Crowdfunding Just Got More Exciting With SEC Regulation A+: Elio Motors Leads Pack

Forbes | TJ McCue | June 19, 2015

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Kickstarter partly created the crowdfunding phenomenon that many product designers, inventors, and startups love. This trend of offering a soon-to-be-made product to the crowd, or consumers at large, continues to take the world by storm. The wind behind crowdfunding is about to get stronger with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Regulation A+ opening for business today.

The SEC adopted the new ruling in late March, according to my Forbes contributor colleague, Michael Raneri, with his post: Testing the Waters WAT +0.56%: Filing a Regulation A+ Offering with the SEC (linked at left or below, depending on how you are viewing this article); the final rules become operational today.

Elio Motors, the maker of a new ultra-efficient vehicle, is one of the first to launch a “Regulation A+” crowd-funding initiative as the next phase of its fundraising strategy. Elio Motors is targeting the first half of 2016 to launch an enclosed three-wheel ultra-high-mileage vehicle that is expected to sell for $6,800 and get up to 84 MPG. The vehicle already is a hit with consumers, as more than 43,000 people have reserved a place in line to purchase a vehicle. With 250,000+ likes on their Facebook page, it certainly appears that they have a strong chance at success, crowdfunding or not.


The company chose to use a new crowdfunding platform, StartEngine, to make this Regulation A+ offering. The process is not the same as a traditional crowdfunding campaign and StartEngine has the campaign running. Click through to page 2 for rough costs after “testing the waters.”

As someone who follows and writes about the maker movement and bringing manufacturing back to America, I found the Elio Motors work to be inspiring. Elio Motors will manufacture the vehicle in Shreveport, Louisiana, at a former General Motors GM +0.39% facility that made vehicles such as the Hummer H3 and Chevy Colorado. To produce an ultra-high-mileage vehicle in the former Hummer H3 factory is, to say the least, ironic.

When the Elio goes to market, it will create 1,500 jobs at the facility. In addition, the Elio will use 90 percent North American parts and materials, creating another 1,500 jobs at its supplier partner companies. These manufacturing jobs will in turn create approximately 18,000 indirect jobs across the country. That’s enough to make the Elio Motors P5 vehicle a very desirable crowdfunding purchase and investment, above and beyond its low cost and high mileage.

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