Motorcycle, News

Polaris Planning an Electric Indian Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson is not the only iconic motorcycle brand that announces electric motorcycles release within 4-5 years. Soon enough, seeing an electric Indian motorcycle is going to become an everyday thing, or so it seems.

After Polaris Industries Inc. announced in January that it would wind down the operations of its Victory motorcycle brand, the status of the company’s electric motorcycle program remained unclear. That has changed.

Polaris motorcycles division president Steve Menneto recently told Reuters that the Medina, Minn.-based company is planning to roll out electric motorcycles under the company’s growing Indian brand in the next four to five years. Polaris’ current electric motorcycles are Victory bikes sold under the Empulse brand.

Polaris has had success in revitalizing Indian motorcycles since buying the vintage brand in 2011. Polaris said it is winding down Victory to allow it to focus more on Indian, which has grown its U.S. market share in what has been a relatively flat market for motorcycle sales.

The timeline stated by Menneto means that electric Indian motorcycles could hit the market around the same time as rival Harley-Davidson Inc. may introduce its LiveWire electric motorcycle to the market. Sean Cummings, senior vice president of global demand for Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson told the Milwaukee Business Journal in June 2016 that the company could launch LiveWire to the market within five years.

Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire as a prototype available for test rides all over the world in 2014 and 2015, with the caveat that the electric vehicle technology was not ready for commercial sale under the Harley brand. Although not for sale, the LiveWire was priced out at about $50,000, and had a range of 53 miles. Industry experts have settled on a price point of $15,000 and a range of at least 150 miles to make an electric bike commercially viable.

Polaris’ Menneto told Reuters that its Indian electric motorcycle is expected to have a range of up to 140 miles on a single charge. That compares with 75 miles for its Empulse motorcycles.

Read more: Milwaukee Business Journal

Photo by paulius.malinovskis