Happy Friday Elio’ers! If you had a long week, just think, we are only one full work week away from a 3-day weekend! The kickoff to the summer season is getting closer and closer.
We often talk about progress in the Friday Blog, and today we want to focus on an aspect of this progress that might not always make headlines. Since the kickoff of the Elio Motors project, our Governmental Affairs Team has traveled coast to coast, making stops everywhere in between, with one goal in mind: ensuring that Elio owners will be able to drive across the country without any changes from what they are used to today.
When the project began, our Governmental Affairs Team had their work cut out for them. There were only 14 states that did not require any changes to existing helmet laws. So, there were 36 states that needed work. As if that weren’t enough, 42 states initially required a motorcycle endorsement.
When asked why the laws should change, our stance was simple. While the Elio has 3 wheels, it is an enclosed vehicle which comes standard with a safety management system featuring 3 airbags, traction and stability control, and anti-lock brakes. So, it makes little sense to be required to wear a helmet, which would only limit a driver’s range of motion and vision. Similarly, as the Elio has full automotive controls, requiring drivers to obtain a motorcycle endorsement made no sense.
Here is the map when we started:
Our Governmental Affairs team, led by Joel Sheltrown, was undeterred by the daunting task and quickly got to work. We found out that, surprisingly, politicians have a fondness for arguing. Who knew! Luckily, in almost every case common sense prevailed and state legislatures were able to properly classify and license autocycles, providing helmet and endorsement exemptions.
Here is our updated map:
Today, we are happy to announce we are down to one state, West Virginia, that requires a helmet in an Elio for those over 21 years of age. And for our friends in West Virginia, no worries- we are actively working to make sure you will be able to drive the Elio in your great state without a helmet as well! In terms of licensing, we are down to 10 states that today would require a motorcycle endorsement, and we are working diligently in those states to eliminate the need for an endorsement.
A major undertaking like this can never be accomplished alone. We want to extend our gratitude to all of our reservation holders and fans who took an active role in this process. We have received thousands of inquiries from fans asking how they could assist us, and they came through in a big way. Many called and emailed their state representatives, and some even made their presence known on their statehouse steps. Again, a huge thank you to everyone who has helped in this endeavor!
Speaking of progress, the next big step in our progression are the E-Series vehicles. We will have more info coming your way next week, but here’s an image to whet your appetite…
Elio Preview Tour:
May 20-22: Chicago, IL – Woodfield Mall – 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL-
Ground Level near JC Penny
Times: Fri-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 11am-6pm P5 Event
As always, have a tremendous weekend!