Elio Motors has passed the first phase in its application for a $185 million loan under the U.S. Department of Energy's ATVM (Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing) program, which was once a source of controversy for its funding to bankrupt Fisker Automotive.
Elio passed the first phase of review and said its application is "substantially complete." Elio is hoping to begin producing on its efficient trike in Shreveport, La., in 2015. Elio hopes to produce the vehicle that can get up to 84 mpg, and sell it for $6,800.
Before it was put on hiatus in 2011, the ATVM program provided funding for plug-in vehicles from Ford ($5.9 billion), Nissan ($1.6 billion), Fisker ($528.7 million), and Tesla Motors ($465 million). In April, the DOE restarted the program with about $16 billion left over. Congress established the loan program in 2007 with $25 billion.