Electric charging stations at a Harley dealer? I am sure most bikers would have laughed you off the lot, if you’d proposed such an idea as little as three years ago. Yet, that’s exactly what’s happening. Harley-Davidson is planning to install charging stations at every one of its nationwide dealers that will carry its all-electric LiveWire motorcycle.
Harley-Davidson is infamous around the globe as the definitive rough-and-tumble American motorcycle brand. Accordingly, its riders — whether they’re actually outlaws or accountants — are known for dressing the part of ne’er do wells while they ride. This brand image served Harley well for several generations.
Lately, however, it’s not inspiring as many sales as it once had. In fact, Harley saw a 10.2% decrease in retail sales in 2018 alone.
Accordingly, company brass decided it was time for a shakeup, and — most importantly — a realignment of its brand image and products with the coming electrification wave. The result is Harley’s first-ever all-electric motorcycle, the LiveWire. It will do 0-60 mph in three seconds, 140 city miles per charge, and costs $29,799.
H-D is so serious about the LiveWire that, according to Electrek, the infamous motorcycle brand will have at least one LiveWire display bike in every state — more in heavily populated urban dealerships. Those dealers carrying the electric motorcycle will have a LiveWire-trained staff member on site at all times. This so no would-be buyer is left in the dark if they roll into the showroom on the LiveWire expert’s day off.
Moreover, each certified LiveWire dealer will have a Level 3 SAE Combo CSS charger on site. With this fast-charger, a LiveWire can receive a full charge in under an hour — an hour H-D is likely hoping they’ll spend inside the showroom getting psyched up about accessories for their electric bike.
LiveWire doesn’t seem like an anomaly for the brand either. Harley is reportedly considering entering the e-scooter market to compete with Byrd and Lime.
It’s impressive that Harley has taken the early plunge into electrification. Although there are many electric motorcycles on the market, like those from Druid, FUELL, and Lightning Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson is the only traditional legacy motorcycle brand in the EV marketplace.