Harley-Davidson sparked (sorry) tremendous interest from motorcyclists when it exhibited its LiveWire electric prototype in 2014, and then went inexplicably silent. Good news, the company now says a production electric model is coming in 2019.
"You've heard us talk about Project LiveWire," said Matt Levatich, president and chief operating officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Company during a phone call with financial analysts. "LiveWire is an exhilarating, no excuses, electric Harley-Davidson. Over 12,000 riders told us so through the demo rides we provided around the world and it's an active project we're preparing to bring to market within 18 months."
"The EV market is in its infancy today and we believe it will drive excitement into our sport globally in both traditional and nontraditional spaces," he said.
Harley received overwhelmingly positive feedback to its 2014 Project LiveWire Experience tour, which put real riders aboard its electric prototypes.
“Project LiveWire is more like the first electric guitar – not an electric car,” explained Mark-Hans Richer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at the time. “It’s an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric. Project LiveWire is a bold statement for us as a company and a brand.”
The LiveWire demonstrated tire-shredding acceleration and an unmistakable new sound in place of Harley's traditional V-twin rumble. “The sound is a distinct part of the thrill,” said Richer. “Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier. Project LiveWire’s unique sound was designed to differentiate it from internal combustion and other electric motorcycles on the market.”
We'll know if Harley's made good on this promise when we get to test the unnamed LiveWire successor next year. This should be good!