Rocket Fuel

Elio Momentum v8 – Legislative Update

What’s in a name? Quite a bit, if you aren’t a car and you aren’t a motorcycle!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Yes. We just quoted Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

But, as great a writer as The Bard was, we disagree!

You see, when Paul Elio sits down with reporters to discuss Elio Motors, frequently he’s asked about “the car.” Small problem. It’s not technically a car. The Federal government classifies anything with three wheels as a motorcycle.


Of course, it’s really not a motorcycle either. Motorcycles are all about open air and picking bugs out of your teeth for those of you who choose to ride without a helmet!

Enter the “Autocycle.” Elio Motors is creating an entirely new category and it deserves its own name, for very practical reasons. We need legislation that matches the vehicle category we are creating. For example, it’s far safer in an Elio to ride helmet free. So, motorcycle helmet laws just don’t make sense.

Thankfully, there are legislators at the Federal level who agree.

Earlier this week, U.S. Representative John Moolenaar (R-MI) introduced HR 2892, The Autocycle Safety Act, which creates the new classification “autocycle” for enclosed motor vehicles with three wheels. Similar legislation, S685, was introduced in the Senate in March by Senator David Vitter (R-LA).

Currently 26 states have enacted or are currently developing classifications for enclosed, three-wheeled vehicles as autocycles at the state level.  But, setting rules at the Federal level will ensure consistency when customers drive their Elio from state to state. This is important to our customers, so it’s important to us.

Here’s what Paul had to say in a news release we put out this morning:

“Elio Motors is forging new territory here, as our innovative vehicle is unlike anything else on the road today. We applaud Rep. Moolenaar for recognizing this vehicle needs a new approach to safety and fuel economy legislation,” Elio said. “We intend to build this vehicle to meet stringent safety standards. However, because anything with three wheels is classified as a motorcycle, some current regulations just don’t make sense. We need to be classified as an autocycle to meet the expectations of our customers.”

What does it mean to us to be an “Autocycle?” Affordability, of course – we expect to sell for $6,800. Fuel efficiency, obviously – we will get up to 84 MPG. We’ll have an engine from IAV and a transmission from Aisin that provides car-like performance. We’ll go from 0 to 60 in 9.6 seconds and we’ll top out at more than 100 mph. And, we’re enclosed with our unique front-to-back seating for two.

Like we said. There’s nothing quite like it out there. We’ve truly created a new category!

So while Juliet might not care that Romeo was a Montague (if you slept through 10th grade English, go read the play…it’s pretty good!) we respectfully disagree that there is something in a name. We’re an autocycle. Affordable. Safe. Fuel efficient. Fun to drive. It means something to us. And, most importantly, it means something to our customers!

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