On 27th August 2019, Harley Davidson made a buzz in the Indian electric two-wheeler market by unveiling “LiveWire”, the company’s first electric motorcycle. The leading American motorcycle manufacturer recently celebrated a decade of operations in the Indian market. The company also launched the limited edition 2020 Street 750 with production restricted to 300 units only.MarketsandMarkets™ View Point:
Ajinkya Kulkarni, Research Associate in the Automotive & Transportation sector at MarketsandMarkets™, shares his views:
Advancements in technology and the increasing stringency of emission norms have led automotive manufacturers to develop zero-emission vehicles. India is one of the largest two-wheeler markets in the Asia Pacific region and offers a huge growth opportunity for the American motorcycle manufacturer. As transport authorities and the Indian government continue to implement stringent emission norms, the electric scooter and motorcycle market in the country is expected to witness rapid growth in the coming years. Factors such as technological advancements in batteries, enhanced driving range, low noise emission, and reduced cost of daily commuting are expected to increase the adoption of electric two-wheelers. However, for the large-scale adoption of these vehicles, the development of necessary charging infrastructure and optimum performance are the key concerns for manufacturers and suppliers.
Due to the increased production of electric two-wheelers and expansion of the charging network, the Asia Pacific region is estimated to be the largest electric scooter and motorcycle market. According to MarketsandMarkets™ analysis, the region accounts for 88.7% share, by volume, of the electric scooter and motorcycle market in 2019. The market growth in the region can be attributed to the rising demand for energy-efficient transport and several initiatives by private organizations and governments of several countries.
Unveiling LiveWire in India, Harley Davidson plans to make inroads in the premium electric two-wheeler segment in the country. The E-Motorcycle has an enhanced driving range of around 235km in the city, nearly 113km on the highway and an average cumulative range of 152km. It offers two easy ways of charging—Level 1 charge with overnight charging and Level 3 DC charge with rapid charging. In addition, the vehicle offers improved riding safety with anti-lock braking system (ABS), cornering enhanced traction control system, and rear wheel lift mitigation. The company claims acceleration from 0 to 100 kmph in merely 3 seconds and roll-on acceleration from 100 kmph to 129 kmph in 1.9 seconds. The electric powertrain does not require clutch and gear shifting. Advanced features such as Electronic Chassis Control (ECC) are expected to enhance riding experience with the synergy of electronic controls and hydraulics.
Globally, not many established two-wheeler manufacturers have entered the electric scooter and motorcycle market. Most of the companies in this space are start-ups or joint ventures. Thus, leading players can leverage untapped opportunities and expand their presence with new and innovative offerings in the electric two-wheeler segment. As these companies have well-established networks of distribution and world-class manufacturing facilities, they can capture the market rapidly. Also, leading companies can raise the bar for electric two-wheelers and offer superior technology, design, and performance. Thus, the entry of leading players is expected to boost the high-performance electric motorcycle market in the future.
The LiveWire marks Harley Davidson’s entry in the electric two-wheeler market. With the increase in disposable income and demand for high-performance electric motorcycle equipped with advanced features in the region, Harley Davidson has the stage set to create a strong presence with the launch of the LiveWire in India. As the company plans to target elite buyers, it is not likely to be impacted by domestic competition. However, as price-sensitive buyers dominate the domestic market, the high initial cost of the LiveWire might deter initial sales in India.
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