Elio Motors is giving us a sneak peak of its manufacturing plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s where the company plans to start building the three-wheeled Elio in 2017. At least, that’s the company’s current target date.
The three-wheeled Elio has been in the works for a few years. The company is targeting a starting price of $6,800 and promises 84 miles per gallon. Elio initially planned to start production in 2014. But due to financial and testing delays, the date changed to 2016 and now it’s been pushed to 2017. Elio says it crossed the 50,000 reservation mark earlier this year.
Elio apparently feels confident it can stick to 2017, because it’s hired a new plant manager to get things ready at its new facility in Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s a former GM plant that once built Hummers. The new plant manager, Doug Frick, is a former GM manufacturing exec who worked there.
Frick’s hiring comes after Elio recently showed off its first test vehicle, the E1A, earlier this summer. The company plans to build 23 E-Series vehicles that will used to conduct safety, aerodynamics and durability tests. Once that’s done, Elio says it will be ready to build 100 pre-production vehicles in Shreveport.
The biggest issue remains money. Earlier this year, the company raised nearly $17 million through a small investor crowd-funding program. It falls under a new law that allows accredited and non-accredited investors to invest up to $15,000 in small startups. The money was enough to move forward with the E-Series, but Elio will need more money to move into full production.
In the meantime, Elio is showing off its manufacturing plant, which if all goes according to the latest plan, will become a much busier place next year.