Harley Davidson, the well-known and iconic motorcycle brand, may be making a foray into the electric vehicle market with its latest motorcycle prototype, currently named Project LiveWire. Harley Davidson made its new prototype bike fully electric, and it still accelerates like a dream, taking less than four seconds to hit 60 mph from a dead stop.
Spokespeople for Harley Davidson say that their new electric motorcycle prototype carries on the brand’s tradition of reinventing the motorcycle. Throughout the brand’s history, its innovative bikes have pushed motorcycle engineering to move forward. With their latest electric motorcycle prototype, Harley Davidson hopes to attract a new demographic of riders to its brand as well as challenge the motorcycle industry to move forward yet again.
So far, the electric motorcycle market hasn’t seen an entry from a large scale manufacturer such as Harley Davidson although Yamaha has announced plans to produce two electric models by the end of 2016. Smaller manufacturerers like Zero and Brammo have been the main producers of electric motorcycles currently on the market.
As of yet, Harley Davidson has no plans to take its fully electric motorcycle into production. According to official statements from the company, they developed their electric motorcycle prototype in order to create something more innovative than the motorcycles they typically sell. The fact that many Harley Davidson customers crave loud bikes and electric motorcycles are whisper-quiet may make it more difficult for the company to enter the electric motorcycle market.
Currently, electric motorcycles remain products for a niche market; that niche is expected to grow over the coming years. Sales of electric motorcycles currently make up less than two percent of all motorcycle sales, equaling about 5, 000 motorcycles per year. However, electric motorcycle sales are expected to grow in the coming years. The market for electric vehicles in general has shown a trend of greater demand, and more vehicle manufacturers are getting into the market as consumer demand grows.