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First E-Series Vehicles Taking Shape at Pilot Center | Elio Momentum

First E-Series Vehicles Taking Shape at Pilot Center

Did you ever build a plastic model airplane, car or ship when you were a kid? Remember how geeked with anticipation you were? You couldn’t wait to see the results of your efforts in a high-quality finished product. Imagine that same excitement as an adult. That’s how the Elio Motors team feels now. The team is taking the next generation electronic data that has been generated over the last three months and bringing it to life through production, prototype tooling and fabrication.

When it comes to assembling the E-Series vehicles, our teams are passionate about the build, just like a kid with a model. We’re building the E-Series vehicles at the Elio Motors Pilot Operations Center in Livonia, Mich., and so far, so good.

If you’ve ever built a plastic model, you know that there’s a certain order to the steps. Back in the day, the toy model company included an instruction sheet. In our case, we’ve had to write instructions along with our “model builders” – the eight-person assembly team, brought on last month. The assembly team works from a processes and procedures book that is the adult equivalent of the model kit instruction sheet.

The first step in building a model is to make sure your parts are all in the box. In real life, our parts come from some of the automotive industry’s best suppliers from a variety of locations, so this is a critical step.

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According to Gino Raffin, Elio Motors’ Vice President of Manufacturing and Product Launch, the E-Series build is an exciting time in the maturation of Elio Motors and a great opportunity to develop both its supplier and manufacturing systems. Gino is the guru in process and manufacturing assembly for our Shreveport assembly facility who conceptualized and is overseeing the construction of the E-Series. He has taken countless vehicle programs through the manufacturing process for other automakers for more than 30 years and is the walking, breathing instruction book for all of the above. Gino brings a dynamic aspect to the build which supports the craftmanship required to have a high-quality product.

“We’ve been receiving assemblies and components from our suppliers since the completion of our engineering phase, and we’re excited to see our Elio E-Series vehicles coming together. Our first vehicles will be ready for our suppliers and internal teams to begin testing and calibration in the near future.”

The second step in building a model is painting. A detail-oriented modeler who wants an excellent finished product will take the time to paint the majority of the parts before starting the assembly. The same is true for the Elio. The Pilot Operations Center has an integrated paint shop onsite, ovens, station for water testing, ride and handling and final review for approval.

Finally, once the parts are accounted for and painted, the model can be assembled. With the frame painted, our Elio “model builders” will start installation of the body panels, chassis and suspension, interior trim and electrical. We’ll update you over the next few weeks on progress in these areas.

So, when you see your budding engineer sitting at the kitchen table focusing intently on painting parts for his or her model, remember that getting the details right is supremely important to the finished product. At Elio Motors, the Elio is a product that we intend for our customers to display proudly for a long, long time.

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