Comau Inc. (Southfield, Mich., USA; Turin, Italy), a global developer of engineering solutions for sustainable automation and production, reported on Feb. 10 that it has been selected by Elio Motors (Phoenix, Ariz., USA) as its automation partner. Comau will provide Elio with powertrain and automated assembly systems to build its revolutionary three-wheel, high efficiency vehicle. Slated to begin production in fourth quarter 2014 and available in the U.S. by the first quarter of 2015, the Elio will be built in a plant in Shreveport, La., USA.
Comau Powertrain Systems will be used to machine and assemble the Elio’s inline 3-cylinder, 55-hp engine, while Comau 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 (floorpan, bodysides, roof, doors, hood, trunk and fenders) to the frame.
The Elio features two wheels in front, one in back and seats two people (one in front and one in back). It carries a $6,800 price tag and offers 672 miles/1,081 km of highway driving on one tank of gas (84 mpg highway), can reach speeds of more than 100 mph/160 kph, is built in America and is engineered to a 5-star safety rating.