They said that they could have the E series ars built in three months. That was unrealistic, because (for instance) they needed to have the brakes tuned before any performance / tests could be run. Instant delay!Why assume Elio doesn't have the funds to build the 23 E models? I feel that is irresponsible conjecture. Elio started on the E models and then made the decision to use steel body panels. It would take some time to build the dies. How long? I surely don't know but it would take at least some time. Now, could Elio use a couple of E series with SMC panels? Sure. And, they have. However, does it make sense to do fast track building SMC bodied E series if the tests would have to be accomplished when they built using the right body panels? Perhaps this waiting period is merely the time it is taking for the stamps to be done. Once done, it won't take long at all to stamp out 20 or 100 bodies. You COULD see a sudden release of the rest of the E series followed rapidly by the 100. To assume without all the facts that Elio is out of money is misleading.
And yes. it is possible that the other 18 cars might be built in secret, but it's vanishingly improbable. Why? because Elio needs every visible sign of progress they can muster to support and encourage reservations and investors. silence from them regarding the test vehicles is not just unsettling, it's ominous.
The official production date has now slipped from second to fourth quarter 2017. if they had the test program running smoothly they wouldn't have had to do that. Additionally the handling and safety test results would do a lot to make the ATVM loan decision go in a positive way. Elio knows that. So it follows that the only reason that stuff hasn't been done is because they can't afford to get it done right now. I think Elio can survive this but it's going to be more difficult with every day that passes. They need capital.
Other things, like getting the stamps made, might be taking up some of the time. But I'll guarantee you most of the delay is money. Nothing new in this story. it's just bloody unfortunate the timing hasn't worked in the way Paul both thought it would and hoped it would.
The next real milestone with public impact is the E1-C. And that's one, I am sure, will happen on schedule. It may shake things loose, and I certainly hope it does.
I heard this Summer that Elio could in fact get this job done without the atvm loan, but that that loan was much better solution financially because it didn't dilute the stock. I don't think that's changed, but the delays in getting the test vehicles built and tested argue that the atvm loan really is critical, not just to start the plant up but to springboard other Investments. It's a cleft stick, and I hope Paul figures a way out of it soon.
On the positive side, having suppliers committing to build plants in the Shreveport facility is a really good piece of news. It indicates they are not giving up on Elio, and if they're not we shouldn't either.