Why Harley-Davidson’s Electric Motorcycle is a Game Changer
Harley-Davidson is the most popular American made motorcycle and the 5th best selling brand of bike. However, sales are slipping and the legendary motorcycle manufacturer will need to move into the 21st Century if it wants to stay relevant. The launch of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is an attempt to do just that, with the new machine being 100% electric powered. In a world where the likes of Tesla, BMW, and Nissan making strides in taking over the electric car market, motorcycle companies will need to embrace this emerging market. Harley-Davidson is hoping to do so in a way, which maintains the fun and excitement of the bikes of old.
Embracing Shifting Consumer Attitudes
According to a AAA survey, an increasing number of Americans want an electric vehicle. 20% now believe they are likely to purchase one in the near future, which is 3% more than in 2017. Any vehicle manufacturer should be watching these trends closely. Consumers are less concerned about price and range and accept the environment and financial benefits of ditching fossil fuels. This new Harley-Davidson appeals to consumers who like the brand, but are also eco-conscious.
It's Fast and Fun
Motorcycle enthusiasts value freedom and excitement. They want to tear down the highway and make a lot of noise as they do so. Harley-Davidson has had to work hard to ensure that the LiveWire fits this criteria. The HD-Relevation Powertrain ensures that 100% of the torque is delivered instantly to offer mind-boggling acceleration. Wider tires maintain grip, so that riders can comfortably approach the top speed of 95mph. Harley-Davidson have also created a custom sound so that the electric motor sounds closer to what you'd expect from a powerful engine.
A Long Range and Free to Recharge
With a claimed range of 140 miles on a single charge, the LiveWire is perfect for any city commute or longer road trip. This should ease the worries of anyone concerned that they will spend more time recharging the motorcycle than actually riding it. This is the first ever electric motorcycle that Harley-Davidson have released so 140 miles is a pretty good baseline range to build upon. In future, better battery technology could last for much longer.
One concern that consumers are expressing, however, is the price. At $30,000 this certainly isn't a cheap vehicle to purchase. However, there are a number of financial incentives to make the LiveWire more appealing. Firstly, Harley-Davidson are offering free charging to US customers for their first two years of ownership. That's a huge saving over a gasoline powered bike. Once the two years is up, electric power is still the cheaper option, not to mention lower insurance premiums.
The arrival into the electric market could be considered a risk for a brand with as much prestige and history as Harley-Davidson, but it is a calculated one. With sales dropping and consumer attitudes changing, riders are craving an electric bike with a focus on speed and performance. The LiveWire might just be the best option on the market that we will see for many years.