuing trend of less income and the ability to afford a new car.

People out of college saddled with debt and near retiring seniors without the retiring income of generations past. In the middle, the general population just has less money to spend. Below the top tier of wage earners, we are a population of declining income looking for new solutions.

When I started this blog in 2006, I was excited by the prospect of hybrid and full electric vehicles. Over time, the personal experience of owning a hybrid with a depreciated a high mileage value and old age complexity turned me off. The idea of a $40,000+, tax payer subsidized, full electric isn’t within reach. There are gas powered vehicles that have a lower total carbon footprint than full electrics, after you factor in electrical generation fuel and loss of energy by transmission.

Enter Elio Motors

11.18.13
Stronger possibility of not needing a motorcycle license endorsement, but keeping the motorcycle plate which would help with registration/emission testing costs, HOV lanes and and tolls Source: Elio Motors via PR Newswire

A timeline of updates after the jump

Elio Motors overhauls website eliomotors.com
10.29.13

Phoenix engineer makes a $6,800, 84-mpg, American-made ‘car’
10.15.13

9.15.13
Elio Motors Makes Progress in Helmet Exemption Legislation – Louisiana is the most recent state to declare helmet exemption for the Elio…New York also has an exemption on the books. Story at heraldonline.com

09.14.13
And an engine takes on detail

9.11.13
A creative means to an end. Securing a place to build. Story at greencarreports.com)

84 mpg highway, top speed over 100, 9.6 seconds 0-60
$6,800 (with A/C, heat, radio, electric windows standard)
Anticipated 5 star crash rating (three airbags and anti-lock brakes)
American Made (95% made with U.S. parts suppliers)
From the specs, it looks fun

It may sound like a crazy idea, but once there was an electrical engineer named Henry Ford who thought there might be a future in a low-priced, high volume car with a gasoline engine. A car of the people.

People thought it wasn’t a very good idea in a time when electrical cars were noteworthy and profits were made with small volume, high-priced cars. Ford also had this crazy idea that a good wage for workers and time off gave his workers time and money to spend on the economy.

Bring on some more crazy ideas! I am listening with a big smile.

About Paul Kuehnel

Paul Kuehnel has worked for the York Daily Record/Sunday News since 1984. Follow him on Twitter @paulkuehnel.
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One Response to Elio: A new truly green car following a new U.S. demographic

  1. Pingback: Green Mesh | Future of the car, trends in transportation

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