The Wall Street Journal is reporting tough news for the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, as the American motorcycle brand is halting production of its first electric motorcycle because of issues with the bike’s charging system.
With bikes just now arriving at dealers, the announcement is poorly timed, and the issue seems to stem from the onboard Level 1 charger on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, as owners are being told only to use the DC fast-charging system on the bike.
This will likely cause a bit of a headache for those early adopters of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, as the Level 1 charging option is really designed for when the rider wants to charge at home, whereas the DC fast charger is better suited to situations on-the-go.
As part of its electric rollout, all Harley-Davidson dealerships are to provide free DC fast charging to LiveWire owners, but this still creates an awkward situation for LiveWire owners that want to go on a ride – many of who are unlikely to have a DC fast charging system set up at their home.
Harley-Davidson insists that the production stoppage is only temporary though, but has yet to give a timeline on when production for the LiveWire will resume, and when the bikes that have already been delivered can expect a fix from the Bar & Shield brand.
While Harley-Davidson says that its decision to halt production comes from its focus on delivering high-quality motorcycles, the issue couldn’t be more poorly timed.
The American brand has recently come under fire from a story on Reuters, which blasts the LiveWire’s attempt at attracting new riders (one can make a strong argument that this is not the intended purpose of the LiveWire, however).
Also, the company’s 3rd quarter sales report is due in about a week’s time, and it is not expected to paint a good story about the company’s efforts to turn around its continued sales declines.
The Harley-Davidson LiveWire, while not expected to be a big seller, is a halo product not only for the brand’s current lineup, but its also signifies the iconic marque’s commitment to changing the way it does business and builds motorcycles.
As such, today’s problems extend beyond just a production issue, but cloud the perception of Harley-Davidson’s future. As such, HOG stock was down 1% on the news.