Harley-Davidson is taking a bold step into the future with an investment into Alta Motors, says Asphalt
Alta Motors doesn’t have a high profile in Canada, but the California-based electric motorcycle manufacturer has been slowly building momentum in the US market for many years. Originally founded as BRD, Alta’s original goal was to build an electric motorcycle with performance equivalent to a 250 cc four-stroke MX bike. That machine, the Redshift MX, has performed well in testing and in competition, and now Alta has just released a higher-spec version.
Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson has been working on its own plans for an electric motorcycle for several years, with the Livewire prototype revealed in 2014, making the rounds at dealerships for demo rides after that. But when Mission Motors, who supplied components for the bike, went out of business in 2015, the conjecture was the Livewire project might have shorted out. But, Harley-Davidson kept promising an electric bike was coming, despite the naysayers, and now we know the plan to keep that promise.
With Alta’s help, Harley-Davidson should be able to make its goal of having an electric motorcycle by 2020. In fact, the current deal supposedly sees Alta and Harley-Davidson working together on two bikes, which will be sold under the Harley-Davidson name.
That’s a huge benefit for Harley-Davidson, but expect Alta to make out well in this arrangement, too, with more capital to spend and access to Harley-Davidson’s purchasing power, as well as exposure in Harley-Davidson’s globe-spanning dealership network.