Monday, December 15, 2014

Elio - To three, or not to three, that is the question

While I was listening to Coast to Coast AM one day, there was some talk about a three wheeled car, which is 90% made in America!  At first I was somewhat skeptical at claims of 80-90+ mpg, but the more I looked into it was convinced there is some truth in them thar hills.

I checked out Elio Motors website and became convinced that this is the real deal.  The further and further I looked into it, the more I wanted to see it before plunking down some deposit money.

At the time didn't have any plans to leave Texas until February/March time frame, but some circumstances changed and I found myself heading to Florida.  Turns out, at the time I was leaving for Florida, Elio had a tour and they would be in New Orleans as I was passing through the area.  Their location was at a mall downtown near the French Quarter, The Outlet Collection at RiverWalk.

I decided to drive down there and park RV at the mall as it had a pretty large lot.  Drive up to the gate and it wouldn't let me in.  Had to repeatedly press the buzzard to get someone to open the gate, but, turns out, they wouldn't open up the gate unless I paid $150.00 to park for one day, in the RV....  I was baffled...  The person I talked to wouldn't even lift the gate up (says he "couldn't", suuuure Wilbur) for me to turn around...  If anyone's backed up a long RV, with a scooter on the back, onto a busy road, it's not exactly child's play.  So, to the mall's policies, I present The Finger....

Wandered around a little, went to Home Depot (about 1.3 miles away), got couple things, then decided to go to Walmart (next to a police station of sorts), which was about a mile or so away.  Took my bicycle and headed off to the mall.

When I got to the mall, turns out the lot was still 75% (or more) empty, so they definitely deserve the Finger.

Was able to find Elio Motors fairly quickly, they were on North end of the mall.  Quite a few people here, but no real line to speak of.  I was able to sit in the car, fondle the steering wheel, and get a good sense for how it feels.  Was impressed.  It seemed sturdy and positions of items were well thought out.  Looked like there was ample room in the back seat, though the "trunk" was a little lackluster.

The main selling point for me, and my lifestyle, is that this can be flat towed behind the RV, with no additional modifications (other than tow bar stuff).  The light weight, three tires on the road, and low profile should make it so don't see a significant impact on the diesel mileage.  For comparison, I know someone, with a gas motor home, and they lose about 15% (1 mpg) when towing their small SUV.  According to what they said there (think on website too), is that it can be flat towed with either their automatic transmission, or the standard one (which comes standard).  I prefer standard vehicles when possible so this is music to my ears.

The only major drawback I see is lack of a tried and true engine design, as they're redesigning a 3-cyclinder engine.  This is slightly offset by fact that they have quite a few well respected names as suppliers in building this car.  The partner list can be seen near bottom of their main page.

Another drawback is that it's not available right now, but they anticipate it being available in about a year....  Will see what happens but feel good about this..

I was able to take advantage of their 50% holiday bonus reward by putting down a deposit.  Maximum can put down is $1,000.00, and least is $100.00.  If put a non-refundable deposit down then get a number of your place in line.

I like sounds of this car for several different reasons.
  • A unique design, similar to the Can-Am Spyder, but fully enclosed and car-like
  • Uses less materials than traditional cars
  • Fuel efficient
  • Less maintenance
  • Light weight
  • Internet connected (additional upgrade)
  • Some things standard, such as Manual transmission and air conditioning

Am sure there are others but that's all I can remember now.

After seeing them again at The Avenues Mall in Jacksonville, FL, decided to plunk some money down, take advantage of the 50% bonus, and reserve my spot in line.

No comments:

Post a Comment