Harley-Davidson’s all-electric sub-brand is leading the charge
July 14, 2021
By Kali Kotoski
When Harley-Davidson announced it was spinning off its halo electric motorcycle — the LiveWire — into its own dedicated sub-brand, plenty of doomsayers came out saying what they always do.
Was the LiveWire technology and brand up for sale? What is the future of Harley-Davidson and electric vehicles, given this severing from the mothership? Some even predicted the death of its EV endeavors altogether given the secrecy surrounding the Motor Company’s “Hardwire” strategy.
But none of those fears seem to have been anything more than bar-room banter with the LiveWire ONE coming in with a 26 percent retail price reduction for a model that is basically identical to the original. A more affordable Harley-Davidson is a pretty big deal, not to mention that it has revolutionary technology.
“As part of The Hardwire Strategy we made a commitment that Harley-Davidson would lead in electric. We recognized the pioneering spirit and brand value in LiveWire for our community and took the decision to evolve the original LiveWire motorcycle into a dedicated EV brand,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson in a press release.
“Today’s LiveWire ONE builds on the DNA of Harley-Davidson but with the electric focus and ambition of the new LiveWire brand. Harley-Davidson and LiveWire will continue to rewrite the motorcycle rulebook, and we are excited about this next chapter in our legacy,” Zeitz added.
Billed as the electric motorcycle built for the urban experience, with the power and range to take you beyond, the LiveWire ONE’s price comes in at $21,999, which puts it in reach of directly competing against Zero’s flagship all-electric model the SR/S.
While the H-D LiveWire came in at a little under $30,000, throw in some federal electric vehicle credits and the LiveWire ONE price drops to below $20,000.
The motorcycle still has the same range (146 miles in urban setting on a full charge) and charging time (100 percent full battery in an hour, or 80 percent in 45 minutes). The press release claims that the LiveWire ONE has “evolved software and hardware” to reflect the new identity of the LiveWire brand, but the company has not released what evolved means and what it does.
An official launch event of LiveWire (the brand) is scheduled for July 18. More details of the future trajectory of Harley-Davidson-backed electric motorcycles will certainly be presented. But what we know so far is that you can preorder a LiveWire ONE at livewire.com for a $100 deposit and there are two color options (black and white) and two customizable packages. For those skeptical of placing an order online, LiveWire has 12 incoming LiveWire brand dealers in California, New York and Texas with additional locations planned for the fall.