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Harley’s electric motorcycle division to go public via $1.7 billion SPAC deal

By General Posts

from https://www.cnbc.com/

Key Points :

  • Harley-Davidson’s electric-motorcycle division will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal valued at $1.77 billion, the company said on Monday.
  • The company launched LiveWire earlier this year, hoping to claw back lost market share as its core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity fades.
  • Harley-Davidson will retain a 74% stake in the company, which is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW.”

Harley-Davidson’s electric-motorcycle division will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal valued at $1.77 billion, the company said on Monday, as the 118-year old brand bets on younger customers to boost volumes.

The company launched LiveWire earlier this year, hoping to claw back lost market share as its core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity fades.

A broader awareness about climate change is also paving the way for automakers to lean towards greener vehicles. Valuations have gained as money managers are also increasingly factoring in ESG policies in their investments.

Harley is the latest to cash in on an uptick in valuations of electric-vehicle makers. Last month, Amazon-backed EV maker Rivian shot past $100 billion in valuation in its market debut, surpassing Ford and General Motors.

“If anything this underlines what we’ve been saying for a long time. Detroit, wake up! The train has left the station! EVs are inevitable,” Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said.

“Many traditional OEMs (Original equipment manufacturers) with emerging EV businesses can obviously do similar spinoff transactions,” Irwin added.

Harley’s shares rose 11.3% in premarket trading, while those of AEA-Bridges were up 3.4%.

Jochen Zeitz, Harley’s chief executive, will be the chairman of LiveWire for up to two years following the completion of the deal. In an investor presentation, LiveWire projected units sales volume of 100,961 electric bikes by 2026.

Harley-Davidson will retain a 74% stake in the company, which is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW.” ABIC’s shareholders will own about 17%.

Lon Nordbye Joins Electrify Expo

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Lon Nordbye brings two decades of leadership experience

Lon Nordbye Joins Electrify Expo as Business Development and Sponsorship Executive

(Sioux Falls, SD December 9, 2021) Lon Nordbye has joined Electrify Expo, North America’s largest Electric Vehicle Festival to lead Business Development and Sponsorship efforts. A recent recipient of ‘Expo of The Year’ honors at the 2021 IMPACT Conference, Electrify Expo is focused on scaling the experiential platform, and this appointment highlights the commitment to achieve that.

Nordbye brings two decades of leadership experience in business development and integrated marketing to the Electrify Expo executive team. Lon Nordbye most recently served as VP of Strategy & Commercial Development at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip where he played a significant role in developing some of the rally’s most successful promotions, events, and brand partnerships.

“Our team is excited for Lon to join the company and know he will make immediate contributions that will benefit our partners and fans,” said BJ Birtwell, Founder and Executive Producer of Electrify Expo.

In his new role with Electrify Expo, Nordbye will lead development of Electrify’s e-motorcycle, e-bike, e-scooter, e-skate, and e-surf lifestyle categories. He will also oversee larger scale activations with national, non-endemic brands looking to reach the e-mobility consumer.

“BJ, Jeff and their dynamic team have not only pioneered how consumers engage and interact with e-mobility, they’re pushing the industry, culture and lifestyle of electric mobility forward,” said Nordbye. “I couldn’t be more excited to join an enterprising team and get immersed into the day-to-day work to achieve the high expectations we have for Electrify as well as ourselves.”

Electrify Expo is a weekend festival that takes place multiple times per year featuring the world’s leading brands in e-mobility. Consumers get the opportunity to demo and drive the best electric vehicles the industry has to offer as well as engage with interactive brand displays, enjoy live music and more.

2021 took Electrify Expo to Southern California, Miami, and Austin. 2022 will add additional events in hot e-mobility markets.

Companies interested can learn more by visiting: https://www.electrifyexpo.com/exhibits-press#Exhibitors

About Electrify Expo:

Attend North America’s largest Electric Vehicle event! Fun for all ages, Electrify Expo is a weekend festival that gathers the World’s top EV manufacturers all in one place!

Come see your favorite electric car, motorcycle, bike, scooter, skateboard, surfboard, e-foil and other electric mobility brands as they show off their latest products and technology. Visit their interactive displays, talk with EV experts, and BEST OF ALL, take a free test drive on one of our thrilling demo courses. Kids, have fun on the latest stability bikes or play in the Kids Zone!

With over 500,000 square feet of exhibit and festival space, Electrify Expo is a full day of electrified fun mixed with great food, drinks, music and more. Yes, this is an e-mobility party and everyone is invited!

Political Agendas on Electrical Vehicles Charge Up Emotions

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by Colby Martin from SEMA Action Network (SAN) at https://www.semasan.com

GROUNDING THE “EV” BUZZ

Political Agendas Surrounding Automobiles Charge Up Strong Emotions

The impending arrival of electric cars and trucks has caused quite a stir. Sure, everyone shares the well-intentioned notion of a healthier environment. But constant announcements about the potential phasing out of new gas-powered vehicles have enthusiasts worried about the future of the hobby. Thanks in part to a 24-hour news-cycle, the automotive-minded are forced to ponder this great unknown with greater frequency. With the topic weighing heavier on many minds, the question arises: what’s to become of the tailpipe—and when? Clearly there are crossed wires needing to be untangled.

Acronym Soup

First, we must understand the common lingo used in automotive discussions. The gasoline-sipping internal combustion engine (ICE) has long been the motivator of choice. However, the low- and zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) categories have emerged and made significant improvements in recent years. There are several different models of these cars and trucks such as electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids, and those running on hydrogen fuel-cells. With such competition, it may seem like traditional rides could have a tougher existence in a yet-uncertain future of alternative powerplants.

Government Directives

The latest update in the automotive world came from the nation’s top office: the Biden Administration. President Joe Biden signed the “Executive Order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks” in August. In short, the measure calls for 50% of all sales of new cars and light trucks in the US be ZEV by the year 2030. “It is the policy of my Administration to advance these objectives in order to improve our economy and public health, boost energy security, secure consumer savings, advance environmental justice, and address the climate crisis,” said President Biden.

Biden’s action was preceded by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s controversial notice last year. That order instructed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to draft regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state be zero-emissions by 2035. Once drafted, CARB’s proposed regulations will be subject to a lengthy regulatory process, including legal, economic, and environmental analyses, public comment, and hearings. The Governor’s order is also expected to face numerous legal challenges from opponents.

Cause for Concern?

The concern surrounding EVs is understandable, but premature. Many of the proposed rules and legal mandates are far more symbolic in nature. For example, President Biden’s actions were merely issued as an Executive Order, meaning it is not a federal law and has no binding authority. In fact, the following disclaimer is included at the end of the Order:

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Directives like President Biden’s also tend to be highly aspirational with ambitious time frames for implementation. For example, many of the President’s proposed benchmarks extend beyond his time in office, giving him little say on the final product.

Realities: Supply vs. Demand

Perhaps the most direct impact to personal transportation will come from the automakers themselves. The evolving market is already experiencing highs and lows. While seeking to boost ZEV sales, major brands have been subject to factors beyond their control. Supply chain shortages and logistical issues have impeded production schedules, causing delays, and price surges. Additionally, massive investment of resources will be required for materials and retooling throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Many fundamental issues need to be resolved before any major shift to “clean” vehicles is feasible. Most importantly, more than 281 million rides share US roads—a small fraction of which are EVs. Such a massive fleet won’t be replaced anytime soon. Of course, the lion’s share are newer vehicles, which often have a life spanning a decade or longer. Also, the urge to trade-in for an electric model decreases without widespread options for “refueling.” Charging woes include long recharging time, charger availability, and standardization of hardware between brand offerings. Additionally, the U.S. electrical grid can hardly handle its current strain—let alone an entire nation needing to recharge at home or on-the-go. At this point, clear solutions appear far from sight.

Informed & Involved

Although the future of EV adoption remains to be seen, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) believes a balance can be achieved and has made this fight a top priority. Our community’s rich history of innovation should be celebrated as it continues evolving with emerging technologies. As always, the SAN opposes proposed efforts to ban the ICE and other such mandates impacting vehicles of all kinds—vintage collectibles and their fuel supply included.

With the ever-growing voice of advocates from our hobby, politicians are increasingly aware of how many passionate voters are paying attention to their actions. SAN contacts like you will receive details direct to inboxes as opportunities to act arise—stay tuned for further updates.

Meantime, please spread the word to get others involved in the good fight: CLICK semaSAN.com/Join

–IGNITED WE STAND!

About SAN: https://www.semasan.com/about

EDITOR’s NOTE:
“Here’s the wildest truth. Climate Alarmism or Climate Doom IS misinformation. Oops.” –Bandit

In 1917 Henderson Motorcycle breaks Indian Twin Motorcycle record

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The Henderson Motorcycle travelled from Los Angeles to New York City.

The Henderson suffered just one flat tire, went through three sets of Champion spark plugs and used three Duckworth chains.

On August 26, in 1917, Alan Bedell left Los Angeles, California on his Henderson motorcycle arriving in New York City (3,296 miles) in seven days, sixteen hours and fifteen minutes later, breaking the record set by “Cannonball” Baker on an Indian Twin.

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Ducati Multistrada V4 Outshines Competition at Alpen-Masters Contest

By General Posts

by Benny Kirk from https://www.autoevolution.com

Engineers and designers from Ducati must be riding high lately as their Multistrada V4 S took an overall victory in its class at the Alpen Masters competition, winning over a slew of competition from different manufacturers.

For those unfamiliar with Alpen Masters, it is an annual competition sanctioned by Motorrad, a German motoring magazine. In this comparison motorbikes for a wide range of segments gather to be put through a rigorous and demanding series of tests to determine which bike is the best manufactured that year.

This year’s test came from the Grossglockner Pass, one of the most famous alpine passes in the world, especially for motorcycles. These tests range from the mundane, like basic acceleration, braking, and handling tests, but also a couple of challenges meant to see what the bikes tested can do under adverse conditions.

The Multistrada V4’s clever new 1,158 cc (1.1 liter) V4 engine performed admirably throughout the battery of tests presented. The engine was lauded for its smooth power delivery and efficient operation under adverse load conditions. As was the in-house developed six-speed quick shift gearbox.

The engine elasticity test, for example, monitors a bike’s acceleration from 25kph (15.5 miles per hour) to 75 kph (46 miles per hour) going up a steep incline with a passenger on board. Against strong competition from brands like BMW, Kawasaki, KTM, and even another bike from Ducati, the Monster.

The Multistrada V4 performed better than all other competitions and placing first overall. It marked the first time such a competition was won by a manufacturer based outside of Germany or Austria.

Ducati announced in May of this year that the Multistrada V4 family has already sold 5,000 units worldwide. If it continues to win high-profile comparisons like the Alpen Masters, that publicity is sure to skyrocket even more.

PRESS RELEASE:

Every year, the prestigious German magazine Motorrad organises the Alpen-Masters, an important comparative test in which motorbikes from various segments compete against each other on the backdrop of the Alpine mountains, undergoing various tests. These include classic challenges such as acceleration, but also the engine elasticity test, which measures how quickly a motorbike in second gear can go from 25 km/h to 75 km/h with a passenger on board while riding up a steep incline, as well as a series of other components such as comfort level, aerodynamic protection and technical equipment. Over the years, the Alpen-Masters has become one of the most prestigious comparative tests in the world, and in 2021 the Ducati Multistrada V4 S came out on top.

Since its presentation in the first episode of the Ducati World Première 2021, the Multistrada V4 family immediately aroused extraordinary interest, being the logical evolution of a successful bike such as the 1200/1260 series, but with new features that immediately made it one of the references in the sector of the so-called Big Duals, i.e. bikes with a strong touring character, but also capable of off-road riding.

The setting for this year’s Alpen-Masters was the GrossGlockner, one of the most famous Alpine passes, especially for motorcyclists. Much appreciated both for the variety of the route and the impeccable condition of the asphalt surface, it remains one of the best roads to test and evaluate the qualities of a motorbike. Here the Multistrada V4 S was found to be very ready and was judged the best bike of the lot with the following motivation: “Mission accomplished. Bologna will be happy, as they have worked so hard to achieve this result. The Multistrada V4 is an excellent touring-enduro. Equipped to the max, it is a tireless companion both for daily commuting and for fully loaded motorcycling holidays. And you can even imagine yourself with it doing a few rounds on the track without being out of place. It was a narrow but well-deserved victory”.

For the record, the new Ducati Monster was also present at the test, where it performed well, finishing in the Top 5. The Multistrada V4 S joins a long list of successes that in previous editions had gone to only German and Austrian bikes, and this recognition is even more important precisely because it was issued by a German-language magazine. This comparative test is also published by other European magazines, including the Italian In Moto.

The Alpen-Masters is just the latest of the awards obtained by the Multistrada V4, which has been able to impose itself in various comparative tests all over the world, confirming the absolute value of the product and proposing itself as a complete bike at 360°.

Storied Jaguar grew from motorcycle sidecars

By General Posts

by Bill Vance from https://www.timescolonist.com

The Jaguar company grew from humble roots planted in 1922. It began when two young motorcycle enthusiasts named William Walmsley and William Lyons formed the Swallow Sidecar Co. to produce stylish aluminum-clad, zeppelin-shaped motorcycle sidecars in a small shop in Blackpool, England.

The Swallow sidecar became a popular product and in a few years as their skills grew they progressed to producing stylish open and closed bodies for cars like tiny Austin Sevens, and later for Standards, Swifts, Morrises and Wolseleys.

They relocated to Coventry in 1928 and renamed their enterprise Swallow Coachbuilding Co. to reflect its venture into manufacturing cars. It would become S.S. Cars Ltd in 1934, and after the Second World War became Jaguar Cars Ltd.

When Swallow Coachbuilding Co. started building its own SS badged cars it used Standard Motor Co. chassis and engines. They were rakish machines emphasizing imaginative styling and low-slung lines.

The first SS I introduced in 1931 based on the Standard 16 was a signal that S.S. Cars was on its way as an automobile manufacturer. The SS 1 had Standard’s 2-litre, side-valve six, the beginning of the company’s preference for six cylinder engines.

The SS I had dramatic styling with a long louvered hood, front cycle fenders, Rudge-Whitworth centre-lock wire wheels, rear-mounted continental spare tire and no running boards. It was what we would now call a two-plus-two, accommodating two adults in front and two children or small passengers in the rear.

Its low profile 1,422 mm (56 in.) height was achieved by lowering the chassis and mounting the springs outside the frame rails. The engine was moved back in the chassis and the wheelbase was a little longer than the Standard model. A smaller SS II was built with a four cylinder engine.

The SS I soon became available with a larger 2.5 litre Standard six which improved performance considerably, raising top speed from 113 km/h (70 mph) to 129 km/h (80 mph).

The first car to bear the Jaguar name was the SS Jaguar produced for 1936. It came as a 1.5 or 2.5 litre model (displacements were actually 1.6 and 2.6). The 2.6 litre was Jaguar’s first venture into engine design, although it was still manufactured by Standard Motor Co.

The new six was based on Standard’s side-valve engine converted to overhead valves. Horsepower was 102, enough for a top speed beyond 145 km/h (90 mph). It had a seven-bearing crankshaft, light alloy connecting rods, aluminum pistons and two S.U. carburettors.

A vertical- bar grille and long flowing fenders made the SS Jaguar a handsome car in the classic 1930s genre, one so aesthetically pure it would always have its special appeal. Following the Second World War its spiritual theme would be carried on by the stunning modern Lyons-designed envelope type body of the Jaguar XK120.

The most famous of the 1930s Jaguars was the SS100 roadster which came initially with the 2.5 litre six but in 1938 was fitted with a 3.5 litre. The rakish styling was complemented by this robust engine rated at 125 horsepower. It gave excellent performance, with contemporary road tests listing top speed as over 161 km/h (100 mph). An Autocar test reported outstanding zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration of 10.4 seconds.

Although the SS 100 had good top speed and pickup the handling with its solid axles and classic semi-elliptic leaf springs all around left something to be desired. In spite of this, skilled enthusiastic drivers were able to show good results in competition.

Those pre-Second World Two Jaguars and SS cars were style leaders that always looked more expensive than they were. Their bold, imaginative lines had come a long way from motorcycle side cars to evolve into the verve and panache of the mighty Jaguars.

Following the war Jaguar continued its chronicle of storied cars with such outstanding models as the XK Series, E-Type sports cars, C- and D-Type Le Mans winning racers and the beautiful Mark V11, Mark II and later sedans.

It produced many of these while it was still an independent company. In the 1960s Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corp., which became British Motor Holdings, and then British Leyland Motor Corp. which was nationalized in 1975.

Jaguar finally broke away from this nationalized bureaucracy to become independent again in 1984. Its ownership journey was not complete, however, and Jaguar was purchased by the Ford Motor Co. in 1989 and made a member of Ford’s Premium Automotive Group. But even that wasn’t the end.

In 2008 in an ironic twist of British Empire fate, Jaguar was purchased by India’s Tata Motors. Thankfully Chairman Ratan Tata has kept his promise that Tata would not interfere with the mystique of this grand British marque.

Tesla among companies sued for complicity over child labor in Congo

By General Posts

by Matthew Lavietes from https://www.autonews.com

NEW YORK — Five of the world’s largest tech companies, including electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc., have been accused of being complicit in the death of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo forced to mine cobalt, a metal used to make telephones and computers, in a landmark lawsuit.

The legal complaint on behalf of 14 families from Congo was filed on Sunday by International Rights Advocates, a U.S.-based human rights non-profit, against Tesla, Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Dell Technologies Inc..

The companies were part of a system of forced labor that the families claimed led to the death and serious injury of their children, it said.

It marked the first time the tech industry jointly has faced legal action over the source of its cobalt.

Images in the court documents, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, showed children with disfigured or missing limbs.

Six of the 14 children in the case were killed in tunnel collapses, and the others suffered life-altering injuries, including paralysis, it said.

“These companies — the richest companies in the world, these fancy gadget-making companies — have allowed children to be maimed and killed to get their cheap cobalt,” Terrence Collingsworth, an attorney representing the families, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Cobalt is essential in making rechargeable lithium batteries used in millions of products sold by the tech industry.

More than half of the world’s cobalt is produced in Congo.

Global demand for the metal is expected to increase at 7 percent to 13 percent annually over the next decade, according to a 2018 study by the European Commission.

The lawsuit said the children, some as young as 6 years old, were forced by their families’ extreme poverty to leave school and work in cobalt mining owned by the British mining company Glencore. Glencore has previously been accused of using child labor.

Some children were paid as little as $1.50 per day, working 6 days a week, it said.

In response to a request for comment, Dell said in an email that it has “never knowingly sourced operations” using child labor and has launched an investigation into the allegations.

A spokesperson for Glencore said: “Glencore notes the allegations contained in a U.S. lawsuit filed on 15th December 2019.

“Glencore’s production of cobalt in the DRC is a by-product of our industrial copper production. Glencore’s operations in the DRC do not purchase or process any artisanally mined ore.

“Glencore does not tolerate any form of child, forced, or compulsory labor.”

Tesla, Apple, Google, Microsoft did not immediately respond for comment.

The legal complaint argued that the companies all have the ability to overhaul their cobalt supply chains to ensure safer conditions.

“I’ve never encountered or documented a more severe asymmetry in the allocation of income between the top of the supply chain and the bottom,” said Siddharth Kara, a researcher on modern slavery who is an expert witness in the case.

“It’s that disconnect that makes this perhaps the worst injustice of slavery and child exploitation that I’ve seen in my two decades research,” Kara said.

More than 40 million people have been estimated to be captive in modern slavery, which includes forced labor and forced marriage, according to Walk Free and the International Labour Organization.

D-Day Bikernet Weekly News for June 6, 2019

By General Posts

It Couldn’t Be Better

I’ll keep fighting for freedom and questioning authority until the end. I guess it’s my nature as just another grubby biker who loves to ride free.

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Most recently the Smoke Out and Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

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