The iconic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has said it is dedicated to having electric powered motorbikes on the road within the next five years.
The company had been touting its LiveWire e-powered concept bike for years, but only within the last couple weeks has the firm committed to a timeline on production of the pioneering vehicle.
What's the reason that someone buys a Harley? Not "buys a motorcycle" - the feeling of freedom yadda yadda yadda - but "buys a Harley"?'Harley-Davidson will produce an electric motorcycle for customers within the next five years,' writes Harley Senior Vice President of Global Demand Sean Cummings in the Milwaukee Business Journal.
It's the sound.
You can get a quiet performance bike from a ton of other vendors, but Harley is about the noise. The fact that they already sell a quiet motorcycle (the V Rod) proves this rule: the V Rod is a niche bike, and a bunch of buyers make after market modifications to make the bike sound more like a Harley.
I predict this new product line will fail, not because you can only ride 50 miles before recharging (they can improve this), but because Harley customers don't want a quiet motorcycle. They can get one of those from BMW or Yamaha.
This is bad planning, bad marketing, and a bad use of development resources.