Harley-Davidson president: Battery tech holding back LiveWire project

According to Harley-Davidson’s president, current battery technology is holding up their electric motorcycle project.

Harley-Davidson’s battery bike was first leaked last June. After its unveiling, the MoCo took the Livewire on a tour around the country, giving their faithful fans a chance to try out the electric machine for themselves to see what they thought of the tech. The popular assumption was that the bike would be announced for production in the not-too-distant future.

That’s not exactly what Harley-Davidson president/COO Matt Levatich told the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council last week, though. According to the Journal-Sentinel newspaper, Harley-Davidson thinks the bike is too expensive in its current form, and range is too limited. It only has a 50-mile range, and needs a 100-mile range, and would cost $50,000 if brought to market now, about 50 per cent more than the MoCo reckons they could sell the bike for.

According to the newspaper, Levatich said the LiveWire would be intended for urban environments if it makes it to market, not cross-country touring.

The article also seems to hint Harley-Davidson is indeed planning to build the LiveWire for sale, but is waiting for battery tech to catch up. It seemed to indicate Harley-Davidson is working with Samsung and Johnson Controls to develop new battery technology to power their machine.


  1. Good one Percy, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sold an add on noise maker.

    But seriously, valid point about the range and price on his bike. No Harley rider in their right mind would spend $50K on a bike and only ride it less than 50 miles at a time. At least none that I have ever seen.

    Can anyone explain what is going on with that Chrome belly pan?

    • Yeah Cael—- So much for keeping the ‘shiny side up’. haha To me it is a neat looking bike except for the bottom—-can’t get my head around that ‘decorative enhancement’!

    • They’re right about the range, 100 miles minimum.

      HD wouldn’t engage an existing ebike company because a huge part of their profit is their brand. If they can get the range up they’ll sell a fair number of them at 25-30k. Expensive seems to work for Tesla.

      I wonder if they’ll be eligible for the government handouts that are available electrical cars.

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