Harley-Davidson LiveWire Electric Bike

Polaris Plans Electric Motorcycle To Compete With Harley's LiveWire

When Polaris announced its decision to end the Victory line of motorcycles, observers were left wondering if the fledgling electric motorcycle program would end as well.

But electric bike lovers have no fear.  Polaris motorcycles division president Steve Menneto recently told Reuters that the Medina, Minn.-based company is planning to roll out electric motorcycles under the company’s growing Indian brand in the next four to five years. Polaris' current electric motorcycles are Victory bikes sold under the Empulse brand.

The timeline stated by Menneto means that electric Indian motorcycles could hit the market around the same time as rival Harley-Davidson Inc. may introduce its LiveWire electric motorcycle to the market. Sean Cummings, senior vice president of global demand for Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG), told the Milwaukee Business Journal in June 2016 that the company could launch LiveWire to the market within five years.

Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire as a prototype available for test rides all over the world in 2014 and 2015, with the caveat that the electric vehicle technology was not ready for commercial sale under the Harley brand. Although not for sale, the LiveWire was priced out at about $50,000, and had a range of 53 miles. Industry experts have settled on a price point of $15,000 and a range of at least 150 miles to make an electric bike commercially viable.

Polaris’ Menneto told Reuters that its Indian electric motorcycle is expected to have a range of up to 140 miles on a single charge. That compares with 75 miles for its Empulse motorcycles.

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