Elio Motors confirmed its three-wheeled vehicle will launch in 2015, will sell for $6,800 and return 84 miles per gallon.

With Earth Day (April 22) upon us, Elio Motors, Inc. CEO Paul Elio challenged his team to put into context the vehicle’s positive environmental impact. Of course, the team came up with some compelling information. Driven 15,000 miles annually, the vehicle will save its owner an estimated $1,500 in fuel costs. Over 10 years, the vehicle could save American drivers 4.7 billion gallons of fuel a year and reduce CO2 emissions by 91 billion pounds, confirmed Elio Motors.

But the team also found an interesting fact to put the vehicle’s environmental impact in every day terms: Elio Motors’ vehicle will be more environmentally friendly than a year’s worth of one cow’s farts. Here’s the science, as explained by Elio Motors:

  • One cow produces 242 pounds of methane a year through burps and flatulence.  Methane traps 20 times more heat than CO2 over a 100-year period. (SOURCE: Get Green Living) In a year, the average cow will emit 4,840 pounds of CO2 equivalent greenhouses gases.
  • Elio Motors vehicle, driven 20,000 miles, will emit 4,500 pounds of CO2. So… the Elio is more environmentally friendly than cow farts.

“I’ll admit, it’s not the most conventional measure for environmental efficiency,” Elio said of the cow comparison. “But, when you realize that we are more environmentally friendly than something found in nature every day, we are clearly on the right path. The internal combustion engine is going to be part of the transportation industry for many years into the future. The key will be for companies such as Elio Motors to come up with revolutionary vehicle designs to use existing technology in a more Earth-friendly way.”

Mr. Elio concedes that there are other futuristic technologies such as electric vehicles and hydrogen propulsion that will eventually reduce emissions even further.

But, consumer demand and infrastructure needed to support these technologies might keep them from the mainstream for another 20 years, said the company. In the meantime, Mr. Elio sees the Elio Motors vehicle as an important bridge to the future – an affordable, efficient vehicle that meets consumer demand and can hit the road right away.

Initial customer enthusiasm for Elio Motors is high, stated the company, as more than 14,000 people have made reservations for the vehicle. Elio Motors said it already has more than 100,000 fans on Facebook and is averaging more than 250,000 unique visitors per month to its Web site this year.