Electric Motorcycle Hits Road Block–Temporarily
Harley-Davidson announced on Monday, production of its electric LiveWire model would be temporarily halted due to a “non-standard condition” in the charging system. Further analysis and testing must be conducted before production can resume.
Home Charging Also On Hold
Livewire owners can continue to ride, but have been encouraged to use the Level 3 DC quick-charging systems at their local dealership in lieu of the level 1 AC charging systems commonly used at home. This could present a significant inconvenience to the average rider who charges their batteries overnight in their own garage, particularly if they are not close to a participating dealership.
For any electric vehicle, charging must be carefully regulated to be accomplished safely. Harley-Davidson appears to be exercising an abundance of caution, knowing how costly a catastrophic failure of its flagship electric motorcycle could be to future electric efforts. A premium price point and limited range have already translated into slower than expected sales; add to that a potential safety issue, and it’s going to make it even harder for the LiveWire to find its true demographic.
Developing an all-new electric vehicle is bound to have its challenges, and charging systems are a common area for them to arise. While some may see this as the death knell for the LiveWire, don’t expect Harley-Davidson to throw in the towel just yet.