The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson announced Tuesday a bold deadline in the production of an electric motorcycle.
It comes on the same day the company announced its Kansas City plant will close, and as many as 350 people will lose their jobs.
They will produce something similar to their 2014 Livewire prototype within 18 months, the company's CEO said.
Harley would not be the first to produce an electric bike but it would be a first for the brand. Dealers are excited to see the zero-emissions bike and know that customers are excited too.
“There was a lot of buzz, there was actually people calling to buy it. Which is kind of neat to see” said Milwaukee Harley General Manager Goran Zadrima.
Milwaukee Business Journal Reporter Patrick Leary, who covers Harley for the newspaper, says with the recent reported sales declines the bike could bring in a new audience.
“Its wide appeal is what’s prompting Harley to invest in it, especially as their need to grow their ridership becomes even more and more urgent,” Leary said.
A Harley Davidson spokesperson said the company would be investing $25 to $50 million dollars in the development of the project in the next few years. There is no word on where the bike would be produced.