Elio Motors Gets O.K. To Sell $25M In Stock To Small Investors

SHREVEPORT, LA (AP) — Elio Motors, which wants to build three-wheeled vehicles in Shreveport, says it has won permission to collect $25 million pledged by potential investors.

         KSLA-TV reports the startup company's plan to sell stock to small investors has been approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

         Rules allowing equity crowdfunding were approved by the SEC in March. Until then, only investors with at least $1 million in assets, not including their home, or with two years of income of at least $200,000 per individual or $300,000 for a family could invest in startups like Elio Motors.

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         Almost 12,000 investors have made non-binding pledges of nearly $46 million to the company.

         Those interested in investing can now make good on their pledges to buy at least $15,000 in stock. Elio Motors will still have to contact those who pledged money and see if they are still interested.

         The news comes just after the latest version of the Elio was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show by founder and CEO Paul Elio.

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         "Our goal is to alter the course of American transportation, and with today's breakthrough, we are one step closer to this revolution," Elio said in a statement.

         The money will allow Elio to build 25 prototypes of the three-wheeled two-passenger vehicle. The company needs to raise $225 million more to start production at the former General Motors plant in Shreveport. Elio has said he hoped to begin production in late 2016 if he can raise enough money.

         According to the company, more than 47,000 people have reserved an Elio.

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         Designed to get up to 84 miles per gallon, the company hopes to sell the vehicles for $6,800.

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