American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson is betting on electric motorcycles to attract the next generation of younger and more environmentally conscious motorcyclists. In this way, Harley hopes to curb the fall in sales in the United States. Indeed, baby boomers, traditional customers of the motorcycle manufacturer, are starting to be rare.
However, according to Rajesh Kumar Singh, Reuters economics specialist, there is no indication that Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle model really does not please its target clients.
“The problem lies mainly in the price,” says Singh. “The LiveWire, the Harley-Davidson electric bike, costs $ 29,799. It’s almost as much as Tesla’s Model 3. The LiveWire is targeting a market that does not really exist: that of novice, “green” and wealthy motorcyclists. ” According to interviews with US dealers, the majority of orders come from older and existing customers. Resellers claim that there is indeed an interest in LiveWire among younger customers, but most drop out when they discover the purchase price. To increase sales, some dealers expect Harley to adopt Tesla’s method: launch more affordable models after creating the buzz around the high-end model.
Harley must also compete with Zero Motorcycles, which offers electric motorcycles whose sale price is between $ 8,500 and $ 21,000. Its high-end model is similar to the LiveWire, but costs nearly $ 9,000 less. Finally, the limited scope of the LiveWire can also be a drag on sales. The bike can travel 235 kilometers in urban areas. However, for longer journeys, this range of action is considerably reduced. This makes the LiveWire less suitable for long distances.
According to James Hardiman, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, Harley is expected to sell between 400 and 1,600 copies of the LiveWire in the first year. This represents less than 1% of the company’s total sales.