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article imageHarley-Davidson stops production of Livewire electric motorcycle

By Ken Hanly     Oct 14, 2019 in Technology
Harley-Davidson has temporarily stopped the manufacture and even shipping of its first electric motorcycle the LiveWire due to difficulty with the bike's charging equipment.
Bikes are safe to ride but should not be charged at home outlets
Customers who have the $30,000 dollar LiveWire are requested to only charge their bikes at dealerships indicating there is some issue with charging them in lower-voltage outlets such as are found in most homes.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the problem: "Harley-Davidson Inc... has stopped production and deliveries of its first electric motorcycle after discovering a problem related to the vehicle’s charging equipment, a major setback for a product the company is counting on to rejuvenate sales.The motorcycle maker said it has suspended production of the LiveWire model as it conducts tests to investigate the problem. The company said Monday that the tests were progressing well but didn’t say when production would resume."
The LiveWire
Harley-Davidson's only electric bike was introduced as a concept motorcycle back in 2014. After being in limbo for a few years the LiveWire was introduced in production-ready in November 2018. The bikes began shipping only in September this year.
The company considers the LiveWire as key to the company's initiative to appeal to new and younger riders as the business has been flagging since the last recession. However, the bike is a good $10,000 above the most expensive electric motorcycles now on the market.
The company comment on the issue
The company statement on the charging issue gives no hint of when the problem will be solved or the bikes go back into production: "As we lead in the electrification of motorcycles, we have delivered our first LiveWire motorcycles to authorized LiveWire dealers. We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well. We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we’re keeping high quality as our top priority."
Other electric vehicle makers also having problems
In June this ear Audi issued a recall order of its E-Tron electric SUV because of concerns about battery fires: "Audi has announced a voluntary recall on the E-Tron, the company’s first all-electric car, because of a risk for battery fires. The German automaker says the recall covers around 540 E-Trons in the United States, or about half of what Audi has sold since the car’s launch in April."
Just a few weeks after Audi's recall the Chinese startup NIO recalled its first electric SUV after a few vehicles had caught fire.
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