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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Is Norton Planning an Electric Motorcycle?

A very interesting piece of news almost passed unnoticed, but we're glad we didn't skip through Norton's latest press release. Among all the blabber about development using government grants, we also read a most interesting "new green motorcycle" part.

Now, in the absence of further information, this remains only a supposition based on the official Norton declaration, but we hope you'll agree with us in saying that we have all the reasons in the world to assume that "green" stands for "electric".

Some say that Norton is only trying to up their game and develop a better performing, more efficient engine for a future generation of bikes that are more up-to-date, and possibly cheaper. However, each time we hear manufacturers speaking about such plans, the term was "greener," right?

Norton receives £7.5 million for development, creating jobs and that "green motorcycle"
The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited the Norton headquarters and announced that a project worth £7.5 million (€10.65mil or $11.69 mil), aimed at helping the motorcycle manufacturer create more new jobs.

No less than four million pounds (€5.68 mil or $6.24 mil) comes from the government, through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI). Together with their 11 supply chain partners, Norton wants to do the following:

- Set up a new British Motorcycle Manufacturing Academy (BMMA) to train and supply the next generation of engineering apprentices to Norton Motorcycles and other supply chain partners;
- Build a new 10,000 sq. feet manufacturing facility; and
- Develop a new clean motorcycle engine technology in the UK which will power a new green motorcycle within 2 years.

An estimate of 159 jobs will be created at Norton, while some 600 more will become available over the next 5 years. These include around 200 engineering apprentices, a workforce prepared by Norton in order to improve and boost motorcycle manufacturing in the UK.

Norton is an iconic British brand revered around the world. We’ve worked steadfastly in the last six years to bring Norton back with an authentic British built motorcycle. Training and skills are key to our industry. Putting down a dedicated Academy for the British motorcycle industry finally gives us a sustainable future," Norton Motorcycle Chief Executive, Stuart Garner added.

No other mention of an electric bike
There was no mention about an electric bike in the press release (which you can check after the jump), and this makes us believe that Norton hasn't laid out their e-plans in a way that can be detailed in the media.

Still, an electric motorcycle from Donington Hall is not at all a mind-blowing surprise. It may arrive as a bold move, especially if Norton makes the move ahead of the other big British name in motorcycling, Triumph.

Adding a sporty electric bike to the line-up might be a solid boon for Norton, provided that the price is right. If not, there is little chance to make these bikes the nstrong-selling machines of the future. Time will tell, so stay tuned.

Source: CycleWorld
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