Elio Motors announced engineering solutions company Comau Inc. has been selected as its automation partner to build its 84 mpg three-wheel car.
According to the press release both companies sent out, Comau will provide Elio with powertrain and automated assembly systems to build its three-wheel, high efficiency vehicle. Slated to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2014 and available in the U.S. by the first quarter of 2015, the Elio will be built in a plant in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Comau said its Powertrain Systems will be used to machine and assemble the Elio’s inline 3-cylinder, 55 horsepower engine, while Comau’s Body Welding Systems will design, build and install systems to assemble the vehicle’s welded space frame and apply the interior and exterior composite body panels, including the floorpan, bodysides, roof, doors, hood, trunk and fenders to the frame.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Elio Motors on the assembly of this unique three-wheel vehicle,” said Kirk Goins, COO Comau NAFTA. “Our long-standing leadership in customized automation systems for the automotive market will optimize the entire assembly process for the Elio providing energy efficient manufacturing solutions.”
Elio added it is also considering using Comau’s After Sales team to conduct plant health assessments in order to optimize reutilization of assets, as well as Comau Robotics for specialty robotic applications throughout the assembly process.
“I am humbled and honored to have Comau be an important part of our project,” said Paul Elio, Founder and CEO Elio Motors. “Comau technology is used by car manufacturers all over the world and Elio Motors is fortunate to have their expertise and experience as part of our team.”
The Elio, which was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January, features two wheels in front, one in back and seats two people in front of another. The vehicle will carry a $6,800 price tag, gets 672 miles of highway driving on one tank of gas (84 miles per gallon highway), and Elio add its car can reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour. The vehicle will be built in America and is engineered to a 5-star safety rating.