In 2014, reservations grew by more than 600 percent. At the end of 2013, the company had received nearly 6,000 reservations from people who wanted a spot in line to get their Elio. As the New Year approaches, the company is close to 38,000 reservations. This reinforces the strong consumer interest in the Elio. And, why not? $6,800 and up to 84 MPG appeals to a lot of people.
Elio Tour hits 24 States
Our tour team crisscrossed the country from Seattle to South Florida and from New York to San Diego. In total, we brought the Elio to 24 states, 54 cities and hundreds of thousands of fans. It’s one thing to see a picture of the Elio prototype. It’s quite another to experience it up close and to sit behind the wheel. Introducing the Elio to enthusiastic fans and building the grass roots support will continue to be critical to our success moving forward.
Engine Development Nears Completion
No engine on the market today provides the balance of fuel efficiency and power that would meet our customer demand. Therefore, we challenged our engine development partner IAV to come up with a new design. Building an engine from the ground up is a time-consuming process that requires a significant investment in man hours and talent. Fortunately, the team at IAV is among the best in the world and they’ve made remarkable progress. Today, all the parts for that engine have been machined and assembled into a working prototype. That prototype is now going through a series of tests to see what tweaks are needed – but it is very close to being finalized. Here are the links to our four-part engine development Tech Talk series from earlier this year:
Pep Boys Signs to Service Vehicles
With 800 locations and 7,500 service bays in 35 states and Puerto Rico, Pep Boys will provide Elio Motors’ customers with convenient service options from one of the most trusted names in the automotive aftermarket. Pep Boys is located in 90 percent of the markets where Elio Motors will operate. We are also working with Pep Boys to develop ways of bringing solid service options to Elio owners in areas where Pep Boys stores are not present.
Pep Boys’ rich history, dating back nearly 100 years, makes the company a cultural icon and a well-known and trusted brand to our future customers. Providing a convenient and professional service experience is one of the most important elements in creating an overall positive customer ownership experience. Here is the news release about our Pep Boys relationship from earlier this year.
Production Equipment Assessment Completed
In September, we announced the sale of surplus equipment from our manufacturing facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, where production is slated to begin in 2015. After purchasing the existing equipment in the facility, one of the most important steps in our development was to determine what equipment in Shreveport would be utilized to manufacture the vehicle in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. That assessment is complete and we are in the process of selling all surplus assets. Here is a press release from the announcement of our equipment sale earlier this year.
Legislative Victories Secured in Several States
We are working with several states to develop language specific to the “autocycle.” When you create a revolutionary new vehicle like the Elio, it makes sense that much of today’s current legislation simply doesn’t apply to our vehicle. Nothing like it has ever existed. So, while many states have helmet laws and license requirements that make sense for motorcycles, it has been widely recognized that there need to be some changes based on our new entry to the market.
We have passed legislation in Vermont, Illinois and Colorado during the year and we continue to work with legislators across the country to make sure that laws are written in a way that make sense for how the Elio is built and operated.
We launched a fleet sales division to capitalize on the growing interest from businesses, rental companies and municipalities. Organizations of all sizes recognize the money saving benefits of adding an Elio fleet. We have already reached agreements with several small businesses, government organizations and rental companies.
As we head into 2015, our team continues to move forward relentlessly, to meet our four must-haves: – low-cost, highly fuel efficient, safe to drive and built in America. As evidenced by the amazing outpouring of customer support every time we show the Elio, there is no doubt we are on the right track.
Your support and enthusiasm for the project continues to be one of the things that keeps us moving forward. This promises to be another exciting year on our journey and we look forward to keeping you posted on our progress.