This Startup Might Become the Tesla of the Electric Motorcycles

Alta Motors, founded in 2010, makes the Redshift MX a lightweight electric motorcycle for off-road driving. Thanks to its specialty battery, it can last 2.5 hours before needing a charge. While not that well known outside of California, it’s CEO and co-founder Marc Fenigstein has big plans for the future beyond selling electric motorbikes.

Although the $14,995 Redshift, introduced last August, is the only model they currently offer, Alta Motors plans on expanding their line, as well as selling the batteries and drivetrains to other companies. In the meantime, they are concentrating on increasing production, says Fenigstein.

“The technology, the architecture, and the capabilities that we built as a company in introducing the Redshift have very, very broad applicability across lightweight vehicles.” He adds, “Really nobody in the market can build a drivetrain for a small vehicle that is as compact, robust, or economical as ours is for a given range and power.”

Feningstan is not alone in his ultimate hopes for Alta. The company was backed by some other battery visionaries, two of Tesla’s co-founders, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning are also on his side. Having invested $4.5 million the company in 2014, Eberhard and Tarpenning are still company advisors today.

The battery driving the company to success is the Alta Pack, small sized light weight battery that offers high-density power. Feningstein claims it’s five years ahead of other batteries on the market. “We’ve advanced transportation battery technology I think more significantly than anyone since Tesla,” Fenigstein said.

Their next motorbike, the Redshift SM will be for sale by summer’s end but it’s first to run is already sold out through 2017. At $15,495 the SM is intended for urban commuters with a range of 50 miles and a total 40 horsepower. Alta plans to add two more bikes to their line in addition to their plans to sell their drivetrain technology and battery packs, though release dates are not specified at this time.

Currently, Zero Motorcycles are the only rivals to Alta Motors, selling motorbikes in the same price range that have a little bit more power. But Alta will have to increase production on both the Redshift MX and SM in order to surpass their competition. And with a $27 million investment, in part from Grassy Creek Ventures, Alta Motors has a lot more backing to reach those goals now. “We are very excited from this foundation to get our technology in the many corners of the lightweight vehicle market as we can,” he said.

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