Harley-Davidson electric bikes run out of juice

Harley-Davidson has temporarily suspended production of its first all-electric motorcycle due to a charging problem.

The LiveWire is powered by the Harley-Davidson Revelation all-electric power train, which the company says allows the bike to deliver immediate torque making for rapid acceleration without the need for gear shifts. Depending on riding style, the motorcycle has a range of up to 146 miles, however, FOX Business’ Jeff Flock reported the range can dip to as low as 70 miles during highway travel.

An onboard “Level 1” charger and power cord are used to connect the motorcycle “to any standard household outlet” for “a full charge overnight.” The company’s “Level 3” fast-charging stations will charge the bike to 80 percent in 40 minutes or 100 percent in an hour, according to Harley.

Retailing for $30,000, Harley had just started releasing LiveWire to the public when tests revealed problems with the charging unit, Flock reported.

"As we lead in the electrification of motorcycles, we have delivered our first LiveWire motorcycles to authorized LiveWire dealers. We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well. We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we’re keeping high quality as our top priority."

- Harley-Davidson Motor Company statement to FOX Business

Harley launched the electric motorcycle in response to its aging rider demographic, aiming the electric bike at a new generation of riders by incorporating new technology into its high-performance vehicle.

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The LiveWire is capable of taking its rider from zero to 60 mph in three seconds and uses “a new collection of technologies that help give [the rider] confidence and control in less than ideal situations.” Among these technologies are the bike’s seven selectable ride modes which control its performance characteristics.


For individuals who have already taken delivery of their LiveWire, Harley says the vehicles are still safe to ride despite the charging issue. The company, however, has not yet said when production will resume.