Elio Motors Makes Progress in Helmet Exemption Legislation

Sections: Car Safety, Chassis, Fuel Economy

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Elio Motors Makes Progress in Helmet Exemption Legislation

Elio Motors plans to release this three-wheel commuter machine in the United States next year at a price of about $6,800. (Photo courtesy Elio Motors.)

DETROIT – Louisiana is the most recent state to declare helmet exemption for the Elio, which is federally classified as an enclosed motorcycle. House Bill 218 was unanimously approved in Louisiana, where the Elio will be manufactured, in late June. New York also has an exemption on the books, allowing the Elio to be driven around the progressive state without a helmet.

Another legislative success is quickly emerging. Michigan Senate Bill 390 was recently passed, and is expected to pass through the House unanimously, following Louisiana’s lead. This is good news for the company, which will base their corporate headquarters out of the state. Louisiana, New York, and Michigan join 42 other states which allow the Elio to be driven sans helmet.

Among the 5 states that technically require helmets to be worn while driving the Elio, are Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Nebraska.

Elio Motors’ Vice President of Government Affairs, Joel Sheltrown says, “We are actively working with the five helmet states’ legislators to work through any issues they may have. Given our success in the other 45 states, we are optimistic about solving any issues we may face.” Sheltrown adds that Missouri, a helmet-state, has already identified bill sponsors and drafted legislation to exempt the Elio from their helmet laws.

Elio Motors was born out of Paul Elio’s vision for an efficient and affordable revolutionary vehicle. The American made, three-wheel vehicle boasts 84 mpg on the highway and 49 mpg in the city, plus an anticipated 5-star safety rating. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Elio Motors

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  • Frank Cooper

    North Carolina is slow. Just look how they pay their teachers. NC is 51st in teachers pay out of just 50 states. Good luck working with NC on the helmet law. I can’t wait to get an Elio!!!!!

  • Kirby Palm

    I hope to get one, but so far SWMBO isn’t enthused. It might be better if she could actually walk around one, see how you get in and out, etc.

  • OldBill

    Ford Motors just mailed out $550 checks to each C-Max owner for overstating their mileage by 4 MPG. I can’t imagine what I’ll be getting back from Elio on that 84 MPG claim. Probably enough to pay off the car!

  • robert gulliver

    what`s the reason for putting on the front fenders ?

    • Lyndon Johnson


      If you’re referring to the “wheelpants” full-coverage fenders added to the recent “P4″ prototype of the Elio, my understanding is it’s aerodynamics-related. They’re making revisions in the name of achieving that 84-MPG fuel economy figure they’ve been promising all this time. Apparently they felt it’s more likely to happen with fuller fenders helping smooth the flow of air around the wheels than with the open-fender concept seen on earlier prototypes.

  • Cynthia toothman

    Would love to buy one but I live in West Virginia and not sure how it will do in our winter environment. And the helment law needs to be passed in my state. I’m not sure if there is a pep boys location in WV. Please email me if the law gets passed.

    • Lyndon Johnson


      While I can’t promise you I’ll remember to e-mail you, I am making an effort to stay abreast of the helmet legislation efforts Elio is making. Bookmark us.

  • David Watson

    NC passed a law in 2015 eliminating the need for a helmet. Last count, 2 states to go.

  • David Watson

    Does well in snow per their video. Got a heater, you should be fine.

  • David Watson

    Helmet elimination law has now been pasted in all but 2 states, not sure which two.