Harley-Davidson (HD) showcased its electric Project LiveWire motorcycle in 2014, and the manufacturer plans to take things to the next level.
America's kings of the road, Harley-Davidson, is ready to expand its chrome and V-twin engines with an all-electric bike by 2021.
Sean Cummings, the senior vice president of HD, recently told the Milwaukee Business Journal that his company will roll out an all-electric motorcycle on the road within five years.
The motorcycle company dabbled into the electric vehicle area in 2014, when it introduced a fleet of 40 electric prototypes in North America and Europe to gauge the public's reaction. The bikes, dubbed LiveWire, were not intended for commercial use or for entering mass scale production.
However, the mere existence of the prototypes shows how determined HD is to tap into the growing market of electric-vehicle owners. The customers' feedback has inspired the company to keep going, and Cummings' affirmation shows that further steps are being taken to turn the prototypes into reality for the masses.
The LiveWire captured the public attention and elicited enthusiasm, as it was able to go from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds. The bike offered a top speed of about 100 miles per hour and a 55-mile range in cruise mode, with a predictable shorter range of 33 miles in high-performance mode). Where the prototype could see improvements is in the autonomy sector, which currently faces limitations. LiveWire's battery required a 3.5-hour charging time, which is kind of discouraging for those planning to feel the true two-wheel freedom.
One reason why Harley abstained from going electric sooner was the improper battery technology. Although its experimental models reached 55 miles of range, the manufacturer aims to provide at least double the distance for its mass series. In order to obtain the extra range, HD is working on developing better power sources. Keep in mind that designing and crafting an electric battery for a motorcycle is much more challenging than it is for carmakers. This is because, apart from energy density improvements, motorcycles have limited room to deploy the power source.
It is likely that Harley will use the next period to develop an improved powertrain that offers superior range and quicker charging.
The HD executive did not give additional details about the upcoming design choices, specs or target demographic of the green Harley. However, keep in mind that in 2013, the average age of the motorcycle company's client was 48 years old.