A new company, dedicated to electric bicycles has been spun out by American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson who aims to launch its first product line to the market in March 2021.
The new company which has been named Serial 1 Cycle Company, began as a project within the product development center of the motorcycle manufacturer. The name comes from ‘Serial Number One,’ the nickname for the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The new Harley-Davidson brand Serial 1 did not reveal the performance details or other specifications of its latest range of electric bicycles. The company did, however, release some photos of its first model.
The pedal assist electric bicycle business is being introduced in the midst of a booming eBicycle industry driven by rising demand in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Harley-Davidson, the global eBicycle market was valued at over $15 billion in 2019 and is expected to rise at an annual rate of more than 6 percent from 2020 to 2025.
For the motorcycle maker, which has seen its sales drop, the new business launch also comes at a crucial time.
In July, as part of an internally branded turnaround initiative dubbed “The Rewire,” Harley-Davidson cut 700 jobs from its global operations. The move followed the introduction of the company’s first production electric motorcycle, the Livewire which is an initiative that Harley-Davidson Chairman, President and CEO Jochen Zeitz first spoke about back in April.
“The formation of Serial 1 allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in this mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 to focus exclusively on the eBicycle customer and deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in freedom and adventure,” Aaron Frank, the new company’s brand director said in a statement.
With the new launch, Harley-Davidson is entering a highly crowded market. With BMW producing electric bikes and motorcycles, Audi developing electric mountain bikes, Mercedes-Benz unveiling an electric scooter, Ford acquiring e-scooter start-up Spin and Jeep recently launching a high-powered electric mountain bike, automotive brands are also getting into the action.
However, it wasn’t without its potholes, too. In May, in the midst of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ariv, the eBike brand introduced by General Motors (GM), was quietly shut down.