In a big blow to Harley-Davidson’s (NYSE: HOG) plan to reverse its decline, the bike maker has stopped manufacturing its LiveWire electric motorbike as well as delaying all further shipments indefinitely as it determined a hassle with the motorcycle’s slow-charging abilities. Harley has advised its sellers it doesn’t know when production and delivery of the bike will resume.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Harley-Davidson chief working officer Michelle Kumbier informed sellers that the employer is carrying out checks on the motorcycles. Even though they’re safe to journey, the best Level three DC Fast Chargers must be used to charge them.
The LiveWire’s high-voltage lithium-ion battery gives riders methods to charge the motorbike: a Level 3 DC Fast Charger port wherein the LiveWire can be mounted to any public rapid-price station to get an 80% price in forty minutes and an onboard Level 1 charger for hooking as much as a household outlet and letting the motorcycle rate in a single day.
It’s the Level 1 charging abilties that seem to be the problem. And it’s a miles larger problem than the brake-mild problem that at least one provider brought about trust to become the purpose of the cargo delays he became experiencing.
Pinning its hopes on hitting a domestic run, The LiveWire changed into imagined to be a game-changer for Harley-Davidson, heralding the bike company’s destiny and its dating with a brand new technology of riders. It becomes within the point function of a new, improved increase plan to have four million Harley riders using 2027.
Although the motorcycle itself wasn’t necessarily anticipated to break any sales facts, and analysts figured Harley might best flow between 400 to at least one six hundred LiveWires in the first yr due to the exorbitant $30,000 rate tag, Harley was going for the “halo impact” the version might offer its other electric-powered bikes.
Attracted with the aid of the high performance of the LiveWire, they would then take a look at the easier and probably cheaper motorcycles it’d produce, which include:
The IRONe12 and IRONe16, electric balance bicycles, targeted 3- to six-12 months-olds.
The manufacturing and layout renaissance the LiveWire changed into main also consists of smaller, middleweight gasoline-powered bikes just like the Streetfighter and Adventure Touring models to expand Harley’s get admission to from simply 60% of the motorbike marketplace blanketed by heavyweight motorcycles to over ninety%.
But all that is predicated on LiveWire’s hit launch. Transitioning to becoming a chief player in electric-powered vehicles that might force destiny income and growth is now in critical doubt.
Delay after delay
Harley-Davidson was supposed to start shipping the LiveWire motorcycle in August. Still, it pushed that again to past due September while it ultimately commenced rolling out of the manufacturing facility to dealer showrooms. Dealers I spoke with the final week but had yet to receive them, and it appears it can be some time longer until they do.
The suspension of production and transport of the LiveWire might also purpose customers who are already angry at the delays in canceling their orders. It can cause others to think about purchasing the costly electric-powered motorbike to no longer do so.
Harley-Davidson already faced a hard project convincing buyers it could create an entirely new marketplace for high-overall performance electric-powered motorcycles out of nothing. Now that task has emerged as lots more difficult.