At CES 2019 Harley-Davidson teamed up with Panasonic Automotive to unveiled its first electric motorcycle: the LiveWire. This is more than just another smart bike, as it pairs the perks of an electric vehicle with the iconic styling of a classic Harley.
It may seem odd to pair the two, but devotees of electric vehicles know the sheer power packed into those tiny batteries. The LiveWire goes from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds -- twist that throttle and you're already at speed. For people used to traditional motorcycles this may take some getting used to since traditional engines produce a distinctive sound when they shift through the gears, but electric vehicles are nearly silent. Don’t worry, though, because the company says the bike will “produce a new signature Harley-Davidson sound as it accelerates,” so you can still enjoy the thrill of a purring engine.
But it’s not just about speed: any electric vehicle is limited by its battery power. The LiveWire has enough power to get you around town, but doesn’t have the staying power for longer trips (unless you’re willing to take a lot of charging stops). Its 110-mile range is in line with other electric motorcycles. You have the same charging options as other electric vehicles. A level 1 charger which plugs into a standard outlet gives you 13 miles of charge per hour, while a level 3 charger gives you 192 miles in an hour, but requires a special charging station.
The LiveWire also uses the latest version of the Harley-Davidson App and Harley-Davidson Connect service. This lets you check your battery percentage right from your phone, maybe to see whether you have the power to take the the fun-to-drive back roads home while you're still sitting at your desk at work. On a longer trip, you can use the app to find a level 3 charge station, then let your motorcycle charge up while you relax for a bit over coffee, with an estimated time to full charge right there on your phone. These aren’t must-haves to get the most out of your motorcycle, but they’re still handy features.
The app also provides some security. It will alert you if your bike is tapped or moved, and it also has GPS to help find it if it's stolen -- or just remind you where you parked. The app also gives you service alerts, but with any electric vehicle the frequency with which you have to conduct maintenance is minimal.
Harley-Davidson LiveWire will come in three colors: a classic vivid black, an eye-catching bright yellow or orange. This innovative electric motorcycle will be available in August 2019, starting at $29,799.
[Image credit: Harley-Davidson]