Harley-Davidson’s Electrification Journey

By | May 29, 2023

Harley-Davidson, an iconic American motorcycle manufacturer, embarks on its 120th-anniversary celebration with a clear understanding that evolution is vital for its survival in the changing landscape of the industry.

Harley-Davidson: A Commitment to Electrification

While Harley-Davidson has established the battery-powered Livewire as a distinct brand, it remains fully dedicated to the electrification movement. Jochen Zeitz, the CEO of Harley-Davidson, asserts that the company’s ultimate direction is the production of exclusively electric motorcycles.

Transitioning to Electric Power: A Long-Term Vision

Zeitz acknowledges that the shift to becoming an all-electric brand will be a gradual process. He affirms that Harley-Davidson’s transformation will occur over an extended period rather than an abrupt change.

Preserving the Harley-Davidson Essence

Zeitz’s statement might raise concerns among a significant portion of Harley-Davidson’s loyal customer base. For many enthusiasts, the distinctiveness of Harley-Davidson motorcycles lies in their thunderous internal combustion engines. However, the company recognizes the inevitability of change and the need to adapt to emerging trends.

A Secure Future for Internal Combustion Engines

To assuage the concerns of Harley purists, it is important to note that the internal combustion engine will remain integral to the brand’s immediate future. While Harley-Davidson was an early entrant in the electric motorcycle market, it intends to navigate the path to electrification cautiously and thoughtfully. The envisioned evolution will require time and strategic planning.

The Birth of LiveWire: Preparing for the Transition

Zeitz emphasizes the importance of long-term thinking and planning for the transition. He recognizes that such a transformation necessitates a multi-decade approach rather than short-term fixes. The birth of the LiveWire brand serves as a crucial stepping stone in Harley-Davidson’s journey towards electrification.

Insights from LiveWire: A Glimpse into Rider Expectations

Fortunately, the standalone LiveWire brand provides valuable insights into the preferences and desires of electric motorcycle riders. Currently consisting of the One model, which is essentially a rebranded version of the bike introduced in 2019, the LiveWire lineup is expanding. The company is actively testing the Del Mar, a model tailored to urban environments, with plans for production in the near future.

As Harley-Davidson embarks on its 120th anniversary, it acknowledges the need for adaptation and evolution to remain relevant in the ever-changing motorcycle industry. With a long-term vision of becoming an all-electric brand, the company is taking measured steps to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

By capitalizing on insights gained from LiveWire, Harley-Davidson is poised to meet the expectations of riders seeking thrilling electric motorcycles while staying true to its heritage of powerful and iconic machines.

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