Elio Motors Gets 15k Pre-Orders For 2.8 l/100km Trike Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Apr, 28 2014 | 31 Comments

It's got three wheels, costs less than AU$7500, drinks just 2.8 litres of petrol per 100km and, according to its maker, is more more environmentally friendly than a single farting cow.

Called the Elio, this three-wheeled two-seater is claimed to have a smaller impact on climate change than a cow. How?

According to Elio's maths, the methane produced by a farting and burping bovine traps around 20 times more heat than an equivalent volume of carbon dioxide.

And though the petrol-powered Elio pumps out a greater volume of CO2 than a cow does methane, once methane's multiplication factor is applied the Elio edges ahead in environmental friendliness.

But besides its eco-credentials, the Elio has one other trump card: its US$6800 retail price. Little wonder then that Elio Motors has already racked up 15,000 pre-orders for its tiny trike.

Powering the Elio is a 41kW/75Nm 900cc naturally-aspirated petrol inline three, taking power to the front wheels via a manual or automatic gearbox.

It's got stamina too, with its 30 litre tank allowing it to travel up to 1081km without refuelling.

The standard equipment list will be modest, but power windows, central locking, air conditioning and "multiple airbags" will be factory-issue. Luggage capacity is tiny though.

With so many customers already slapping down a $100 deposit to secure their place in the queue, Elio Motors says it's got more than enough demand to go ahead with production.

And with the company setting up shop in GM's former Shreveport assembly plant in Louisiana, the Elio will also provide another 1500 jobs to the region.

Part of the reason behind the Elio's healthy pre-orders may be its unusual payment plan. Buyers can elect to sign up for an Elio credit card with which they use to pay for fuel. Elio Motors then charges triple the price of the fuel purchase, and puts the extra charges towards the car repayment.

It effectively allows customers to buy an Elio with no money down, and make repayments at the same rate as they use it.

An Australian future for the Elio is not yet certain. The company has ambitions to take the Elio to overseas markets, but right now nobody has put their hands up to distribute the Elio downunder.

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