Yes, Harley-Davidson's Electric Motorcycle is On the Way
Harley has already confirmed its e-bike will be built more than once, but yesterday’s further confirmation following H-D’s Q4/2017 results seems to have resparked interest in Project Livewire.
H-D Senior VP Sean Cummings told the Milwaukee Business Journal that H-D would release an electric bike within five years back in June of 2016. Bill Davidson, great grandson of H-D co-founder William A Davidson and vice-president of the Harley Museum, admitted as much to Australia’s The Drive last May. And CEO Matt Levatich told the Wall Street Journal, way back in 2015, that the e-bike would release no later than 2020 – not to mention confirming it again in this interview with The Street last February.
Yesterday, Levatich got slightly more specific in a statement released as part of Harley’s 4Q/2017 results:
“Harley-Davidson remains fully committed to investing in product development to inspire new riders through redefining its product in traditional spaces and expanding into new spaces. The company is on target to launch its first electric motorcycle within 18 months. Today, the company announces it will invest more aggressively to lead in the application of electric motorcycle technology to inspire ridership among a new audience.
“The EV motorcycle market is in its infancy today, but we believe premium Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles will help drive excitement and participation in the sport globally. As we expand our EV capabilities and commitment, we get even more excited about the role electric motorcycles will play in growing our business.
“You’ve heard us talk about Project LiveWire. LiveWire is an exhilarating, no excuses, electric Harley-Davidson. Over 12,000 riders told us so through the demo rides we provided around the world and it’s an active project we’re preparing to bring to market within 18 months. This morning, we announced we’ll invest more aggressively in our effort to lead in the application of electric technology in premium motorcycles to inspire ridership among new audiences.
“The more we grow our experience and capability with EV, the more excited we become about the role it will play in growing business, about the additional and region impact electric Harley-Davidson motorcycles will bring as an element of our product portfolio.
We expect our increased commitment and investment in EV to help accelerate the development of this market and assure we are the world leader in the electrification motorcycles, along with our continued leadership in premium, classic, custom and touring motorcycles.”
Will Harley’s e-bike overcome the challenges other electric bikes haven’t quite – ie., cost and range? Looks like we’ll find out sooner rather than later.
Our Harley press relations person, Jennifer Hoyer, adds: “We brought the LiveWire out as a prototype to get impressions of that motorcycle, and we said we’re going to take that feedback and come out with a no-compromises electric motorcycle. We’ve taken the feedback and expect the bike to be everything a Harley-Davidson motorcycle should be – a premium motorcycle experience. From our commitment and investment in EV, we intend to be a world leader in electric motorcycles. We expect to reach a new audience with that motorcycle.”
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