January 11, 2021
| On 2 months ago

Harley-Davidson’s Electric Future in Doubt

Harley-Davidson has removed its electric concept models from the Future Vehicles page on its official website, creating doubt about whether electric bikes – including the LiveWire – remain in the company’s future. (UPDATED with response from Harley-Davidson).

The Future Vehicles page is where Harley-Davidson showcases its upcoming products. The page varies depending on the market, but until recently, the U.S. page listed the Pan America, the Serial 1 electric-assist bicycles, the High Performance Custom model, and Harley-Davidson’s electric concept models. As we were first to report last summer, the Bronx streetfighter had been taken off of this page. At some point in the last month, the electric concepts were also removed.

An archived version of the Future Vehicles page shows the electric concepts as recently as Nov. 26, 2020. Today, they are no longer listed.

As of this writing, the Electric Concepts page is still active and included on a different page for electric bikes, but it too has changed recently:

The electric scooter concept is still there but all traces of the middleweight motorcycle concept have disappeared from Harley-Davidson’s US site.

The electric scooter concept is still listed on this page but the flat-track-inspired middleweight has disappeared from the U.S. version of the site. The middleweight was also removed from the U.K. version of the page, but in several other markets such as Canada, it is still there. This may change in the next few days, as Harley-Davidson updates its website, but as of this writing, there is no longer any trace of the middleweight electric on the U.S. version of Harley-Davidson’s website.

So, what does this mean? If we consider the U.S. version to be the definitive version of Harley-Davidson’s website, these changes suggest the company may be pivoting away from its original plans for electric motorcycles. Last month, we uncovered evidence that suggested the LiveWire may be discontinued after the 2021 model year. At the time, we doubted that would happen because the electric concepts were considered to be part of the company’s future, with the LiveWire serving as the top-of-the-line halo model. Today, that may no longer be the case.

We reached out to Harley-Davidson for comment on the changes to its Future Vehicles page, and here is the response:

“As part of The Rewire, Harley-Davidson is no longer commenting on future products prior to their formal introduction. Harley-Davidson is committed to lead the electrification of motorcycles. As pioneers in the space, we are proud of the accomplishments of LiveWire to date, including achieving the #1 selling electric motorcycle in the U.S. and an extraordinary global response. We look forward to the bright future of electric motorcycles. We will be sharing more info along with our 5-year business strategy, The Hardwire, in early 2021.”

Two things jump out from Harley’s response. One: Harley-Davidson claims the LiveWire is the top-selling electric motorcycle in the U.S.; and two: Harley-Davidson says it is committed to the electrification of motorcycles. Does this mean the LiveWire remains in the company’s plans? Perhaps, but an aspirational pricey halo bike like the LiveWire is only truly effective if it draws customers to more affordable and higher volume lower-tier products. At the moment, Harley-Davidson doesn’t have that second level of electric motorcycles, and the model that was supposed to fill that role might not any longer.

An archived version of the Future Vehicles page shows the electric concepts as recently as Nov. 26, 2020. Today, they are no longer listed.more

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