Harley-Davidson Unveil First Bike Which ‘Happens to be Electric’
Harley-Davidson has launched its first electric motorcycle. Named the LiveWire, the production-ready prototype made its European debut at the Milan Motorcycle Show and is set to go on sale in 2019.
Described as an “authentic Harley-Davidson expression of individuality, iconic style and performance that just happens to be electric,”, the LiveWire won’t have a trademark gas-powered sound. Instead, Harley has given it a tone that will increase in pitch and volume with speed.
Based on a 2014 concept, details on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire are pretty sparse – we don’t have any performance figures, for example – but we do know it runs on a permanent magnet electric motor and Harley has promised “incredible acceleration performance.”
Like most electric motorbikes already on the market, the LiveWire will be an automatic, ‘twist-and-go’ motorbike, very much akin to a standard scooter. It’ll run on two batteries: the main battery, composed of lithium-ion cells surrounded by a finned, cast-aluminium housing, and a small 12-volt lithium-ion battery that powers the lights, controls, and the display.
Though it certainly looks the part, unsurprisingly, the LiveWire bike isn’t really designed for the purists. Instead, Harley are looking to appeal to new riders “who have yet to even think about the thrill of riding,” according to Harley-Davidson president and CEO Matt Levatich. To encourage the switch to electric, Harley will install Level 2 public chargers at dealer locations that sell the electric bikes.
The LiveWire is part of the company’s aim to position itself as a market leader in electric vehicles. As such, Harley-Davidson will follow the LiveWire with additional models that are lighter, smaller and designed to be “even more accessible.” More LiveWire info will be available in January 2019.
One company looking to change our commuting habits is German motor company SOL MOTORS and their minimalist and lightweight Pocket Rocket.