SHREVEPORT, La. -- Elio Motors apparently has emerged from several years of silence about status of its three-wheeled vehicle by announcing Thursday it intends to build an electric version at its Shreveport production site.
The announcement is based on the change in consumer demand and finance markets’ new appetite for electric vehicles, a company news release states.
The Elio-E model has a targeted base at $14,900, "making it the most affordable entry level electric vehicle on the market," according to the release.
CEO Paul Elio said the plant in Shreveport -- the vacant General Motors facility -- is still under lease and all of the "critical" manufacturing equipment is still in place.
The news release does not provide any information about when production would begin or how many Elio plans to employ.
The last time Elio talked about plans for his three-wheeled car was in May 2018. He still promised a launch of what was then a three-wheeled gas-powered car.
Elio was criticized for multiple delays in the project that lasted over several years. He continued to pledge production would get underway even though financial reports showed he burned through millions of dollars in investor money.
His initial plans were to be in production by 2015 with 1,500 people on the payroll.
The Caddo Parish Commission owns the GM building, having purchased it in 2014 with the hopes of luring a major manufacturer to town.
“We never quit working to make this dream happen,” Elio said today in his news release. “The market has changed, and investors and consumers are looking for innovative, environmentally conscious, low cost electric vehicles, and we have a great option that will appeal to a very large under-served market”.
About Elio: Founded by car enthusiast Paul Elio, Elio Motors Inc. represents a revolutionary approach to manufacturing low cost electric and gas powered vehicles. The three-wheel electric Elio is engineered to be the ultimate low cost commuter and fleet vehicle while providing the comfort of amenities. The Elio will be nicely equipped with power windows, power door locks, air conditioning and cruise control, accompanied by the safety of multiple air-bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. Elio’s first manufacturing site will be in Shreveport, Louisiana.