Alpha Motors: Is It Real or Is It Vaporware?
Alpha Motors, the EV startup located in Irvine, California, continues to crank out renderings of its different future models. There’s the Ace Coupe, Jax Coupe, Wolf pickup, Wolf+, SuperWolf, Saga Sedan, Saga Estate, and the REX. As for anything tangible, it has a single 3D model of its Wolf. You can catch a glimpse of it at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. But when you start digging around for supplier connections or a Board of Directors or a brain trust, you can’t find it. At least not online.
Does Alpha have prototypes it is testing?
So what’s going on? Is Alpha making something, or making what amounts to a paper tiger? A few specifications and other materials are available, though it is short on actual backup from prototypes or testing. That’s probably because so far, there doesn’t seem to be any. The information available is either guesses or determined by an army of engineers bound by serious Non Disclosure Agreements.
Maybe Alpha is doing things differently as far as any advance information and marketing. That would make some sense, not because it is a good idea, but based on information that is available about the company. Electrek did some digging around and came up with not much to report.
Linkedin had a couple of people that listed doing work for Alpha, but after Electrek reported about them, their affiliations were removed. Lawrence Eric Go was listed at one time as the one doing press releases for Alpha. Before that, he did the same for Neuron EV, which is yet another EV startup that appears to have evaporated.
The company says that it is “privately funded and led by a team of automotive industry experts and business professionals with a vision to move humanity through innovation.”
Are Alpha trucks still planned for 2023 production?
Based on business filings with the states of California and Delaware, the current CEO is Kevin Lee. The website says it has “business partnerships” in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and South Korea. It is currently “thinking about” also adding Japan.
Back in 2020, Alpha stated it would begin manufacturing cars in 2023. Now that we’re almost there, it says that it is “working to expedite mass production with a target of achieving this milestone within the next five years.” Based on all of the other startups doing the EV thing, we would take that as being more like 2030.
It also estimates that testing of an actual Wolf truck is “projected” for 2023. But the good news is that “Alpha is applying digital-driven methodologies and solutions for efficiency in automobile manufacturing to expedite production.”
Without an announced partnership with any battery manufacturers, Alpha offers up plans for what it hopes to use. “Alpha plans integration of FTA compliant lithium-ion batteries with an estimated voltage of 350V to 400V and energy capacity of 75 kWh to 85 kWh.” And don’t forget, developing and manufacturing a mass-produced EV is just part of the equation.
Does Alpha have infrastructure and service to back up sales?
EV-makers also need infrastructure and service centers to keep their cars running. To that, Alpha says besides “customer care and vehicle maintenance centers, cooperation is planned with vehicle distributors, service and repair centers, and charging solution companies to build a robust after-service ecosystem.” Not to be unkind, but that does seem like a mumbo jumbo of words. To pare it down, there is currently no plan for maintenance, service, or charging stations.
But it recently announced that it has a “cooperation agreement” with UHI Group, based in Detroit. UHI is a real prototype and tooling company, with an extensive track record. It specializes in hydro jet forming sheet metal, which requires less accurate tooling dies and can be produced at a quicker pace. That is, once things are locked in. Leading up to that is known to take a lot of time.
It also has what appears to be a similar agreement with Hinduja Tech, in Novi, Michigan. The company, which is part of the global business conglomerate Hinduja Group, has a list of services that include product engineering and digital technology. It exists to specifically aid the EV industry, according to its website.
Keep in mind that Alpha is getting ready to begin its fourth year of, well, talking about building an EV. And it does have all of those renderings and an exterior model to show that at least something has happened in all that time. So while we consider yet another EV startup with lofty ambitions but not a lot to show, we are left with more questions than answers.