Alpha Motors, the Irvine, Calif.-based EV startup, continues to crank out renders of its various future models. There’s the Ace coupe, the Jax coupe, the Wolf pickup, the Wolf+, the SuperWolf, the Saga Sedan, the Saga Estate, and the REX. As for anything tangible, he has a single 3D model of his wolf. You can see it at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. But when you start looking for connections with suppliers or a board of directors or a brain trust, you can’t find it. At least not online.
Does Alpha have any prototypes it is testing?
So what’s going on? Is Alpha making something, or is it making what amounts to a paper tiger? A few specs and other materials are available, though it lacks any actual backup from prototypes or testing. It’s probably because so far there doesn’t seem to be any. The information available is either guesswork or determined by an army of engineers bound by strong non-disclosure agreements.
Maybe Alpha does things differently when it comes to advance information and marketing. It would make sense, not because it’s a good idea, but based on the information available about the company. Electrek did some research and couldn’t find much to report.
Linkedin had a few people who worked for Alpha, but after Electrek reported them, their affiliations were removed. Lawrence Eric Go was at one point listed as the one doing press releases for Alpha. Before that, he did the same for Neuron EV, which is yet another EV startup that seems to have evaporated.
The company says it is “privately funded and led by a team of automotive industry experts and business professionals with a vision to advance humanity through innovation.”
Are Alpha trucks still planned for 2023 production?
Based on business documents filed with the states of California and Delaware, the current CEO is Kevin Lee. The website says it has “business partnerships” in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and South Korea. He is currently “thinking” about adding Japan.
In 2020, Alpha said it would start manufacturing cars in 2023. Now that we’re almost there, it says it’s “working to ramp up mass production with the goal of reaching that milestone within the next five years.” “. Based on all the other startups doing the EV thing, we would consider this to be more like 2030.
He also estimates that testing of an actual Wolf truck is “scheduled” for 2023. But the good news is that “Alpha is applying methodologies and digital solutions for efficiency in automotive manufacturing to speed up production.”
Without announced partnerships with battery manufacturers, Alpha offers plans for what it hopes to use. “Alpha plans to integrate FTA-compliant lithium-ion batteries with an estimated voltage of 350V to 400V and an energy capacity of 75 kWh to 85 kWh.” And remember that developing and manufacturing a mass-produced electric vehicle is only part of the equation.
Does Alpha have an infrastructure and service to support sales?
Electric vehicle manufacturers also need infrastructure and service centers to run their cars. To this, Alpha states that in addition to “customer service and vehicle maintenance centers, cooperation is planned with vehicle distributors, service and repair centers and charging solution companies to build an ecosystem of robust after-sales service”. Not to be mean, but that sounds like gibberish. To reduce it, there are currently no plans for maintenance, service or charging stations.
But it recently announced it has a “cooperative agreement” with Detroit-based UHI Group. UHI is a true prototyping and tooling company, with a long track record. It specializes in hydrojet forming of sheet metal, which requires less precise tooling dies and can be produced at a faster rate. That is, once things are locked. Leading to this is known to take a lot of time.
It also has what appears to be a similar deal with Hinduja Tech, in Novi, Michigan. The company, part of the global business conglomerate Hinduja Group, offers a list of services including product engineering and digital technology. It exists to specifically help the electric vehicle industry, according to its website.
Keep in mind that Alpha is gearing up to enter its fourth year of, well, talking about building an electric vehicle. And it has all these renders and an exterior model to show that at least something has happened in all this time. So, as we consider yet another EV startup with big ambitions but not much to show for, we’re left with more questions than answers.
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