Harley-Davidson is transitioning to become an all-electric brand, although the process will likely take decades, according to CEO Jochen Zeitz. According to Zeitz, iconic American brand Harley-Davidson, known mainly for its big engine, heavyweight cruiser motorcycles, is currently undergoing a long-term transition which will result in the brand transforming into an electric brand. That would mean that Harley-Davidson’s big v-twin engines will become history, at least sometime in the future, and it would take a few decades at least for Harley to become all-electric.

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Jochen Zeitz, CEO of Harley-Davidson says that eventually the brand will become all-electric, but the transformation will likely take decades.

In an interview, H-D CEO Jochen Zeitz outlined the growth of the brand, saying that electrification is the next logical step in the evolution of one of the oldest motorcycle brands in the world that was established 120 years ago. Harley-Davidson introduced its first electric motorcycle in 2018, called the LiveWire ONE. The LiveWire sub-brand has since been expanded to include electric bikes from Harley-Davidson, and the upcoming S2 Del Mar will also be an electric bike under the LiveWire vertical.

“At some point in time, Harley-Davidson will be all-electric. But that’s a long-term transition that needs to happen. It’s not something you do overnight,” Zeitz was quoted as saying in the interview.

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The S2 Del Mar is the second electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson under its LiveWire sub-brand.

Electrification of the auto industry is currently in the nascent stage, more so for established two-wheeler brands. While several auto companies, including Volvo, Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes, have stated much shorter timelines to go fully electric, it seems to be a matter of time when motorcycle brands will also likely take similar steps. Whether future powertrains for motorcycles will be full-electric, hybrid or use other forms of alternate fuels and energy is still an evolving process. 

The establishment of LiveWire is perhaps the first small step in this long-term transition of Harley-Davidson, a brand whose big displacement v-twin engines will perhaps be consigned to history in the coming decades.