For the first time ever Harley-Davidson announced the development of a new electric motorcycle. This is something the famous firm has never done before. It’s one of the most radical pieces of news to come out of the struggling company in all of its 115 years of existence. Now the big question is, will riders embrace electric motorcycles?
The Electric Motorcycle has been in Development for Years
Harley-Davidson may have just announced this to the outside world, but internally this is no new idea. They have been wanting to make this dream into a reality for quite some time. They have finally committed to some real production events to make the bike a reality. While there aren’t many details about the electric bike yet, Harley-Davidson executives express that they expect it to be available on the market in 18 months or less.
This new electric motorcycle will be built similarly to the less-than-impressive specs of Livewire, which is a prototype of an electric vehicle that was released by the very same company in 2014. Impressively, it could go from 0-60 in just under four seconds, but its range was quite limited. Since electric motorcycles have made some headway in the last few years, there is a hope that the new Harley-Davidson bike will be a lot stronger and further-reaching. The bike should also be safer. According to YoungAmericaInsurance.net this will help customers save on coverage.
There is Big Interest in Electric Motorcycles
This new piece of news, while exciting, was unfortunately overshadowed by another piece of news that Harley-Davidson just released. It is closing its large factory in Missouri soon, which will put over 800 people out of a job. Similarly, the company is also considering closing its Pennsylvania plant, which will lose another 260 people from their jobs.
CEO of Harley-Davidson Matt Levatich further promotes the idea of the electric bike by saying that these products are being released in response to a change in supply, demand, and consumer interest. The new motorcycle will be lightweight, with a variety of more “urban” features to appeal to young adults living in dense city spaces.
Again, the interest in electric motorbikes is nothing new. In 2014, the company sided with Livewire to create this electric bike prototype, which is planned for sale next summer. Harley-Davidson has also announced that they are in a new investment partnership with Alta Motors, who will also help advance the electric motorcycle production.
The Harley Davidson Electric Motorcycles Will Sell all over the World
On Monday, the company showcased five electric models, including lightweight bikes, which are planned to go on sale by 2022. The electric bicycle is planned for their new lineup as well.
One of the main goals of Harley-Davidson is to promote these new electric products to emerging global markets. There is a small motorcycle type being released in India over the next few years. Europe will see a release of a mid-size bike by 2020, and there are several different types of bikes planning to be released in China.
Classic Harley’s will Still be the Iconic Companies Focus
Simultaneously, Harley-Davidson will try to remain as the dominant force on the motorcycle marketplace with the continuous release of their classic Harleys. These bikes are full-size cruisers that still make up the majority of the company’s sales every year.
Unfortunately, the motorcycle market has gone a little bit downward over the past few years, and Harley-Davidson is suffering for it more than anyone. In 2017, overall sales for the company dipped by 6.7%, coming in at a huge loss. That decline is predicted to grow even larger during 2018, with even more sales lost.
It’s becoming more and more clear that the efforts to switch to the electric bicycle over the next few years are being made in order to save Harley-Davidson from going under. Many different vehicle and transportation companies are adopting electric technology, and Harley is quick to get on board. While a lot of this technology is still in its infancy, it’s important to firms get on the trend now while it is starting to take off.
Will Long Time Consumers Embrace Electric Motorcycles?
Some company reps are worried that people will be turned off by electric motorcycles. After all, one of the most popular things about riding a Harley comes from hearing the loud exhaust and unmistakable roar. The company tried to combat this issue with the Livewire bike by integrating artificial motor sounds, but it wasn’t enough to do the trick.
Some smaller companies, such as Zero Motorcycles, have found ways to be successful in building and selling electric motorbikes. The Zero DS ZF6.5 is nothing to laugh at. It offers a lot of torque, power, and smoothness. It feels like you are riding a machine of the future, it’s that streamlined.
Hopefully, Harley-Davidson will find some way to improve upon this concept by creating an electric motorcycle that can replicate the classic experience. If they do, their future will be bright.