Urban Fold

Harley-Davidson Goes Electric

The green, quieter model runs on lithium batteries and gets 100 miles per charge. The Milwaukee company hopes it will appeal to a younger, urban, environmentally-conscious demographic as it's main market has been "aging white male baby boomers."

It's not certain that Harley will market the green bike. For now, the motorcycle can be seen on the Project LiveWire™ Experience Tour.

Credit: http://project.harley-davidson.com/

"We'd like to get customer feedback," Matt Levatich, Harley's president and chief operating officer, said in an interview, adding that the product is at least two years away from being offered for sale, write James R. Hagerty and Bob Tita.

As for the Harley's trademark thundering sound, it will "sound more like a jet engine, only much quieter," said Levatich.

In addition to appealing to the younger demographic, it was the new battery technology that prompted Harley to introduce the new model. As for the generational appeal that Harley is hoping for, one analyst agreed.

James Hardiman, an analyst for Longbow Research, called the project a surprise. "It's a pretty big departure from anything they've ever done," he said, and should help Harley appeal more to a younger and more environmentally conscious crowd.

As a 'Mythbuster' post here in 2011 noted, gasoline-powered cars are greener than (conventional) motorcycles "by virtue of (their) lower pollution profile."

Interested? "'(S)elect consumers' around the country (this week) will start getting a chance to ride prototype cycles," write Hagerty and Tita. See Project LiveWire for more information. However, if it does go on sale, it wouldn't be before two years from now.

Full access to Wall Street Journal article should last through July 1.  

Full Story: Harley-Davidson Wheels Out an Electric Bike


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