Elio Motors, a company that was started back in 2008, is set to crowdfund its latest prototype, which is a three-wheeled, two-seater car that will retail for around $6,800.
The crowdfunding campaign will enable the company to start manufacturing its car in a recently-purchased GM factory in Louisiana. In fact, the car has already received over 45,000 preorders.
The car itself offers a pretty futuristic design and gets a massive 84 miles per gallon.
Like many other startups, the company needs funding before it can start actually manufacturing cars in its new factory. In fact, the company says that it needs a massive $300 million.
So far, it hasn't been able to raise the money through traditional venture capital funding, however, it is exploring non-traditional routes. One of these funding routes will take advantage of a new SEC regulation called Regulation A+, which essentially allows non-accredited investors to invest in private startups. Companies can receive up to $50 million in funding from anyone in return for a stake in the company.
Since the new funding program is so new, no companies have actually been approved by the SEC to start collecting money from investors. There are two main phases to the program, with people being able to pledge a non-binding amount to the company, and then, after approval, the company collects the money. Since no company prior to Elio has used the program, there are no statistics on how many people who pledge will actually follow through and invest.
Elio, however, is confident that the majority of people who pledge will actually follow through and invest. Not only that, but the company has also applied for a $186 million ATVM loan from the Department of Energy. The DoE loan is offered to companies that are aimed at reducing dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs in the U.S. Previously, the likes of Tesla and Ford both received the loan.
Put lightly, there is a lot that has to happen before Elio can actually start manufacturing its car, however, if it ends up being able to, the vehicle could herald a big change in the car industry.