Yesterday, Harley—Davidson announced that it made an equity investment in California-based Alta Motors where both the companies will benefit from sharing ideologies and infrastructure to work co-dependently to develop the next generation of electric vehicles. For the immediate future, they will develop two new electric motorcycles branded under the Harley-Davidson name.
With this partnership going, Harley will now access Alta Motor’s cutting-edge electric vehicle technology to help them guide the onset of the electric drivetrain. For Alta, they get benefitted from the huge investments to propel new R&D and build a better dealer-supplier network, not to forget, purchasing power.
This news comes right after the Bar & Shield brand filed ‘Harley-Davidson Revelation’ trademark for its newfound electric tech that includes batteries, chargers, and motorcycle powertrains. And if you have been keeping up to date with its progress, you might find it as blasphemous as it was for me that Harley took so long for it to enter the production phase.
Luckily, the Milwaukee firm is steaming ahead with the Project LiveWire and will soon hit to production. If everything goes right, the electric bike will hit the market as soon as 18 months from now. Knowing the development times of such new technology and products, there is a Harley Davidson Electric production model undergoing its final stages of testing and homologation on a proving ground as we speak.
And with the tech prowess of Alta backing this development, both Harley and Alta will look at enticing the new wave of customers that have so far been kind of impervious to the traditional style of motorcycling. The electric way will cover a wide range of customer bases since it can be optimized with a variety of optional power packs and accessory sets that can make the bike either affordable or even high-end.
This will, however, ruffle the feathers of loyalists, but all of this is in a bid to attract a whole new generation of customers that believe in making a difference to the environment. Many other major manufacturers have gone through the same strategy to rope in new riders.
Indian Motorcycles are also making headways. Thanks to the recently acquired Brammo electric motorcycles by its parent company Polaris, Indian will make use of the R&D from this electric mobility company just like Victory Motorcycles did with its Victory Empulse TT motorcycle. Indian will basically start off from where Victory left after Polaris axed the latter.
Then there is Curtiss partnering with Zero Motorcycles to develop high powered electric motorcycles, starting from the Hercules cruiser that is set to launch on 5th May 2018. It will feature a twin-motor arrangement and a modular built chassis that will streamline production costs.
So far, the history of EVs’ has not been a fairy-tale story. But with that vast amount of experience, skill and financial resources, this could as well be one of the finest electric two-wheelers we will get to see in the coming decade. Of course, the competition is spewing up by the day, but Harley has the heritage to back it up.