Project Livewire

Harley Davidson Introduces Electric Bikes with Project Livewire

Yes, you read that right. Stop rubbing your eyes, I tried it, it’s useless. This is real.

The Manliest, meaniest machine builders have finally figured out the Hippy power. Harley Davidson(HD) becomes the first major motorcycle to introduce electric bikes in their line up. The company currently calls it Project Livewire. This video released by the company really introduces the bike and it looks and sounds like all other Harley’s Bad Boys.

There have been a lot of buzz around electric vehicles and big companies like Porshe, Audi and others are now showing off their electric releases. But the electric Bike industry is dominated by small companies who are still working on the prototype levels and will take a while to bring them into the market.

Most of the present electric bikes, India does have a lot of them, have a pathetic range, long charging on the uncertain electric situation of this country and overall no aspirational looks to speak off. Also the lack of speed discourages young folks to go for it. Harley’s advent into the sector should change that.

The LiveWire offers 74 horsepower on 52 foot-pounds of torque with a top speed of 92mph (148kmph). The bike is powered by a lithium-ion battery with a range of 53 miles(truly HD Fuel mileage). It takes about 3.5-hours to charge it fully at 220v.

Same Badass, now electric powered

Same Old Badass, now electric powered

The best bit about the electric bikes is the sound that they make. When they go past you, there is a nostalgic auditory reminiscence of  years of sci-fi sounds of spaceships. Harley had to compromise on its classic potato thump of the bike, but the new sound of the Project Livewire is just that legendary.

California based electric bikes company called ZERO is doing some good job in this field. The company has a good line up of vehicles. Its bikes are capable of going 160 kms on a single charge. The company recently delivered a military grade model called ZERO MMX which gives flexibility as well as stealth capacity to police officers to monitor their neighborhoods. It will also free up some of the fuel expenses of the police departments.

Vectrix had futuristic plans but had to shut sop because of Bankruptcy

Vectrix had futuristic plans but had to shut shop because of Bankruptcy

One company which showed promise in doing away with the flaws of the electric bike market was Vectrix. The company had some great designs and ideas for electric bikes. Vectrix filed for bankruptcy in March this year. Making a vehicle from scratch is an investment heavy process and small players don’t have that advantage. Hopefully other big bike manufacturers like Honda, Suzuki, Ducati are taking notice and may enter the arena soon to bring out some aspirational products.

Project Livewire is still in its infancy. HD will organise the Project Livewire Experience Tours, where it will take suggestions and feedback from the riders. The project will start in America and then extend to Canada and Europe. This will also give HD riders a chance to be seen as decent human beings, instead of inconsiderate creatures with loud pair of wheels.

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