All-electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire offers 235km city riding range in one single charge

Aditya Chatterjee Updated: July 15, 2019, 12:07 PM IST

The first-ever electric Harley-Davidson bike, the LiveWire is the beginning of many electric offerings that will be launched by the icoic American motorcycle manufacturer in the coming years. HD has finally released the specifications of the LiveWire that goes into production shortly. And the first thing that we or anyone looking at an EV would see is the range offered in one single charge. The Harley-Davidson LiveWire will have a riding range of 235km (claimed).

An electrifying Revelation

The electric LiveWire makes use of the all-new H-D Revelation permanent-magnet electric motor that produces 106PS and generates 116Nm of torque. Unlike an internal combustion engine (ICE), the H-D Revelation  produces 100 percent of this rated torque the instant the throttle is twisted, which is an impressive trait of electric motors. The Revelation motor is powered by a 15.5kWh high-voltage battery (or RESS - Rechargeable Energy Storage System) composed of lithium-ion cells, positioned in the center of the motorcycle and surrounded by the motorcycle's cast-aluminum frame.

The RESS is enclosed in a cast-aluminum housing which also acts as a heat-sink to help cool the cells. The sides of the RESS housing are finned and exposed to the air and are visible within the motorcycle frame. Small air scoops on the motorcycle bodywork duct cooling air to the upper portion of the RESS housing. Further, the LiveWire is also equipped with a 12-volt lithium-ion accessory battery that provides power for start-up and key fob recognition.

The H-D Revelation motor is cooled by a water jacket, with coolant circulated through a small radiator, and is positioned longitudinally and low in the chassis to lower the motorcycle's center of gravity and aid maneuverability. The motor output shaft is mated to a gearbox containing a 9.71:1 gear reduction running in an oil bath.

A final-drive belt transfers power from the gearbox output pulley to the rear wheel, with a 3:1 ratio between the output pulley and the wheel pulley. Harley claims that the LiveWire can accelerate from 0-60 mph (close to 100kmph) in 3.0 seconds, and 60-80 mph in 1.9 seconds. The high-voltage battery in the H-D LiveWire offers a claimed 235km of city range or 152km of combined stop-and-go and highway range.

The 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire comes with seven selectable Ride Modes that electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle and the level of electronic intervention. Four of the modes are pre-programmed and three are customizable by the owner. Each Ride Mode consists of a specific combination of power, regeneration (felt as a braking effect when off-throttle), throttle response, and traction control settings

Charging the all-electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire

The LiveWire motorcycle is equipped with an on-board Level 1 charger that plugs into a standard 120-volt (or 240-volt) household outlet with a special power cord that is stored below the motorcycle seat. This unit offers a riding range of 20km for every hour of charging. HD mentions that the bike has to be charged overnight for full charge using the Level 1 type of charging. However, there is also a DC fast charging options that can fully charge the bike in 60 minutes flat.

Availability and price

The LiveWire will be sold this year through select authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships in the United States, Canada and most European countries. This all-electric offering by H-D is priced at  $29,799 that is approximately Rs 20.41 lakh, (excluding the taxes and import duty), which makes it one of the most expensive Harleys on sale. About the H-D LiveWire coming to India, the company has no such plans in the immediate future. However, with the growing focus on EVs, we can expect it to eventually arrive in India. What say?