After a successful 2015 crowdfunding campaign that managed to raise $25 million from 6,665 investors, Elio Motors has finally decided to start the pre-orders for the three-wheeled car with early adopters able to get it at only $7, 000.
As of yet, the company already has 56, 000 orders but they have announced that the $7, 000 price tag will be available only until it hits 65,000 total pre-orders, after which the price will be $7, 300. Though the initial price was set at $6, 800, rising costs have led to the decision of increasing the original ball-park figure, a move that has worried a few investors. Also, clients can choose from additional options such as an automatic transmission, retro fenders, parkins assist and an entertainment system that in total can add $2, 000 to the price.
The pre-order incentive is an attempt to strengthen its bid for a $185 loan from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program created by the US Department of Energy. The program promotes projects that create jobs while reducing the dependency on foreign oil. If the car does indeed manage 84 miles per gallon, then it has a high chance of getting the loan.
Although, the loan can help Elio Motors bring their product to market faster, Paul Elio, the company’s founder stated that:
“The ATVM program is not a breaking point for Elio Motors.”
The company has said that their current pre-order numbers adds to a total of $350 million of confirmed sales, but the numbers won’t be of much help if it can’t get enough money to start manufacturing the car.
A major challenge for the company and a source of worry for future clients was that the vehicle would be classified as a motorcycle for regulatory purposes. This would have required costumers with only a standard driving license to get a motorcycle license to drive the vehicle and even wear a helmet in many areas. Fortunately, Elio Motors has recently announced that in many states the vehicle has been re-categorized as a new kind of vehicle, an autocycle.
With their application for the ATVM program up for review, Elio Motors hasn’t announced any specific release date for their car.
Will you consider buying this new autocycle?
Image source: Elio Motors