After Polaris Industries Inc. announced in January that it would wind down the operations of its Victory motorcycle brand, the status of the company’s electric motorcycle program remained unclear. That has changed.
Polaris motorcycles division president Steve Menneto recently told Reuters that the Medina, Minn.-based company is planning to roll out electric motorcycles under the company’s growing Indian brand in the next four to five years. Polaris’ current electric motorcycles are Victory bikes sold under the Empulse brand.
Polaris (NYSE: PII) has had success in revitalizing Indian motorcycles since buying the vintage brand in 2011. Polaris said it is winding down Victory to allow it to focus more on Indian, which has grown its U.S. market share in what has been a relatively flat market for motorcycle sales.
The timeline stated by Menneto means that electric Indian motorcycles could hit the market around the same time as rival Harley-Davidson Inc. may introduce its LiveWire electric motorcycle to the market. Sean Cummings, senior vice president of global demand for Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG), told the Milwaukee Business Journal in June 2016 that the company could launch LiveWire to the market within five years.
Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire as a prototype available for test rides all over the world in 2014 and 2015, with the caveat that the electric vehicle technology was not ready for commercial sale under the Harley brand. Although not for sale, the LiveWire was priced out at about $50,000, and had a range of 53 miles. Industry experts have settled on a price point of $15,000 and a range of at least 150 miles to make an electric bike commercially viable.