Supercharged: Harley-Davidson to unveil its first electric motorcycle

Harley-Davidson will unveil its first electric motorcycle next week with President Matt Levatich saying he expects the company to become a leader in developing technology and standards for electric vehicles. Harley will show handmade demonstration models next week at an invitation-only event in New York. The company will then take several dozen riders on a 30-city tour to test drive the bikes and provide feedback.

When you think about sustainability and environmental trends, we just see that being an increasing part of the lifestyle and the requirements of riders.

Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson president

Scott Harden, the company’s vice president of global marketing, said Zero Motorcycles introduced its first full-size motorcycle in 2010 and expects to sell about 2,400 bikes this year. John Gartner, a research director for the consulting firm Navigant Research, said having large, well-funded companies get into the electric motorcycle market could give it a significant boost.

Their marketing budgets are much larger and they have dealerships set up everywhere, and so it’s much easier for companies like Ford, BMW and Honda to advertise about their electric vehicles.

John Gartner, Navigant Research