Harley Davidson to offer electric motorcycle within 18 months, says CEO

Harley Davidson president and CEO Matt Levatitch said Tuesday an electric motorcycle “is an active project we’re preparing to bring to market in 18 months.”

Clearly the its Livewire Project, shown in the U.S. in 2014 and Europe in 2015, gave Harley the positive feedback it needed to dedicate resources to developing an electric motorcycle for production.

While this may be surprising news to many—it came during a routine earnings call—it 's in line with what Harley Davidson has said for several years.

In June 2016, Sean Cummings, the company's senior vice president of global demand, told the Milwaukee Business Journal that Harley-Davidson planned to produce an electric motorcycle within five years.

CEO Levatich had previously said in a May 2015 interview that the company would wait until battery technology developed, so it could produce bikes with the range its customers would demand.

He was also quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying the price was expected to be in the range of $21,000 to $25,000.

Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle concept

Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle concept

The only indication of what direction Harley will go with this new electric motorcycle is its LiveWire concept, styled like its street and sport style bikes, and also featured in the movie "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (see video clip above).

Within the motorcycle industry, it's no secret that Harley is losing market share as its primary buyers get older and then age out of motorcycling.

Harley spokespeople have expressed interest in engaging younger and new riders, as the entire industry emerges from a challenging year in 2017. It hopes electric motorcycles will bring new riders into the fold.