By: Christian Okolski
Harley-Davidson is not only an iconic American motorcycle company, but the industry’s market leader in the United States. Known for their powerful, loud, and aggressively designed bikes, Harleys can be easily identified by sight and sound, appealing to a large share of the Country’s motorcycle buyers. However, Harley-Davidson may be looking to diversify its product line and appeal by revealing its prototype for an all-electric motorcycle, the LiveWire.
The LiveWire Project has ultimately brought Harley-Davidson into the realm of efficient, technologically-advanced transportation. As Tech Times reports, the new motorcycle’s all-electric powertrain delivers 74 horsepower, a top speed of 92 MPH, and a little more than 50 miles of range. Although these figures may be a bit underwhelming, the LiveWire does accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in less than 4 seconds and with a sound similar to that of a jet turbine, which is sure to pique interest. In addition, it has an aggressive, muscular design that pays homage to the company’s roots and distinct appeal.
While annual sales of electric motorcycles are only a few thousand units, small companies like Brammo, BRD Motorcycles, and Zero Motorcycles are pioneering the industry with an array of products, ranging from city bikes, to trail bikes, to high-performing superbikes. If the sales of these electric motorcycles begin to take off, just like the sales of electric cars have, Harley-Davidson will want to be on forefront of that shift and appeal to a new demographic that is buying electric motorcycles. Harley-Davidson’s all-electric bike is bound to attract the attention of younger and more socially-conscious motorcycle buyers that are interested in new technology and alternative fuel vehicles, as well as a stylish, well-performing ride.
However, with Harley-Davidson expected to sell consumer-ready version of the LiveWire in 2016, the company also has a great opportunity to bring electric motorcycles into the mainstream. By leveraging its large following of current customers, the American motorcycle giant can introduce its massive following of riders and motorcycle enthusiasts to electric bikes. Hopefully, if the 2016 production variation of the LiveWire wins the hearts and minds of this following, it may impact the industry in a large way that smaller companies and startups would not be able to.
To begin introducing its electric motorcycle to the Country, Harley-Davidson is hosting the LiveWire Project’s 2014 Tour, which started in New York City on June 24th and will reach 29 more American cities through July. Hopefully, this tour will be a successful first step to winning the hearts and minds of bikers nationwide, supporting the mainstream acceptance of and demand for electric motorcycles and zero-emissions riding.