Harley investing in electric motorcycle maker Alta Motors

Companies to collaborate on EV models

Harley-Davidson debuted Project Livewire in 2014.

Harley-Davidson Inc. is making an equity investment in California-based Alta Motors to bolster its efforts to develop electric motorcycle technology, the company announced Thursday.

Harley-Davidson debuted Project Livewire in 2014.

“Alta has demonstrated innovation and expertise in EV and their objectives align closely with ours,” said Matt Levatich, Harley president and chief executive officer. “We each have strengths and capabilities that will be mutually beneficial as we work together to develop cutting-edge electric motorcycles.”

The companies did not disclose the terms of the investment.

Harley first introduced an electric vehicle prototype, called Project LiveWire, in 2014. The company said in January it would launch a production model electric motorcycle informed by LiveWire in 2019.

Alta Motors has already designed and commercialized electric motorcycles, particularly aimed at motocross riders.

“Riders are just beginning to understand the combined benefits of EV today, and our technology continues to progress,” said Marc Fenigstein, Alta Motors chief product officer and co-founder,. “We believe electric motorcycles are the future, and that American companies have an opportunity to lead that future. It’s incredibly exciting that Harley-Davidson, synonymous with motorcycle leadership, shares that vision and we’re thrilled to collaborate with them.”

Levatich said Harley believes electric vehicles will appeal to new and existing riders and “is where global mobility is headed.”

“We intend to be the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles and, at the same time, remain true to our gas and oil roots by continuing to produce a broad portfolio of motorcycles that appeal to all types of riders around the world,” Levatich said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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