With the introduction of the LiveWire and a couple of other electric two-wheeler concepts, it’s evident that Harley-Davidson is serious about the electric future. The American manufacturer is reportedly exploring the option of entering the rental industry in the US. It is currently looking at the workings of electric vehicle rental companies like Lime and Bird. Speaking to CNN Business, Marc McAllister, vice-president of product portfolio, Harley-Davidson, opined that the e-bike rental platform is more of a commodity market place and the brand is currently looking at how it could offer a Harley-branded experience to customers in such a platform.
While further details are scant at the moment, it is interesting how far Harley has come - from making big burly V-twins to contemplating about an electric scooter rental business! The past couple of years hasn’t exactly been kind to the brand as it faced heavy competition from different manufacturers, and sticking to the traditional cruiser genre no longer working for Harley. Last year, the company revealed plans to introduce an adventure tourer, a naked motorcycle and even a small-capacity bike for markets like India.
While the company is working on providing a full-electric ecosystem for its flagship product, the LiveWire, launching an electric scooter rental business should bring in more riders to the Harley fold. However, only time will tell if this would work in the brand’s favour.
Here on our shores, the second phase of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles) project is set to commence from April onwards. The government is planning to provide a charging station every 25km on highways and is looking to set up about 2,700 charging stations across the country. So, as far as the electric infrastructure is concerned, India isn’t too far behind, and the electric movement is getting stronger by the day. Case in point is Zoomcar, a rental company that has started using Hero Electric two-wheelers for its bike rental business. We wouldn’t be surprised if Harley brings their rental service to the country in the distant future.