Manufacturing of the world’s first three-wheel car is underway. American start-up car company, Elio Motors, starts production of the three-wheel car of the same name in July of 2014, and plans to cause pandemonium with the practical features the car boasts. The modernized shape of the car is similar to that of three-wheel motorcycles or scooters, but it has an enclosed cab with side-by-side driver and passenger seats. Elio manufacturing standards include a 70 horse power, three cylinder engine. The futuristic-style car uses an electric power train and when paired with its aerodynamic design, the Elio can deliver up to 84 highway miles per gallon; however, the car’s city miles per gallon are rated a lot less at 49 miles per gallon. The Elio still outperforms any full-sized American car on the road today when it comes to fuel economy. Not only does the Elio please the penny pincher when it comes to excellent fuel economy, the average price of the world’s first three-wheel car is hovering right around $7,000. That is half the price of the current cheapest car in the United States.
Denver native Paul Elio, CEO of the company, is manufacturing the world’s first three-wheel car to serve a purpose in a day and age where people will do anything to save a few bucks. In 2008, at a time when gas prices were at an all time high, the entrepreneur was interested in manufacturing a low-cost, fuel efficient vehicle that could still travel at high speeds. Now Paul Elio’s dream is coming to fruition as the car goes into manufacturing in Shreveport, Louisiana next month. The speedy Elio can go over 100 miles per hour and goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in about nine and a half seconds. Although it competes with a full sized car speeds, it blows the stats on a Smart Car completely out of the water. Smart Cars are not ever seen on the road travelling at highway speeds. Other impressive features of the car include 15 inch wheels, a stereo system, a large trunk space, air conditioning and power locks and windows. Despite the naysayers, the Elio can even fit a very large six-foot-eight man.
As manufacturing of the world’s first three-wheel car begins in the American South, there is one aspect of the car that is quite concerning. In most states, any three-wheel vehicle is classified as a motorcycle, and this would require Elio drivers to possess a M class motorcycle license. The license is usually obtained with a fee and testing. Another big downfall of the new Elio is that some states require that motorcycle operators wear a helmet. Many folks might feel very silly driving on the open highway in the world’s first three-wheel car with a fully enclosed cab and wearing a helmet. These are are not built for NASCAR racing and in addition, wearing a helmet it is quite uncomfortable and dangerous when adjusting the radio or using Bluetooth. Elio has worked with state legislatures to pass a bill regarding this matter. HB218 in Louisiana would exempt vehicles like the Elio from motorcycle license and helmet laws. In order for the sales of the vehicle to be successful, similar laws need to be enacted in all 50 states. Consumers will not want to purchase a vehicle that requires drivers to obtain a separate license.
By Sarah Gallagher
NBC Local News
NBC Local News