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Harley-Davidson to build Silicon Valley R&D site to support electric bikes push

Harley-Davidson Inc. said Sept. 5 that it will build a new research and development facility in Silicon Valley to support its plans of developing a new portfolio of electric motorcycles.

The Milwaukee-based big motorcycle maker said the planned site in Northern California is slated for opening in the fourth quarter and will serve as a satellite of the Willie G. Davidson product development facility in Wauwatosa, Wis.

The site will focus on electric vehicle research and development, including battery, power electronics, and e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing. Harley-Davidson plans to expand the facility's focus in the future to a wider range of advanced technologies.

The facility is expected to employ close to 25 staff. The company said it already started hiring employees skilled in electrical, mechanical and software engineering.

Harley-Davidson unveiled its 2022 growth strategy in July, outlining its plans to launch a series of electric-powered bikes and small-engine models for the Indian market.

Marc McAllister, vice president and managing director of Harley-Davidson's international markets, told Reuters last month that the company is looking for a manufacturing and distribution partner in India to help it realize its plan.