Harley-Davidson’s electric bike under development, launch soon
Harley-Davidson, the American motorbike creator is planning to launch its first production electric bike. It has already declared that the business is looking to invest aggressively in the development of electric motorbike technology. Harley-Davidson has said that “it will put in more aggressively to lead in the application of electric motorbike technology”. During a routine earnings call, Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said that the electric motorcycle project is very much active and will be launched within 18 months, without getting into details if this is the same motorcycle as the Project LiveWire which was showcased in 2014. “You’ve head us talk about the Project LiveWire,” Levatich said during the call. “It’s an active project we’re preparing to bring to market within 18 months.”
“The EV motorbike market is in its infancy today, but we trust premium Harley-Davidson electric motorbikes will help drive pleasure and participation in the sport internationally. As we enlarge our EV capabilities and commitment, we get even more excited about the role electric motorcycles will play in growing our business,” Levatich added. Harley-Davidson’s Project LiveWire concept was first showcased in 2014, and the company even organized test rides of the electric bike concept. A Harley-Davidson LiveWire was even used in the 2015 Hollywood film “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in a scene where Black Widow drops out of the bottom of a jet fighter astride a Harley-Davidson LiveWire. It’s a motorcycle that is still an idea and is under construction, but now Harley-Davidson seems intent on bringing it closer to a full-spec production model.
Harley-Davidson is one of the few major manufacturers to commit to a production electric motorcycle. So far, only KTM has introduced an electric version of a production model of its off-road range, though BMW Motorrad also has an electric scooter. Harley-Davidson’s Project LiveWire concept had significant contribution from San Francisco-based start-up Mission Motors. But that business has since become defunct, and it’s still not clear if Harley-Davidson is emerging the expertise for its electric range in-house or with an alliance with a new strategic partner. What is clear is that the future of Harley-Davidson may not revolve only around the tradition big v-twin engines, but will go on to include motorcycles which may not make any trademark v-twin sound at all. The announcement of the electric bikes making its way soon comes as a surprise. The company also announced that it will close down its plant in the Kansas City and strengthen the Pennsylvania plant in York. The motorcycle showcased as the Project LiveWire concept also went for several test drives, but never came into the production phase, expect this time, when the company gets into its grooves to launch the electric model soon.