Interview With Alpha Motor Execs Raises More Questions Than Answers
Alpha representatives did little to assuage concerns in a recent interview.
Alpha Motors has recently drawn big attention for its slick EV designs, but has provided little background on how its company operates, or how it intends to bring these designs into production. After concerns were raised by Green Car Reports back in August, Sean O'Kane of The Verge reached out to the company for answers, with the interview raising plenty of concerns.
The first red flag is the background of those that O'Kane was able to interview. Joshua Boyt and Jay Lijewski state their titles as the head of business development and head of marketing at Alpha Motor Corporation, respectively. Curiously, though, the duo have previously been spotted working for Volvo as baristas at the New York Auto Show. Of course, there's nothing to say that a talented coffee maker can't also make strides in the world of business, but it's rare to see such a career change in short order.
Regardless, O'Kane pressed the duo on many of the common concerns raised about Alpha Motor. As discovered by Green Car Reports, Alpha's listed business address is that of a co-working space in Irvine, California, matching that of a previous startup that went by the name of Neuron EV. That startup listed Edward Lee as a founder, as does Alpha Motor, and yet seemingly vanished after showing off a few electric truck concepts. When challenged on this point, however, both Boyt and Lijewski doubled down, asserting that Alpha Motor was a completely independent company, with no ties to any other.
Thus far, Alpha Motor has "launched" several models, from the Alpha Ace coupe to the Alpha Jax CUV, which looks to be a lifted take on the Ace with suicide doors. Most of these vehicles seem to exist only as renders and YouTube videos, though a non-drivable concept of the Alpha Wolf pickup presently resides at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
The latter vehicle seems to be the company's primary focus, with Lijewski stating in the launch video that "as we ramp up production lines here in the United States, we anticipate that the Wolf Electric Truck will be available by the end of 2023." It's a devastatingly short timeline, especially for a company that doesn't seem to own any factories just yet.
Questions on the company's ability to actually produce these cars drew little solid information out of the pair. "All of the vehicles that we have released are in production process. In our production process. Every one of those is within our production process," said Boyt. When pressed for further clarification on what this meant, Boyt added "It just means that they’re all at varying degrees of the production process, but they are all in development. For sure."
Typically, it costs billions of dollars to develop a car, along with the production infrastructure required to actually build it in real numbers. When queried about the company's funding, neither individual was willing to deliver any clarity on the situation. "We can't really get into that at the moment," stated Lijewski.
Similarly, staffing requirements to do all that hard work are in the hundreds, if not thousands. Despite regularly mentioning "the team at Alpha," the duo were reticent to name any names of those involved. Neither would they answer a direct question about the size of the team working at Alpha. Lijewski explained the situation in simple terms, stating "I’m sure you understand the startup phase, there’s a lot of hustle and scrappy nature of building a startup that it just makes it... that’s the way it is right now." Clearly, telling the world how many people work at your company could give away a clear market advantage.
EV startups are a dime a dozen these days; there's no shortage of companies bandying about slick renders and stating big goals for the future. However, few of these companies ever make it to production. In this interview and elsewhere, Alpha Motor Corporation has shown little proof that it has what it takes, even if its designs are charmingly retro and full of quirky analog details. While many would love to see those designs come to fruition, until more evidence comes to light, it seems implausible that it could come to pass.
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