The iconic motorcycle maker is partnering with California-based EV firm Alta Motors to release its first electric motorcycle in 2019. The company was recently forced to close its Kansas City, Missouri plant amidst dwindling shipments
MILWAUKEE—Harley-Davidson Inc. says it will collaborate with Alta Motors on the motorcycle maker’s plans for an electric bike.
The Milwaukee-based company said Thursday that it has made an equity investment in Alta Motors, an innovator in lightweight electric vehicles. Harley-Davidson wasn’t specific on the investment.
The company has previously said it’s committed to aggressively investing in electric vehicle technology and has announced the planned release of its first electric motorcycle in 2019.
Alta Motors’ manufacturing operation is headquartered in Brisbane, California.
“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.
Earlier this year the maker of some of the world’s most iconic motorcycles closed its Kansas City, Missouri plant in the face of dwindling shipments.
The firm reported a 7.9 per cent drop to 241,498 motorcycle shipments in 2017 and expects the figure to continue dropping.
Harley-Davidson says it wants to attract new costumers by offering a new and novel experience, an electric motorcycle with no gears or clutch.
“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,” said Levatich.
Alta Motors Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Marc Fenigstein, expressed his excitement: “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.”