Elio Motors Inc., the startup vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84 MPG with a targeted base price of $6,800, has established its Pilot Operations Center in Livonia, Michigan, where it will assemble its E-Series vehicles. The E-Series vehicles will be used to conduct safety, system-performance, manufacturability and durability tests.
In January at the North American International Auto Show, CEO Paul Elio announced that Elio Motors and its supplier partners had started the E-Series development process by determining the specific parts and build sequence for the test vehicles. With that phase of development complete, the company is gearing up for the E-Series assembly.
“Beginning the E-Series assembly is another important milestone in our journey toward production, as these test vehicles will allow our engineering and supplier teams to evaluate and validate our design,” Elio said. “Commencement of the build will be another tangible sign of the progress we continue to make every day in our unrelenting quest to get this vehicle to market.”
The E-Series vehicles will be handcrafted at the Pilot Operations Center by a seasoned, eight-person build team, according to the company. The first E-Series vehicle will be used to calibrate and test the Anti-Lock Braking System supplied by Continental Automotive. As additional E-Series vehicles are completed, they will be used for a variety of aerodynamic, safety and durability testing. The build team currently is studying the E-Series vehicles’ systems and processes, prior to build launch.
According to Gino Raffin, vice president of Manufacturing and Product Launch for Elio Motors, the E-Series build is a monumental step for successfully moving the Elio from engineering and design development to eventual commercial production.
“The E-Series vehicles are an important bridge from the prototype phase to the commercial production phase,” Raffin said. “Building the E-Series vehicles in Detroit allows for a seamless and timely execution because the majority of our original equipment supplier partnerships are based here. All of the learning that we gain during the E-Series vehicle build will be transitioned to our production facility in Shreveport for our 100 pre-production vehicle builds that are slated for the end of the year.”
Raffin said the Elio Motors Pilot Operations Center was established adjacent to Technosports Creative-the company that built Elio prototypes P2 through P5-to facilitate the transfer of knowledge as the company transitions from the prototype development phase to the E-Series.
The continued progress with the E-Series build comes on the heels of a busy first quarter for Elio Motors.
Among the company’s highlights:
- Elio Motors raised nearly $17 million in a Regulation A+ stock sale
- Elio Motors stock began trading on the OTCQX market, making Elio Motors the first company to raise money through Regulation A+ and have its shares go public
- Elio Motors announced its ePlus options ordering system at the New York International Auto Show