By on September 21, 2018

Earlier this year, Elio Motors said it would launch its own cryptocurrency as a way of funding its troubled three-wheeler. During the initial ElioCoin announcement in April, Elio also said it partnered with Overstock.com to relieve some of its debt. The website claimed it purchased $2.5 million of the startup’s newly issued shares.

As helpful as a few million dollars would be toward progressing Elio’s goals, the cryptocurrency plan seemed patently ridiculous. We didn’t expect to hear much more about it.

Color us surprised, though. Elio has now formally launched the pre-sale of the ElioCoin Security Token, noting that Patrick M. Byrne — Overstock.com’s founder and CEO — will be the first person to open up his wallet to participate in this strange new offer. 

“This is a watershed moment for Elio Motors,” said company founder and CEO Paul Elio. “Our newest partnerships with Dr. Byrne and other major institutional investors have further crystallized our vision of bringing the Elio to production. We look forward to the launch of ElioCoin and offering secondary trading on tZERO’s security token platform.”

Byrne wrote that he was proud to be the first person to contribute toward the cause and claimed Elio’s vehicle was revolutionary. He also claimed the ElioCoin’s design was “groundbreaking” and “may pave a way for a new era in raising funds to pay for public infrastructure (such as bridges and turnpikes), real estate, and even fund pharmaceutical research (regarding which I have already been enthusiastically contacted).”

After publicly debuting its three-wheeled design in 2015, Elio Motors seemed prepared to upset the manufacturing industry by offering something completely different — despite numerous delays. The company attracted paid reservations from over 65,000 customers who were intrigued by the model’s exceptional fuel economy and extremely low price. However, Elio encountered overwhelming difficulties procuring the funding necessary to start production at its leased factory in Shreveport, Louisiana.

As we’re not experts in digital currency, we only have a cursory understanding as to how all of this works. But here’s what we do know. Like stock, cryptocurrencies typically have an initial public offering (IPO) called an initial coin offering (ICO). What Elio is doing now is the preamble to that. The pre-sale takes place before the tokens are finalized and made ready for the public, with coins being sold to basically whoever the seller thinks should have access. At this stage, that’ll mainly be accredited institutional investors and rich folks.

On the sketchy side of things, these types of deals are almost completely unregulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. There’s very little protection for the buyer. However, if everything is done in good faith, there is a chance that pre-sales can help stabilize a new currency before it goes public.

JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC is acting as the placement agent for the pre-sale, which continues through October 15th, with the company reserving the right to extend or terminate the pre-sale at its sole discretion. Units in the pre-sale offering are constituted of ElioCoin tokens and Series E preferred equity convertible at $10 per share. Following the pre-sale, Elio plans to launch a more broadly marketed main sale of the ElioCoin.

The public offering is scheduled to occur sometime in 2019, though Elio hasn’t given a strict timeline and could extend the pre-sale indefinitely. If you’re interested in investing, we’d strongly encourage you to read all the fine print before committing to anything.

[Images: Elio Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

21 Comments on “Time to Stock Up On ElioCoins...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Gotta give Mr Elio credit, going on year 10 of this deal, it’s still paying his salary, and he hasn’t been indicted for anything.

  • avatar
    Prove your humanity: 9 + 8 =

    Bitcoin is kind of sketchy, to say the least. On the other hand, money is a concept that works only because everyone tends to agree on its inherent value. It’s kind of like charisma – you either have it or you don’t. Eliocoin will succeed if it can become trusted. If the tricycle company folds, Eliocoin will probably collapse, too.
    The real challenge will be if the market accepts a three-wheeled car in mass quantities. After actually starting production, of course, which is the current obstacle to overcome.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Sounds more and more like the Elio will earn a spot in some museum next to a Dale.

  • avatar
    ronald

    Building an unconventional car company from scratch, funded with cryptocurrency? What could go wrong?

    A lot of people have money to burn, apparently.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    Talk smack about Elon all you like, but at least he produced something. I’m just surprised that Elio is still around at all. It’s been since what, 2014 that people put down deposits and got a t-shirt in return? This clown decided to have an engine custom-made rather than using something off-the-shelf–WHY!?
    Even if it was made, I don’t see this thing filling a useful market gap. SmartForTwo’s were NOT popular except for dense urban environments, the Scion/Toyota IQ is thin on the ground. I’m not sure who these things are for. The extreme cheapskates that these might appeal to are smart enough to realize that buying a used Prius is a better idea for longer-term cost savings. Anyone who might buy a work commuter/beater could do exactly the same thing. It’s not tiny like a Smart so wouldn’t have the same advantages for parking. Plus, I understand it was said to have a 10-11 second 0-60 time. That’s Prius territory.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      In my view, Elon is a billionaire out to save the world (at least in his view of it).

      And Elio is a pauper (relatively) out to make a nice living for himself.

      The final accounting of each one is still in the future.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Is today April 1st????

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    “On the sketchy side of things, these types of deals are almost completely unregulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

    Actually, the Securities and Exchange Commission seems to have caught up with cryptocurrencies. They aren’t as regulated as other capital markets, but the SEC does consider them securities under U.S. law, and so they are subject to the same basic regulations. A company like Elio probably took the time to do a legal and compliant ICO, but beware of some of the others.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I honestly forgot this was even a thing, this thing looks like it was first drawn up in 1995, I didn’t remember it looking that dated last time I saw it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ll say it again – this concept is DOA for at least five reasons:

    1. Nobody wants 3-wheelers.
    2. Nobody wants outriggers.
    3. People want utility, and this car has none.
    4. Some people want safety. No matter how it tests, this car appears unsafe.
    5. Its fuel economy is matched or bested by many other vehicles.

    It’s a unique offering, but in all the wrong ways.

    • 0 avatar
      TimK

      And as Jay Leno once quipped, “With three wheels, how do you miss a pothole?”.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      1 & 2: People are buying enough Can-Am Spyders to keep them in production. That’s a vehicle that combines the disadvantages of a car with those of a motorcycle.

      3. Elio has at least as much utility as any touring motorcycle, and for a commuter machine all most people would need is the ability to carry a briefcase.

      4. The Elio will still be safer than any motorcycle, the dangers of which are widely known and accepted by tens of thousands of people.

      5. The fuel economy will still be excellent, but in any case if MPG was really all important the pickup market would be 1/4 the size that it is.

  • avatar

    Elio’s over the counter stock, which opened at $14 if I recall correctly, and at one point reached $60/share, plummeted in 2017 down to $2.50 as they got hammered in the local press in Louisiana for continued delays. This crypto currency thing, seems to have buoyed the price and since June it’s been trading at $4.50 and above.

    I’d have more confidence if Elio actually showed a fully functional version of one of the 25 validation vehicles they were building. As far as I understand, all engineering work and pretty much everything else has stopped while Paul Elio and Stu Lichter look for financing.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Although I usually hate the term “vaporware” when it comes to describing start-up car companies and their concept cars, there seems to more and more vapor swirling around Elio.
    This whole idea of cryptocurrencies just sets my teeth on edge.
    “We need funding for our car…”
    “I know, let’s invent a currency!”

    If I knew it was this easy I would have invented BlackCloudCoin a long time ago.

  • avatar
    kamiller42

    Is it really difficult to build a 3 wheel vehicle? It’s not nearly the level of sophistication of a Tesla. What is the hold up?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • FormerFF: “Neither of the two were willing to move on price” I’ve bought a couple of used cars in...
  • WildcatMatt: I saw one of these yesterday and thought it looks quite like a 3/5 scale Chrysler Pacifica (the old one,...
  • Secret Hi5: Base SE trim Konas are available on rental lots. I drove one about 200 miles last month. Can’t...
  • ToolGuy: Unless someone has been carefully and systematically painting on a salt solution in little circular patterns...
  • Art Vandelay: also like 25 percent of the EV fee is for charging infrastructure which also is funded via, you guessed...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States