Harley-Davidson has announced that it has made an equity investment in San Francisco Bay area MX E-bike maker Alta Motors, “a leader and innovator in lightweight electric vehicles”.
The two companies will collaborate on electric motorcycle technology and new product development. The collaboration will “advance the application of EV motorcycle technology and expand the electric motorcycle marketplace.”
"Earlier this year, as part of our 10-year strategy, we reiterated our commitment to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders, in part by aggressively investing in electric vehicle (EV) technology," said Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich. "Alta has demonstrated innovation and expertise in EV, and their objectives align closely with ours. We each have strengths and capabilities that will be mutually beneficial as we work together to develop cutting-edge electric motorcycles."
Harley-Davidson has already announced the planned launch of its first electric motorcycle, informed by Project LiveWire. That motorcycle is on track for release in 2019.
“Since its inception, Alta Motors has designed and commercialized some of the world's most advanced electric motorcycles, enabling everyone from pro riders to new riders to experience the future of fast.
"Riders are just beginning to understand the combined benefits of EV today, and our technology continues to progress," said Alta Motors Chief Product Officer and co-founder, Marc Fenigstein. "We believe electric motorcycles are the future, and that American companies have an opportunity to lead that future. It's incredibly exciting that Harley-Davidson, synonymous with motorcycle leadership, shares that vision and we're thrilled to collaborate with them."
|Marc Fenigstein, Alta Motors Chief Product Officer and co-founder|
Harley-Davidson went on to say that “as electric-drive innovation brings new levels of ease, accessibility and control, Harley-Davidson and Alta Motors aim to attract new audiences who are inspired by motorcycles and drawn to the "twist-and-go" ease and exhilaration of an electric motorcycle with no gears or clutch.
"We believe that EV is where global mobility is headed and holds great appeal for existing riders as well as opportunity to bring new riders into the sport," said Levatich. "We intend to be the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles and, at the same time, remain true to our gas and oil roots by continuing to produce a broad portfolio of motorcycles that appeal to all types of riders around the world."
As reported elsewhere in this edition of AMD Magazine, ACEM, the Brussels based international motorcycle industry trade association for Europe, a market where E-bike acceptance and an understanding of issues such as urban mobility are at least a decade ahead of the United States, say that (for the 28-member states of the European Union) a mere 4,121 electric motorcycles were registered in the whole of 2017; plus 27,029 electric mopeds (equivalent to 50cc and smaller units, including pedelecs) and a further 3,242 electric “quadricycles”.