America has had a century-long love affair with the automobile, but what if the way to a cleaner environment meant rolling on just three wheels instead of four?
Elio Motors believes its three-wheeler high-mileage car is the answer, and a test model made its way through Nashville on Tuesday.
The Elio, priced at about $6,800, gets 84 miles to the gallon and can reach 100 mph. It seats two, but it's also for families in a very specialized way.
"We all drive SUVs or minivans because we all have kids or boats or toys to haul, but the toys and kids don't come to work with you every day. So it's one person going to work in this behemoth every day getting 12 or 20 miles per gallon," said Jerome Vassallo, with Elio Motors. "For the price of the fuel in those vehicles, you could pay for this Elio and still have money left over."
Elio Motors hasn't spent a dollar on advertising but still has about 15,000 vehicles on order with production scheduled to begin next year.
The Elio has all car components, a three-cylinder engine, air conditioning, heat and radio. And perhaps most important of all, it is expected to get a five-star crash rating.
"I think people in the South understand this more than most. We like our NASCAR. Once you put a steel roll cage in a vehicle, now that becomes the cocoon for you," Vassallo said. "Put airbags in every window and the steering column, and you've got a very safe vehicle."
The car has caught the eye of more than the general public. Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell thinks the Elio could be great for taxpayers as specialty fleet cars in city, county and state government.
"The Elios are a great option to investigate because they cost one-third of the price of a normal car that we have for our fleet, but they get four times the gas mileage," Mitchell said.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:31:29 GMT
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