Milwaukee based motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Inc. says it will open a new research and development facility in furtherance of its development of electric motorcycles. The facility will be used to support the design and development of the LiveWire line of motorcycles. Harley says that the LiveWire will begin production in about a year.
In March, Harley-Davidson announced that it had partnered with Brisbane based electric motorcycle company Alta Motors. A Harley-Davidson spokesperson was quoted as saying that the company is “looking to lease property in the Silicon Valley area,” but has “not selected a facility yet.” Hiring for the facility has already begun in anticipation of opening in the fourth quarter of 2018. A check of the Harley-Davidson careers website shows several open postings for electrical, mechanical and software engineers as well as manufacturing, program management and supply chain positions. The company said it plans to hire from the Bay Area to hire from the large pool of relevant talent.
Initial focus of the facility will be on electric vehicle research and development, battery, power electronics, e-machine design and advanced manufacturing. As the facility and capability grow, the company said it may expand its focus to an “increased range of further activities. Harley-Davidson plans to invest $25 million to $50 million annually over the next several years to develop electric motorcycle technology.
CEO and President Matt Levatich said in a statement, “Recently we shared with the world our accelerated plans to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally. 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.”