Car Startups and Their Odds of Success

Commuter Cars Tango Parked-Side

At the beginning of football season, every team believes it will win the Super Bowl. With nothing but optimism in the air and a young season full of promise, football players have the confidence and drive to believe they’ll make it all the way. Of course, most do not.

Breaking into the National Football League is no easy task, and even the lucky few who make it have to prove themselves as worthy of being there.

The auto business is similar. The big players like General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Ford and Chrysler have made it exceptionally difficult for new players to participate in the auto manufacturing game. Tesla has finally made it to the party and started the process of proving itself as a big-league automaker.

Who will be the next rookie automaker to take things to the next level?

elio car

Elio Motors is a startup company that hopes to give customers three things: exceptional fuel economy, superb crash ratings and extreme affordability. The company wants to produce a 3-wheeled car that gets up to 84 miles per gallon on the highway and is priced at just $6,800. Power would come from a 3-cylinder, 55-horsepower engine powering the 2 front wheels.

So far, only prototypes have been built using an engine from the old Geo Metro, though the company promises its own high-tech motor for the car.

Considering the Aptera, a similar concept, never made it to production, I don’t give the Elio a much better chance.

Commuter Cars, a Washington company, has been in the startup phase for many years. However, the fact that the company is still around says a lot about its tenacity. The car, a narrow electric 2-seater called the Tango, could potentially solve the problems of traffic congestion and pollution. A range of 100 miles on battery power and an innovative narrow design mean more vehicles could fit on city streets and highways while eliminating the need for gasoline.

Plus it can do the 0-60 run in less than 4 seconds.

As electric cars gain credibility and become more accepted, I think the Commuter Cars proposition could become a huge success.

Which car has the best odds of success: Elio or Tango?


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