Now’s the perfect time for Harley-Davidson’s upcoming electric scooter [op-ed]

Harley-Davidson has made spectacular strides in electrical automobile growth, and never only for its LiveWire electric motorcycle halo product. The corporate’s electrical scooter prototype is positioned to be a way more reasonably priced and accessible electrical two-wheeler, and right here is why it’s wanted now greater than ever.

As a lot as I like the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, especially after doing an in-depth review of it this spring, I feel we are able to all agree that its $30k price ticket retains it out of attain for many riders.

And that’s okay — it was never meant to be a big seller. Moderately, it was designed to show H-D’s capacity to construct a high-quality electrical bike. Which it did in spades.

With more affordable Harley-Davidson electric motorbikes on the best way within the subsequent two years, the innovation that went into the LiveWire is anticipated to end in several H-D electric motorbikes that common Joes such as you and me can afford.

The one which I consider is required now greater than ever is the upcoming Harley-Davidson electrical scooter.

Whereas we don’t but know the total specs of the Harley-Davidson electrical scooter, some issues are apparent.

First, it follows the electrical moped/mini-bike styling pattern that we’ve seen explode in popularity lately. In case you check out e-bikes just like the Juiced Scorpion or the Super73 line of e-bikes, you’ll see what I imply. These are enjoyable, retro-styled electrical two-wheelers that mix utility with recreation. Certain, you possibly can trip it to work or the grocery retailer, however you may also take pleasure in the cruise as nicely.

Second, the scooter is much more approachable than an enormous bike just like the LiveWire. We’re most likely taking a look at one thing like a 3-5kW motor (versus the 78kW motor in the LiveWire). Nobody is aware of but what prime velocity that may translate to, however we are able to make some guesses. On the one hand, Harley-Davidson would possibly attempt to preserve it in moped territory, which might imply a 30 mph (51 km/h) prime velocity and would preserve it authorized in lots of states with no bike license. Then again, a motor in that energy vary may simply deal with 45-50 mph (72-80 km/h) speeds, so we could possibly be taking a look at a quicker, extra succesful electrical scooter that may virtually (and safely) function on quicker roads. Or there could possibly be two variations to enchantment to 2 totally different markets.

Lastly, it’s going to be cheaper. How low-cost? I don’t know, but it surely’s not going to price $30k just like the LiveWire. I’d actually like to see H-D get it below $5,000, although I’m undecided if that’s lifelike. They’re a premium model in any case. However even at that worth, there may nonetheless be loads of purchaser’s lining up for the scooter. In case you check out corporations like ONYX or Huck Cycles, each construct a number of electrical moped fashions within the 30-60 mph (50-80 km/h) vary, and each have costs that float north of $4,250 to $4,750 after taxes and delivery. The very last thing they’ve in frequent is that they’re each drowning in demand. Huck Cycles is pretty new and but they preserve strolling their lead instances again, now reaching round three months. ONYX is working greater than three months of lead time proper now, and has been for nearly two years. They even opened a second manufacturing facility to construct bikes and nonetheless haven’t been capable of sustain with demand.

Individuals are paying $4k-$5k and ready 3+ months for ONYX (left) and Huck Cycles (proper) electrical bikes

So in case you thought folks aren’t will to pay seemingly excessive costs for quick, retro-styled electrical mopeds and minibikes, then assume once more. And even when Harley’s providing is available in with a bit increased price ticket, they’ll get pleasure from not being a brand new startup. ONYX and Huck Cycles provide warranties, however that depends on clients believing the corporate will survive lengthy sufficient to honor the guarantee. And every has a single location, which means service and assist won’t ever match watch H-D can provide with its world-wide supplier community. Oh yeah, and also you’ll really be capable of stroll in and purchase an H-D electrical scooter, presumably with no three-month wait.

So between the recognition of those bikes, the elevated accessibility and draw for individuals who wouldn’t usually contemplate themselves “bike folks” and the truth that People are proving they’ll pay excessive costs for these bikes, the H-D electrical scooter appears to have a really fertile market alternative forward of it.

harley-davidson scooter

Upcoming H-D electrical path bike (left) and H-D electrical scooter (proper)

And that’s earlier than you contemplate the COVID-19 pandemic and monetary disaster it spawned.

As Rideapart just lately reported, H-D is delaying a few of its gas-motorcycle launches attributable to disruptions from the pandemic. On prime of that, many individuals are struggling financially. A $20k bike was a a lot simpler promote 4 months in the past. Now, assume once more.

But when somebody who was on the lookout for an city motorcycle now desires to avoid wasting money, a automobile just like the H-D electrical scooter would possibly simply be excellent. It’s actually going to be inexpensive than plenty of bigger fuel bikes (although admittedly gained’t have the vary, velocity, or utility of these bikes). For city commuters, although, it could possibly be a way more wise buy than an enormous gas-powered bike. Electrical bikes price pennies per thirty days to function. Insurance coverage is normally cheaper and typically not even required, relying on the state and the moped vs bike classification.

With clients tightening their belts and on the lookout for extra reasonably priced methods to get round, a majority of these electrical scooters could be a nice answer.

Projected timeline for H-D’s electrical motorcycle line

So when is the Harley-Davidson electrical scooter coming? Nobody is aware of. To be trustworthy, I’m undecided the corporate even is aware of proper now. H-D had projected the scooter’s launch to be in both 2021 or 2022, however that was earlier than the world went by way of a mini-meltdown. Whereas I actually hope this isn’t the case, I don’t assume we might be shocked if that timeline will get pushed again.

But when any Harley-Davidson execs are studying, I hope they’ll take heed to me on this. I feel the H-D scooter’s timeline must be accelerated. In case you guys can benefit from the market’s want proper now and land this scooter efficiently, this could possibly be the start of a brand new chapter for H-D and an opportunity to considerably widen the H-D goal market. I’m a younger, city commuter — precisely the kind of buyer you should be profitable over — and I’d trip the hell out of this factor.

So in case you’re listening Milwaukee, let’s make it occur.

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