- American icon has seen sales of its motorcycles decline in the last four years
- The brand wants to recruit new riders including city dwellers and millenials
- New concepts were unveiled at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado last week
- The vehicles wouldn’t require a motorcycle license and can plug into the wall
Harley Davidson has unveiled two new electric bikes in the hope that the eco-friendly vehicles will save the struggling brand by appealing to a younger market.
The American motorcycle maker has seen four years of declining sales on its signature choppers, known for their noisy, gas-guzzling engines.
The two new concepts were unveiled at the X Games, a snowboarding and skiing event, in Colorado last week to recruit hipper riders to the 116-year-old brand.
Recent figures show that around 46 per cent of Harley Davidson riders are over 50 and only about 10 per cent are 30-34.
Should the vehicles come to the market, owners would not require any motorcycle license and the bike’s removable battery pack can be easily charged by plugging it into a standard wall socket at home.
The company showed two electric vehicles at the X Games; the first has the appearance of a standard scooter, and the second looks more like a mountain bike.
A Harley spokesperson said that both models ’embrace their electric powerplants’ and ‘put raw emotion into the equation of the future’ through unique designs’.
Details of their price and availability have yet to be released.
The company are said to have invested $50 million (£38mn) in electric technology as it tries to appeal to younger, more socially-conscious buyers.
Harley announced last year that their fully electric motorcycle the LiveWire would be launched this Autumn in North America and western Europe.
A prototype for the vehicle was driven by Scarlett Johansson’s character Black Widow in the 2015 Marvel blockbuster The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Details of the performance and price of the electric motorbike have also yet to be released but its original hogs can cost up to £35,000.
US sales slid 6.4 per cent in the most recent quarter, and they’re down 8.7 per cent at the halfway point of the year.
Sales in Canada fell 0.5 per cent over the past 3 months, and are down 4.9 per cent over the past six months.
The company said it sold 228,051 bikes worldwide last year, a 6.1 per cent drop compared with 2017.
Harley-Davidson has also come in for heavy criticism from US President Donald Trump.
The President criticised the company’s decision to move production of motorcycles sold in Europe overseas in order to avoid EU tariffs against American exports.
The company have also been hit by steep tariffs from the President’s ongoing trade war with China which ‘almost wiped out its profit’ for the final quarter of 2018.
Source Daily UK