Put simply, developing a vehicle is a process. From the beginning, our goal at Elio Motors has been to include our supporters on our journey and provide an unprecedented look into the development of a new vehicle. The developments in this process can be seen clearly throughout the progression of our prototypes to our current engineering vehicles. As we provided a look into the development of our vehicle, we received a remarkable amount of welcomed feedback. The educated response we received resulted in several substantial improvements and changes to the vehicle.
Each and every improvement and change to the vehicle must fit into our four tenets: affordability, safety, efficiency, and American. As we displayed the vehicle’s development, we experienced a tidal wave of interesting and valuable feedback. If suggestions were posited that failed to fit into our four tenets, they could not be implemented. In today’s Momentum, we are going to look at three areas of the vehicle that have changed as a result of direct feedback from our supporters and reservation holders.
The Elio Motors Dash
The initial design intent for the Elio Motors dashboard was modeled after the Lord Elgin watch, which was a gift from Paul Elio’s father. Reception to the dash was mixed. While some liked the originality and sleek look, others preferred a more traditional dash. This topic in particular raged passionately among Elio Motors supporters. When it became clear that this decision had an impact on cost and development time, while satisfying the majority of future customers, we decided to offer a traditional dash as standard equipment. We still listened to those reservation holders that were advocates of the Lord Elgin style dash and it remains a possible option in the future.
Gas Tank Location
Typically, the only time you think about a vehicle’s gas tank location is when you’re at the gas station with your new purchase for the first time. True to form, the Elio’s gas tank location created conversation. Initially, the gas tank was located on the right side, or the traditional passenger side, of the Elio. Many future customers voiced their opinion that the gas tank should be located on the left side for the sake of convenience. After improvements to the Elio’s body and frame were made, our engineers returned to the drawing board and placed the vapor canister on the traditional driver’s side.
In earlier iterations of the vehicle, the vehicle’s exhaust was routed to exit down the side of the vehicle. To do so, a protruding cover was necessary to cover the exhaust area. Reservation holders were almost universal in their feedback that the bump was unseemly and that a better option should be explored. Through the course of refining the vehicle, our team devised a plan that routed the underneath the vehicle to exit out the rear. The benefits included a smoother ride, enhanced longevity, improved manufacturability, and a more aesthetically pleasing vehicle. Again, keen feedback from our supporters played a major role in an improvement to the vehicle.