Harley-Davidson is, perhaps, the last company you would expect to jump onto the eco-weenie bandwagon, but its unveiling of the LiveWire electric bike shows that even those with the roughest, toughest images have to follow the piper’s tune. The piper in this case is government, both state and federal, which are using their regulatory might to “nudge” vehicle makers in the direction of electrified vehicles. Driven by the pseudoscience of those who believe that the predominant gas living beings exhale (CO2) is leading to a global warm… er, climate change catastrophe, regulators are marching ever closer to mandating electric vehicles. Getting ahead of the wave places Harley in the enviable position of being seen as a responsible, “sustainable” corporation. It also gives the company a product that appeals to those well-heeled customers who: 1) feel guilty about the dubious effect their pleasure riding may have on the planet, and/or 2) want to be seen as smarter/more caring/hipper than the rest of us. Life is different in the Smug Cloud.
Starting this week, select customers will be able to ride the LiveWire and provide feedback. The 2014 tour will follow Route 66, and visit 30 Harley-Davidson dealerships through the end of the year. It will continue in 2015, and expand into Canada and Europe. You can learn more about Project LiveWire Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Project LiveWire website. — CAS