Car Industry

Trike maker Elio sets up shop just down the road from Detroit

This fledgling three-wheeler startup looks to establish an assembly facility, and it's doing so in the heart of the automotive industry.

Elio Motors

Its looks aren't for everyone, but 84 mpg could be enough to sway folks toward a trike.

Elio Motors

When you want to strike at the heart of the beast, it never hurts to post up somewhere in said beast's lair. Elio Motors hopes to shake up the auto industry with its 84-mpg-estimated three-wheeler, but first, it's going to need to produce vehicles for testing. To achieve this, the company is setting up shop in Livonia, Michigan.

Livonia is about 20 miles away from the center of Detroit, still considered the heart of the US automotive industry. Livonia will be home to Elio's Pilot Operations Center, which will build cars necessary for testing.

Elio Motors is slowly moving through the steps required to build its high-mpg trike. The build sequence is nailed down, so now it's time to start assembly. Eight people comprise Elio's build team, and the first hand-built vehicle to roll off the line will be used to test the anti-lock braking system. Others will be used to test aerodynamics and safety.

"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," said Gino Raffin, VP of manufacturing for Elio, in a statement. "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."

Elio Motors

It's cozy, but that's to be expected when there's only one front seat.

Elio Motors