Harley-Davidson has announced that the company will establish a new research and development facility in Northern California. The new R&D facility will support Harley-Davidson's future product portfolio, including the company's first complete line of electric vehicles. The new facility will initially focus on electric vehicle research and development, including battery, power electronics and e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing. The company has already started recruiting top talent in electrical, mechanical and software engineering, with experience in developing and delivering a wide variety of EV systems from design through production.
"Recently we shared with the world our accelerated plans to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally," said Matt Levatich, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc. "This new R&D facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will help us deliver on those plans and demonstrate our commitment to lead the electrification of the sport."
In July, Harley-Davidson had announced new products to expand the Harley-Davidson community through the "More roads to Harley-Davidson growth plan". Harley-Davidson will launch its first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, in 2019. The LiveWire will be the first in a portfolio of electric two-wheelers designed by the company, and will be followed by a whole family of electric motorcycles by 2022. The LiveWire will be followed by lighter, smaller and more accessible electric motorcycles to inspire new riders, the company said in a statement.
In the long term, the company says it may consider expanding the new R&D centre's focus to an increased range of advanced technologies that uniquely leverage the rich talent in the Silicon Valley and support its most comprehensive and competitive line-up of motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points, power sources and riding styles. Initially, Harley-Davidson will employ a staff of approximately 25, most of which are expected to be hired from within the Silicon Valley area.