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Harley Unveils New Electric Bikes

Harley Davidson has unveiled two new electric bikes in the hope that the eco-friendly vehicles will save the struggling brand by appealing to a younger market.

The American motorcycle maker has seen four years of declining sales on its signature choppers, known for their noisy, gas-guzzling engines.

The two new concepts were unveiled at the X Games, a snowboarding and skiing event, in Colorado last week to recruit hipper riders to the 116-year-old brand.

Recent figures show that around 46 per cent of Harley Davidson riders are over 50 and only about 10 per cent are 30-34.

Should the vehicles come to the market, owners would not require any motorcycle license and the bike’s removable battery pack can be easily charged by plugging it into a standard wall socket at home.

The company showed two electric vehicles at the X Games; the first has the appearance of a standard scooter, and the second looks more like a mountain bike.

A Harley spokesperson said that both models ’embrace their electric powerplants’ and ‘put raw emotion into the equation of the future’ through unique designs’.

Details of their price and availability have yet to be released.

The company are said to have invested $50 million (£38mn) in electric technology as it tries to appeal to younger, more socially-conscious buyers.

Harley announced last year that their fully electric motorcycle the LiveWire would be launched this Autumn in North America and western Europe.

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A prototype for the vehicle was driven by Scarlett Johansson’s character Black Widow in the 2015 Marvel blockbuster The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Details of the performance and price of the electric motorbike have also yet to be released but its original hogs can cost up to £35,000.

US sales slid 6.4 per cent in the most recent quarter, and they’re down 8.7 per cent at the halfway point of the year.

 The two new eco-friendly concept electric vehicles were unveiled at the X Games, a snowboarding and skiing event, in Colorado last week to recruit new riders to the 116-year-old brand

 The two new eco-friendly concept electric vehicles were unveiled at the X Games, a snowboarding and skiing event, in Colorado last week to recruit new riders to the 116-year-old brand

Should the vehicles come to the market, they would not require any motorcycle license and the bike's battery pack can be charged by plugging it into a wall. The company showed two vehicles, the second of which looks more like a mountain bike, pictured here

Both models 'embrace their electric powerplants' and 'put raw emotion into the equation of the future' through unique designs', according to a company spokesperson

Sales in Canada fell 0.5 per cent over the past 3 months, and are down 4.9 per cent over the past six months.

The company said it sold 228,051 bikes worldwide last year, a 6.1 per cent drop compared with 2017.

Harley-Davidson has also come in for heavy criticism from US President Donald Trump.

The President criticised the company’s decision to move production of motorcycles sold in Europe overseas in order to avoid EU tariffs against American exports.

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The company have also been hit by steep tariffs from the President’s ongoing trade war with China which ‘almost wiped out its profit’ for the final quarter of 2018.

This prototype model of Harley-Davidson's electric motorcycle, LiveWire. Harley will roll-out the electric motorcyclethis Autumn in North America and the US

The electric motorbike will launch in 2019 — some four years after a prototype for the vehicle was driven by Scarlett Johansson's character Back Widow in the 2015 Marvel blockbuster The Avengers: Age of Ultron (pictured)

WHAT IS HARLEY-DAVIDSON?

Harley-Davidson is a US firm that specialises in the manufacture of motorcycles.

It was founded in 1903 and is based in Milwaukee, US.

It is the only US motorcycle brand, along with Triumph, to survive The Great Depression.

The company is now one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers and an iconic brand widely known for its devoted following.

There are owner clubs and events worldwide as well as a company-sponsored brand-focused museum.

It has traditionally always made its bikes in the US, but has recently announced it will manufacture bikes destined for Europe outside of the states to avoid EU tariffs against American imports.

The brand has a reputation for making large engined motrocycles built for cruising comfortably at high speed.

Source: Dailymail

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