Elio Motors Has Just $101,000 In Cash And A $123 Million Deficit

Elio Motors’ affordable three-wheeler was originally going to hit the market in 2014 and almost three years later, is still absent from the streets. Now we have a clear idea why.

In a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company founded in 2009 by Paul Elio revealed that as of September 30, 2016, it had just $101,317 in the bank and $123,212,431 in accumulated deficit. By comparison, it had $6,870,044 in cash as of December 31, 2015 and just a $2.325 million deficit, as reported by KTBS.

Elio Motors blames the skyrocketing deficit on an increase in accounts payable and interest payable as well as a decrease in assets held for sale and an increase in the fair value of derivative liability.

The filing also reveals that in the nine month period ending September 30, 2016, the company’s net loss sat at $34,787,000 million compared to the $13,873,656 it lost in the same time period in 2015.

The company unveiled its production-spec E1c three-wheeler in November last year. Targeting an MSRP of $7,300, the vehicle features a unibody frame and includes three airbags.

It is reported that over 62,000 customers have signed up for a three-wheeler Elio but unless the company gets its finances together, the venture could be one of the most high-profile automotive busts in recent memory.


  • Matt

    I thought they had saved money by not hiring any designers.

  • drano66


  • Cameron

    Called it.

  • truthsayer

    All this while Elio paid himself several million as CEO and President? This motorcycle has made the rounds for the Past 10 years. It was never going to be made. This guy need to go to jail for fraud.

  • David Rodolff

    I was so hoping for this to be successful. So far, none of the major manufacturers have even tried to make a true high milage car. An accord made today scarcely gets better mileage than the very first model.
    Heck, just dust off the blueprints for the 1989 Honda CRX or Geo Metro. Both those vehicles got around 55 mpg on the highway.

    • Benjamin B.

      The original engine the Elio was to use is the Geo Metro’s NA inline 3. The current 3 cylinder is based off of that 1990s engine.

    • TheHake

      You’re American, right?

      • David Rodolff

        100%, True Blue, Dyed in the wool American. And proud of it. Always have been.
        Unlike a certain first lady we know.

        • TheHake

          I’m asking because we get some proper high-mileage (as you call it) cars in Europe.

        • Atrax

          In Europe this dElio thing isn’t all that impressive. You can get a real car that has everything every car has and does pretty damn near the same mileage as this Elio. And believe you me, I’d rather have a proper proved and tested car than than this Elio debacle thing.
          Average diesel car, not a small one at that, that takes 5 people has enough trunk space and has everything every other car has does 100km with less than 5 liters of diesel. And it’s not paper thin or super light. If you’d just throw out a spare tire you’d get damn close to dElio’s mpg claims. That’s an actual car with 4 wheels that can do over 130mph mind you.
          Remember, we are talking about an average car, not a car that gets especially great mpg. Most newer diesels can do 4liters per 100km. That’s one gallon for you guys.

    • Kenneth

      What buyers these days demand in safety and tech and interior space involves adding a huge amount of weight over those tiny CRX/Geo Metros. It’s remarkable that a new Accord gets better mileage, at all, than the first version. A super-high mileage car? For whom? Most buyers (worldwide) are now wanting CUVs or trucks.

      • David Rodolff

        I used to drive 120 miles each day commuting. I owned one of those Metros and put 340,000 miles on it before finally getting a new car. It was a stripped down version but only cost me about $7800. And if they were making them today, I would buy another one in a heartbeat. For the first time buyer, who’s looking for basic cheap transportation, it couldn’t be beat. Great mileage, low maintenance.

    • Tydogg123 .

      WHAT? Plenty of major manufacturers have tested out production of super high mileage cars! In the end they couldn’t put together a business case to spend hundreds of millions on a car that would sell in low numbers at a higher cost than people would pay.

      • David Rodolff

        What? Several years ago, Volkswagen had a diesel powered Golf that got over 80 mpg. But it wasn’t allowed here due to EPA regulations. (Which always made me wonder, how could a vehicle that got 80 mpg fail emission standards? It’s gotta be burning that fuel pretty efficiently.) Another case where politics got in the way.

  • Benjamin B.

    Only thing missing here is a transsexual, otherwise this story reminds me of the 1970s Dale.

  • Benjamin B.

    That photo shows an automatic in the car?? I thought Elio uses a 5- or 4- speed manual. What transmission is it??

    • GeoD

      If it went to production it would have come in either manual or automatic.

  • The problem is that if “cheap transportation” is supposed to be the clincher, that the pre-used car market will make it hard for a company that has yet to prove itself. Effectively, Elio has the footprint of a Ford Escort, but it’s barely capable of accommodating two, and without the typical passenger safety most people find important. There is an alternative though… NCAP safe and capable of carrying three, despite the fact that it’s narrower. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ddef85410db01a103cd27a40736378a5029ee4d64d1aef800c4bfa7b98b0555f.jpg

    • wccw

      To me, this too looks like it has a problem of having a big footprint and little practicality.
      Elio is actually better off than this Isetta thing because it actually made a real car, not a 3D render.
      Still, Elio is in huge trouble though.

      • Atrax

        Little practicality? How is the practicality of Elio any better? It’s not. Don’t kid yourself. And if BMW decides to make this they won’t take people’s money and run with it. This 3D render will be on the roads driving and selling sooner than dElio will.

  • John Goodall

    Just make the damn cars all ready. I am sure that since they are technically classified as a motorcycle that they would not have to jump through as many hoops as far as crash tests and the like. Even if you had a few small fixes that were fixed by servicing dealers, make the damn cars and satisify the preordered cars that people put money down on. It would solve a lot of the problems with money if they just built the cars. Im holding off on buying one until they actually hit dealer lots but i think this has potential

    • Kenneth

      “I think this has potential”

      The unwavering optimist, playing the cello as the boat slowly sinks.

    • Tydogg123 .

      John, there’s no money left to make a car. Smoke and mirrors.

      • fred smith the deplorable

        Heck, they barely have enough to make smoke, let alone the mirrors.

  • tymummey

    Just start making the Dam car even if it’s just 1 or up to 1000 ? folk’s have already put money down on them, at least do that , The money will start flowing in so get the company off the ground The way it is now it looks bad on Elio I see he paid him self million dollars put that back in to the cars for crying out loud , sh*t or get off the pot ……………?

  • pureworx

    hmm wonder how many fake companies with offshore accounts money has been funneled in to..

    • knowhereman

      It’s not even that complicated, he just funnels money to his $250K annual salary and his engineering company that he paid millions to for designing the vehicle even though a lot of the critical elements of the design had to be completely redesigned by companies that know what they are doing.

  • threewheeler

    Elio has over 64K people that are buying the car (they already put their money down). When they hit 65K, they will get their DOE loan and then there will be an Elio in many garages within a year. This is not vaporware and it does get 84mpg and has a 5 star safety rating. All you have to do is check the Elio website or any of the legitimate forums and they all know this is in the bag as for it to happen. They talk to Elio Motors all of the time and plus Elio is at the biggest car show on the planet right now (Detroit). They don’t invite companies that are ripping people off with a car that will newer be made.

    • whaaat


    • fred smith the deplorable

      I hate to break this to you, but everything you believe about Elio Motors is wrong. Sorry.

    • knowhereman

      Oh my, this poster so misinformed. The 65K is related to the lock-in price of $7300 and is not directly related to the ATVM loan. They have provided NO evidence that they can achieve the 84 mpg but I do think they will be close. Elio stopped saying “5 star safety rating” years ago because there are no NHTSA tests for a three wheel “autocycle” and as of yet they haven’t even crash tested an Elio because they haven’t produced even ONE single vehicle that was test worthy.The NHTSA won’t even test the Elio and told them to stop saying that or they would be in trouble legally. Even their old computer simulated crash test data is completely invalid because they changed from a spaceframe, roll cage design to a unibody design to cut costs. What makes a forum legitimate vs. illegitimate? Elio Motors tells things to people all the time that are not true, they are a company trying to get your money, no bias there at all is there? Elio PAID a lot of money to be at NAIAS in Detroit. I could go on and on dispelling all your statements but my fingers would fall off from typing so much.
      This “threewheeler” guy is a perfect example of the rubes who supported Elio with their money. The only thing that is “in the bag” is your head.

    • DAF

      I totally agree. It is so easy to throw spears at the innovators of the world – of course he is in huge debt – he’s had to invest in infrastructure, inventory, countless operational test and evaluations, get certifications, establish employee programs… all before he can start drawing revenue. Many individuals sitting back slandering Mr Elio for what he has done to create a safe and efficient vehicle with about 50% better mileage than the most fuel efficient vehicle out there have no idea what it takes to stand up a car company from scratch.

      • Atrax

        What did he invest in exactly?? He doesn’t even have the factory to make the damn things in. No tooling has been done, no setting up of the factory. Even the factory they leased where they were supposed to do the manufacturing has fallen through cause they sold the equipment that was in it for millions and pocketed that cash. Equipment that wasn’t even theirs to sell.
        I’ll tell you where he spent your money. For his personal aircraft and millions in salary to himself and mr. Stuart.
        Please, don’t put any money in this company that you aren’t willing to loose. Cause you will loose it. Above all, do your research and don’t get so enamoured that you go blind.

      • whaaat

        again…. bwahahahahaha!!!!!!

        hey DAF (a.k.a., dumb as f%#k??)…. he has done NONE of what you mentioned. Elio has invested in NO infrastructure, inventory, operational test and evaluations, certifications, or any employee programs.

  • Sjaak

    only the share-holders, the money providers, will cry

  • Steve

    Well those Elio reservation holders contact information is worth millions to the next scam artist.

  • gary4205

    Another scam.

  • Mark_in_TX

    I predict that they will make the vehicle and once it hits the streets it will produce its’ own market. I can see young people, college students, urbanites, urban public u-drive fleets, and fun seekers (just like weekend motorcycles). I can see a market for “Built in America” by Americans in the Trump Era….and we ALL like good gas mileage. I can also see a HUGE export market. Particularly in Asia and urban cities of South America.

  • ChicagoBob

    As much as everyone wants to call scam, this thing actually drives and they create several prototypes.
    I am not sure what the funding issue is buy my guess is they drastically underestimated the cost of startup
    into production by a large factor. That said I wonder who will own the assess if they fail.