By on March 16, 2015

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Elio Motors is forcing the government to re-think some of its regulations.

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31 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: March 16th, 2015...”


  • avatar
    Ron B.

    oh yeah!, an American company is copying the Chinese.
    http://yaomingmania.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17050

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    oh yes, and dont forget,dont drive around round abouts and avoid the hills …
    https://youtu.be/QQh56geU0X8

  • avatar
    VW16v

    The Japanese government has been such a big part of Toyota’s success. I’m not surprised Toyota will be the number 1 supporter.

  • avatar
    raph

    Yeah that is weird behavior when somebody purchases a vehicle based on the price of fuel.

    Especially a primary vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Yeah that is weird behavior when somebody purchases a vehicle based on the price of fuel.
      Especially a primary vehicle.”

      Yeah. There’s not one single vehicle type that sells more when fuel price is down and less when fuel price is high. Or vice versa. Not one. /s

  • avatar

    Autocycles? What was wrong with “cycle car”?

    I am not surprised that big brother wants to make sure I’m safe from my own choices and will try and snuff out what is likely one of the best directions for consumers in the US to take. The idea of an enclosed vehicle that gets good mileage and cost less than most motorcycles sold in the US sure sounds like a horrible idea. When I was younger I rode my motorcycle as a commuter any time it was over 30 degrees. But that was both painful and dangerous for various reasons. I’d love a simple machine like this without all the safety garbage. If you want emissions that’s fine, but at least let em get a foothold first, otherwise you’re regulating something that isn’t a real factor.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Autocycles? What was wrong with “cycle car”?”
      I don’t know. What’s wrong with gyrocopters?

      As for your second paragraph, obviously the autocycle will be significantly safer than motorcycles already in many ways, but they’re still not going to be as safe as a typical car. But, what safety can be built in, needs to be built in. An aluminum/steel cage will be a benefit when the autycycle is struck from the side (admittedly a rare occurrence on a motorcycle) and offering at least some compression protection when struck from in front or behind (much more common).
      Lighting needs to be at least somewhat standardized so approaching drivers can readily see the width and length of the autocycle in the dark and to be quite honest so they can be seen in all lighting conditions whether it be full sun, partly cloudy, dusk, rain and darkness. For all that some hate daylight running lamps, too many drivers simply don’t know or don’t care that they can’t be seen and wonder why they suddenly get hit by someone coming in from a cross street or struck from behind. I now drive a small, silver-colored car as my second and more economy-based vehicle (as compared to my big Jeep) and I know from driving that Jeep that silvery cars literally vanish under less-than-ideal lighting conditions at anything over about 150 feet and even shorter range in rain and fog. Even black is more visible under those conditions. Personally, especially with today’s driving environment, having that protection is far more likely to save your life than not in an accident which is nearly inevitable for a biker sometime in their riding career..

      • 0 avatar

        Cycle car is a historic term for 3 and 4 wheeled vehicles that often used motorcycle engines. They went out of popularity largely due to the dropping price of the Model T.

        There are two types of motorcyclist, those that have been in an accident, and those that are going to be in one. I’m not suggesting there should be zero regs on these. No matter what the vehicle I acknowledge a certain social contract needs to be preserved which prevents your vehicle from causing accidents though fault of engineering. This includes, braking, lighting, steering, and other systems typically part of safety inspections. However, I think occupant safety should be up the the vehicle owners. If you want to toss in a “save the children” argument then I’d give you the point and suggest a class of vehicles that require drivers and passengers to all be over a given age. If I find a simple machine that is light weight and offers the bare minimum of extra features and the market wants to provide me one then I should be able to get it. I’d probably buy an enclosed Model T with upgraded brakes if I could do so new.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Three-wheeled motorcycles and cycle-cars seem to have appeal with the older demographic in America. People who want the thrill of feeling young long after their expiration date.

          People of maturity, too old and feeble to keep a two-wheeled motorcycle upright, or those suffering from dizzyness because of blood-pressure medication, often trade their two-wheeled bikes for three wheels to continue to enjoy the feeling of the open air ride and bugs in their teeth. It’s kinda like entering their second childhood, like when they got their first three-wheeled tot-cycle, or Big Wheel.

          In my area, several aged BMW-twin riders have added a sidecar to their bikes. Hugely popular with those guys who brought their bikes back from Europe after their military tours.

          Others have chosen the various incarnations of three-wheeled motorcycles ranging from a variety of trikes, some with two wheels up front, some with one wheel up front, others enclosed, yet others converted from VW Beetle powertrain and rails. The year-’round warm weather here lends itself well to year-’round bike riding.

          If I ever get the itch for air blowing through my hair and the sensation of bugs in my teeth, I’ll go with a Wrangler. At least it has four wheels.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “If I ever get the itch for air blowing through my hair and the sensation of bugs in my teeth, I’ll go with a Wrangler. At least it has four wheels.”

            You’ll have to settle for a used one then, as starting with the next iteration, reports have it the windshield will no longer be capable of folding down. Considering how few owners ever do fold that windshield, it’s wasted engineering any more.

            On the other hand, the current 3-wheeler ‘bikes’ are much more stable on the road than 2-wheelers, especially when riding on loose gravel, roads ground for repaving and other typical bike hazards. Two acquaintances of mine suffered serious injuries due to no fault of their own and one died even though they were riding BELOW the speed limit. The surviving one now drives a Wrangler and no longer owns a bike.

            Oh, their accidents? One lost control on a highway that had been freshly ground for paving and got very severe road rash (stones still emerging from his skin two years later) while the other found sand at the apex of a mountain curve and slid into a tree. Even his fellow riders couldn’t believe he broke his neck in the crash. Again, while two wheels are a lot of fun, they’re inherently dangerous; the rider WILL lay one down, one way or another. That alone makes three wheels safer (as long as the single is in the rear).

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was ~12 years old, when I was able to hold my dad’s Duo-Glide upright and over the decades I have owned, traded, bought and sold a wide variety of motorcycles. Never bought a brand new one though, always used.

            Many of them were bikes never seen in the US. All of them bought from GIs in Germany who could not bring the bikes back to the US for one reason or another.

            But I lost interest in 2002 and by 2011, after I bought my Tundra, I sold off all my cars, trucks and bikes I had accumulated over the years, as part of an agreement with my wife.

            There are old riders, and there are bold riders. However, there are no old, bold riders.

            Therefore, I must conclude that I am an old rider, not a bold rider, because I have never had an accident although I am a documented member of The Road Riders Retreads, with over 300,000 miles.

            I just lost interest in bikes. I also lost my interest in Mudding, a lot of week-end fun with 4WD vehicles when my kids still lived at home.

            But where some take their passion for two-wheel biking to three wheels, I see it as trying to relive one’s youth. I don’t want to project that image, but still keep my Motorcycle Endorsement when I renew my drivers license, because you never know.

            I see this “reliving of one’s youth” every year at Aspencade, held in Ruidoso, NM, where old bikers from all over gather for some camaraderie and to meet old friends and relive the good old days. Ditto, each time I attended the Moab, UT, gatherings.

            All three of my sons are active bikers, owning at least one Heavy (1000cc or larger) and at least one Moto-crosser for dirt riding.

        • 0 avatar
          PeriSoft

          “However, I think occupant safety should be up the the vehicle owners.”

          Yeah, they did this for a long time. Manufacturers flat-out refused to put seat belts in the cars they made because the marketing guys thought it implied that people might get into accidents.

          It took big bad government regulation to force the jerk manufacturers to make non-deadly equipment, and their being forced to do so was the only thing that allowed non-jerk manufacturers to spend the money to do the same thing. And once people realized how nice it was to not die in a 20mph fender bender because you hit a solid metal dashboard with the same impact as if you’d been thrown off a two story building, they suddenly started demanding more safety gear, and the market caught up.

          But it took regulation to prime that pump. It’s easy to forget now, and it’s uncomfortable for the laissez-faire types who, like anti-vaxxers, cluelessly enjoy the fruits of the policies they oppose, but it’s true.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    The trike exemption kind of pisses me off… Why would this be exempt from all kinds of regulations and a Lotus or some exotic whatever still not be legal? NHTSA go to heck, I want a super light sports car that doesn’t cost a billion dollars and have a million nannies…

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Senator Vitter and ElioMotors are of course both from Louisiana. I suppose Lotus needs a Louisiana presence, STAT.

      Even more federal vehicle regulations? No problem, all politics is local. THOMAS doesn’t yet have the text bill online.

  • avatar
    Fred

    “Fuel consumption is soaring in the United States.” The Reuters article talks about Texas and leaves out how that equates to the US. Typical brief news from the internet.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I’m still waiting for the price of oil intensive commodities to come down…

      Not holding my breath.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “The Reuters article talks about Texas and leaves out how that equates to the US. Typical brief news from the internet.” — Obviously you didn’t read the part where it said, “Texas uses more than 10% of total US gasoline consumption and 13% of diesel.”

      In other words, the Reuters article DOES mention how it equates to the US.
      Typical skimming without actually reading an article from a comment troll.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Using Texas as a sample for all the US does not equate to the USA, no matter how much fuel we burn.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          It’s close enough, considering I live in a region called ‘The Little Bluegrass Country’ or “Ceciltucky”. With horse farms all around and almost in the middle of Thoroughbred Racing country, truck sales have skyrocketed around here while most new vehicles are at the least a larger SUV/CUV as compared to smaller vehicles.

          Interestingly, there’s also a surprising number of people buying smaller BECAUSE their prices are down. I just filled the tank of my Fiat 500 Pop for just over $20 where my Jeep would have burned over $45 to cover the same distance. I typically refuel every two weeks and as a result I’m saving almost $480/year by driving the Fiat ⅔rds of the time at TODAY’s fuel prices.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Elio Motors, what a farce. It’ll never

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    A friend of mine just put a $1000 down and ordered one. When TTAC posts more stories down the road I’ll add some info as I get it.

    I couldn’t talk her out of it. She’s in Montana and the nearest dealers are at least a state away. She’s sold on the purported 84mpg.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    price of fuel drops, myopic people buy gas guzzlers and drive more…….

    that is news?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      What really would be news would be if fuel prices would stay low, where they should have been to begin with.

      For those who worry about the cost of fuel but are buying gas guzzlers now only to regret their purchases later when the price of fuel is artificially jacked up, the observation, “Who didn’t see this coming?”

      The price of fuel WILL go up, The politicians will see to that. Another opportunity to fleece the flock for more revenue for politicians to miss-spend.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Reuters/ Texas article screams out data abuse. The EIA expects US consumption to increase by 1% this year, which would be consistent with last year’s growth rate of 0.9%.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Not that I am a big fan of motorcycles and 3 wheel vehicles. I too use to ride a motorcycle, but I do see a market for an inexpensive car for the masses with good mpgs especially for a commuter vehicle. I would not want to take a long trip in an Elio but for commuting and running errands it would be perfect. Air, power windows, and a stereo with a USB port is all that most would need for short trips. Also a simple car that can be worked on and inexpensive to maintain is a plus. I don’t think it is a good idea to but too many regulations on this otherwise it will become to expensive and defeat its intended purpose of becoming affordable to the masses

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    This could be huge fun. Priced between slightly above entry level bikes. I will believe it when I see it, when they open a dealer near Boston or anywhere. I will grab one for sure then.

    Kind of sad if they are appealing to the Nano crowd, whereas its 1/3 the price of an open trike, with a real body.

    They seem to have some smart people on their Board.

  • avatar
    mx5ta

    There was an accident in our local area some years ago, in which the dork dad driver was reaching for his brat, who had dad’s cell phone or something. Dad wandered into the other lane, slammed headfirst into an innocent couple’s car, killing them both. Our local paper did a good job in pointing out that the relatively slow speeds of the two cars (let’s say 40 mph) combined to result in an 80 mph force, and the couple in the lighter car died from (sorry, this is a gross term) brain sloshing. I’ve experienced a lesser form of this in hockey, in a few head-on collisions with huge guys: your brain sloshes forward in your gourd. I’m tempted by a high-mileage, lightweight vehicle like this for my aimless drives, but do think about such a type of accident, where regardless of how intact your space may be, you lose bigtime because you were the lightweight in a collision.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      The Elio is a very *low* vehicle, which makes one practically invisible in a sea of SUV’s, and makes the driver more subject to decapitation from minor collisions with semi-trailers, pickups, Yukons and Escalades.

      At least you’re higher off the pavement on a standard motorcycle, which gives you a better view ahead, and a greater possibility to maneuver around a potential accident situation (with the ability to lane-split if necessary) – with the Elio, you’re just stuck until you get squashed.

      Even a Mitsubishi Mirage would be a safer “daily driver”.

      Edit: To the litigators – this is my OPINION.

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