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It's hard to throw a rock in Shreveport without hitting someone with an opinion on Elio Motors.  This fledgling auto maker has a manufacturing facility in Shreveport, but I have still haven't seen a single one of their famed 3-wheeled cars.

How the Elio Saga Began

Back in 2009, former stock broker turned NYC cab driver Paul Elio announced his plans to revolutionize the auto industry with a 3-wheeled, ultra-efficient  people mover he had lovingly named after himself.  It would take 4 years for the newly minted "Elio Motors" to find a facility to make these word-changing vehicles.

How Elio Landed in Shreveport

That search ended in 2013 when the company (with the State of Louisiana's help after promising to bring back 1500 lost manufacturing jobs) leased the former GM manufacturing plant just off of General Motors Blvd. in Shreveport.  Elio claimed that the first vehicle would roll out 1 year later.  We are still waiting.

LG Music Lodge - Day 1 - 2014 Park City
Photo by Clayton Chase/Getty Images for LG Music Lodge

The Original Plan

After several setbacks with investors and the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission, it looked like we might not ever see this highly-touted holy grail of gas-sipping vehicles.  According to PRN Newswire, Elio claims that the original plan was to power the first generation of Elios (called the Elio-G) with a super-efficient gas engine that would deliver an amazing 84 mpg, a 0-60 mph time of 11 seconds, with a top speed of 107 mph!  After the initial gas-powered run, an electric version would be introduced.

Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle on charge on a London street
Miles Willis / Stringer

Going Electric

Now, Elio is changing the plan once again with their announcement that the company would jump straight to the electric version.  A statement from founder Paul Elio further clarifies the company's new direction:

We never quit working to make this dream happen.  The market has changed, and investors and consumers are looking for innovative, environmentally conscious, low cost electric vehicles, and we have a great option that will appeal to a very large under-served market

The electric version of the Elio (called the Elio-E) is supposedly brimming with features like electric windows and locks, air conditioning, cruise control, and more.  Once (if ever) these vehicles are available, the company says they will start selling the Elio-E for $15,000 - making it one of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market.

When Can I Buy One?

As for when these (or any) Elio vehicles will actually be available to the public, no date was given.  This disclaimer (for lack of a better term) was included with the press statement announcing the new electric direction for the company, and it doesn't fill me with confidence that a delivery date is in the near future:

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release including, but not limited to, statements related to anticipated commencement of commercial production, targeted pricing and performance goals, and statements that otherwise relate to future periods are forward-looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, which are described in more detail in the Company's periodic reports filed with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are made and based on information available to the Company on the date of this press release. Elio Motors assumes no obligation to update the information in this press release.

If you are interested in purchasing one, the best you can do is to sign up for updates so that you can be one of the first to purchase one.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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