Elio applies for Dept. of Energy loan, would green-light Shreveport production

By Dan Jovic | djovic@ktalnews.tv

Published 08/19 2014 10:38AM

Updated 08/19 2014 11:24AM

The future of Elio Motor's production facility in Shreveport is another step closer to reality, according to the company's CEO.

Paul Elio tells NBC 6 News, late last week his company applied for a $185 million loan through the United States Dept. of Energy.

Elio says he feels very confident his company meets federal guidelines to secure an 'Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing' loan.

ATVM loans, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, support the development of U.S. based companies centered on Advanced Technology Vehicles which meet higher efficiency standards.

It's the same type of loan Tesla Motors secured in 2010, which help springboard  U.S. production of its all-electric vehicle.

Elio says the loan would give his company enough money to begin production in Shreveport.

"We need about $230 million more, and this is $185 million of it. And we are in the process of raising $30 million right now," said Elio. "And that's going very very well.  I expect that shoe to drop any day now, or any week now. So yeah, if we get that [loan] approval, we are done on the fund raising."

He added, "that's a majority of the money we would need to get all the way to production."

The U.S. Dept. of Energy has not issued an ATVM loan since 2011, but according to Elio, changes made to the ATVM program in April of this year made filling for the loan an easy decision.

Elio says those changes will help free up the federal funds.

"It's a very detailed and long process, as it should because it's a lot of money. But I think it's very data driven and fare," said Elio. "In the end, I'm confident we meet the criteria for the loan." 

Elio adds the company had its best reservation day this past Saturday. 412 buyers pre-ordered the three-wheeled vehicle at an auto show in Michigan.

The company now has more than 28,000 pre-orders.

Elio says barring any delays with the processing of the loan, the company is on track to meet its goal of vehicle production starting at the old General Motors facility in the third fiscal quarter of 2015.

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