Harley – Davidson goes electric

Agents of Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
March 8, 2018
Cape Town's main water supply from the Theewaterskloof dam outside Grabouw, Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. A harsh drought may force South Africa's showcase city of Cape Town to turn off most of its taps, as the day that the city runs out of water, ominously known as "Day Zero", moves ever closer for the nearly 4 million residents.(AP Photo)
Water security around the world
March 15, 2018
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This might disappoint petrol heads but for anyone after clean energy, this is remarkable. Harley – Davidson, America’s well-known legacy motorcycle manufacturing, and distribution company are going to produce electric motorcycles. This electric motorcycle will enter the market in 2019.

Harley – Davidson enthusiasts will say that there is a special feeling you get when on this bike. Even for other motorcycles brands – Ducati, Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, and KTM – the joy of riding these bikes comes from the sound and feel of the internal combustion engine. Therefore, making an electric bike for this brands will come at a huge cost on ways to persuade their customer to accept such a product. If the company will be able to make an electric motorcycle that sounds as good as it looks and feels, this will be a plus, not only for the company but the environment.

As we seek to plan our businesses and even lives to align with the Sustainable Development Goals, this move by Harley – Davidson will possibly inspire and drive other major motorcycle manufacturing companies to do the same. Zero Motorcycles, a manufacturing industry that solely produces electric bikes, has found early achievement in this niche. The company has a Zero SR with 75 horsepower, a 135-mile range, going for $10K. Climate change is a global problem and targets have been clearly outlined in SDG 13 (Climate Action) to combat and mitigate its effects. By now, you know very well most motorcycles use fossil fuel (gas and oil). Fossil fuel is among the leading cause of climate change. Getting alternatives to fossil fuels such as manufacturing electric motor vehicles will aid in mitigating climate change.

We also need to be aware of what we consume and produce. As the human population continues to grow, the demand for our needs and wants continue to increase. The environment can only accommodate what is good, what we need and not what we all essentially want. In essence, if you want to make an impact in the world, in your country, it can be done by changing our habits, by aligning our lives to meet the targets under SDG 12- Responsible Consumption and Production.

The new electric bike under Harley Davidson will be a well-researched and developed version of the Project LiveWire prototype electric motorcycle that was rolled out in 2014 by the same company. This version was able to produce an artificial sound that whined as the riders cracked the throttle. However, this was not able to bring in the same thrill as normal fuel consuming motorcycle. The bike was able to go from not (0) to 60 mph (96kph) in under four seconds. This was well in but limited to 55 miles (88.5 kilometres) of range.

For companies such as California’s Alta Motors and Zero Motorcycles, and Italy’s Energica, they bring in a futuristic type of motorcycle motoring. Personally, I’m thrilled by the idea of electric motorcycles. If you have ever played Extreme G Racing on PlayStation or watched Captain America, and the Avengers movies where Scarlett Johannson’s (Black Widow) rides a zero-emissions electric bike, then you already have a view of how an electric bike will look like. Electric motorcycles basically have no gears hence you can ride one without having to think about changing gears as in Traditional bikes.

Whether the investment in electric vehicle (EV) technology by Harley-Davidson in alliance with Alta Motors will be able to go long distances off-road, we will get to find out in 2019. This version is targeted towards very different buyer groups: millennials who are today buying bikes as the easiest, stress-free, freedom related mode of transport, environment warriors and travellers with a different goal – the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders.

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Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui is a believer in all things beautiful. A believer in spreading information in regards to environmental awareness. A believer in sharing all that is good in Kenya's natural world. A believer in speaking truth with no boundaries. Do you have a story, photo, experience or message you need to share? Send your work to vicki@nyikasilika.org or vickiwangui26@gmail.com.

1 Comment

  1. […] motorcycle manufacturers to join the EV movement. Last year, the popular American motorcycle brand, Harley-Davidson, announced the production of their first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, which will be launched in August of […]

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