Rocket Fuel

Seeing the Light


A vehicle’s interior and exterior lighting is one of many aspects of a vehicle that we likely take for granted. While we have discussed several aspects of the Elio’s lighting systems in the past, today we will review the interior and exterior lighting of our vehicle.


The headlights of the Elio are flush with the body of the vehicle, which reduces drag and enhances our aerodynamics. We will use two headlights for obvious safety purposes. Our engineers have designed the Elio to maximize lighting coverage in the front of the vehicle.

e1c night

There are several determining factors when it comes to the headlight design of the Elio, which include cost, electrical architecture, and energy budget (the amount of energy needed to run the headlights.) Other factors, from a more general standpoint, include aerodynamics, aesthetics, and weight. And, of course, optimum visibility is paramount when considering safety.

The current direction design utilizes a reflective-style headlight. We are using reflector-style headlights to keep costs down; however, these headlights do command a large segment of our energy budget. In the future, we are considering using a projector-style LED headlamp which would require significantly less electricity. The costs at the current time, however, do not fit in with our value proposition. If costs come down, we will strongly consider changing from our current reflector design to projector-style, LED headlights.

Rear Lighting

The rear exterior lighting is equally important when considering safety. We have one taillamp which reaches approximately 22 inches across. We are using a total of five incandescent bulbs. Two are located on the right, two on the left, and one is placed in the center. The outside lights are brake and turn signal lights, the two inside lights are running lights for visibility, and the center light is a backup light. Along with our suppliers, we are exploring the possibility of using LEDs for the rear exterior lighting. As with the front lights, the decision will depend on reasonable costs, as well as proper luminance.

rear lamp


In terms of interior lighting, the Elio will be comparable to many other vehicles on the road today. A dome light, which is located directly above the steering wheel, comes standard in the Elio. Both the standard instrument panel and stereo will provide auxiliary lighting to the cabin.

Additional Lighting

We have received a number of inquiries regarding additional lighting beyond the standard features we have outlined above. These questions have often included fog lights, daytime running lights, and lighting on the fenders. These features will not come standard in the Elio, however, if there is enough demand from Elio owners, they will become available either through our ePlus: My Elio, My Way option program or through the aftermarket.

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