- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 19, 2014

Harley-Davidson is going green.

The famous motorcycle company will premiere next week LiveWire, its first electric motorcycle , even though there currently isn’t much demand for the product.

“We think that the trends in both EV technology and customer openness to EV products, both automotive and motorcycles, is only going to increase, and when you think about sustainability and environmental trends, we just see that being an increasing part of the lifestyle and the requirements of riders,” Harley-Davidson President Matt Levatich told the Associated Press.

If Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycles are to compete with its conventional models, then it has a large task ahead of it. The company sold 260,000 conventional motorcycles in 2013.

The electric motorcycle will be unveiled Monday in New York at an invitation-only event, although the company plans to take dozens of riders on a 30-city tour to test the product, AP reported.

“Some people may get on it thinking, ‘golf cart,’” lead engineer Jeff Richlen told AP. “And they get off thinking, ‘rocket ship.’”

The new product goes from 0 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds, but its battery life may post a problem for potential customers. It must be recharged after 130 miles, and the process can take 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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