This week’s Friday Blog is a guest post from Hari Iyer, Elio Motors Board Member and CEO of YOYO (joinyoyo.com), looking forward to where the automotive industry is headed and what it could mean for Elio owners.
I love cars. I love the roar of my GT engine, the bass of the stereo, 19-inch chrome turning heads, the surge of adrenaline while accelerating into curves, leaping into the driver’s seat on Sunday mornings, gripping the wheel and fantasizing about the endless possibilities of hightailing it wherever I want, whenever I want.
We all bought into that dream. But while on the one hand, the concept of owning a car is the ultimate symbol of freedom and independence, on the other there’s the reality — the expensive sticker price and payments, insurance premiums, the maintenance, the regular oil changes, rising gas costs and the fear of overpriced repair bills.
If you’re an average US consumer, you have most likely experienced everything in the above paragraph, plus the “joy” of the vehicle buying experience.
That’s what Elio Motors set out to fix. Elio’s hassle-free direct-to-consumer model and an innovative high mileage, affordable vehicle changes the entire landscape and gets rid of the headaches of traditional car ownership. But you already knew that.
You may have reserved an Elio assuming it would be your 3rd car. Your “AND” car. Something you’d drive to the grocery store, on your commute to work, or for short trips around town. Something you wouldn’t need to pay an arm and a leg for every month. And you’d be absolutely right.
But having been an Elio insider and now playing in the on-demand car services space with my startup YOYO (joinyoyo.com), I’ve had a chance to look at the industry from lots of angles and have thought deeply about this. I’m convinced that we have it backward. An Elio is “THE” car to own.
Here’s what I mean: we use our cars in fractions, but we buy them in whole numbers (can’t buy three-fifths of a car, now can we?). On top of that, most of that driving time (close to 80%, according to studies) is spent with no one else in the car. Which means that big sedan or SUV you bought because of an occasional family trip or when your folks come into town once in a while, is way overkill.
For most of your driving needs, an Elio is the perfect vehicle. It’s small, it’s affordable and it’s sexy. On those rare occasions when you happen to need a sedan or minivan or truck, you can always get one from an on-demand car service that will bring exactly what you need right to you. That particular industry is heating up, and there will soon be tons of on-demand services out there for you to consider. But there’s no Elio alternative. So in my book, because of its extreme cost-effectiveness, the Elio becomes the car you own, and everything else is a car you access. It’s the best of all worlds. You can drive an Elio most of the time as your one main car, and actually get 1/20th of an SUV, 2/7th of a sedan or 3/35th of a minivan, or whatever combination suits your needs on a given day.
I’ve run the cost numbers and would be happy to walk you through the logic and hopefully help you save some dough.
Here’s my challenge to you: Do the math for your situation, and see if it makes sense. I would love to hear your thoughts. You can find me here.