© Harley Davidson General | January 23, 2019
Samsung SDI Battery to Power LiveWire: Harley Davidson’s First Electric Motorcycle
When Harley Davidson’s LiveWire rolls out of select North American and Western European dealerships in August, it will be with a Samsung SDI prismatic battery powering it.
The two companies began collaborating on the project in 2014. In fact, the bike will be outfitted with two batteries: the main battery and a smaller 12-volt lithium-ion battery that powers the lights, controls, horn and instrument display. The bike, displayed at CES 2019 in Las Vegas earlier this month, easily blends in with its traditional counterparts at first glance (a plus for those who may not be entirely comfortable riding a bike that screams “I’m electric!”). Instead of a gas tank, perched between the rider’s legs is the housing containing the battery, and where the lithium ion cells are cooled by cast-aluminum fins. But it will likely be all the bike’s drivers who will appreciate the placement of the motor and battery: low in the frame, which results in a lower center of gravity for improved control and handling. Newbies, thinking of trying the LiveWire as an entry point into motorcycling, will like that there is no clutch, and therefore no shifting to contend with; it’s just a smooth twisting motion of the throttle, forward or back, to speed up or slow down. In a published statement recently, Samsung SDI Executive Vice President Kim Jeong-wook said, “Batteries are the driving force of continuous innovation in transportation.” Once on the roads the new LiveWire is said to be able to do 110 miles on a charge, compare this to the range of the Tesla model 3 which can go 310 miles on a charge. The bike is also said to be able to do 0 to 60 mph within 3.5 seconds; which seems fast enough. While there wont be any classic Harley sound coming from this bike – no thumping roar – it will have a "unique high-speed sound", created to let fellow (car) drivers’ know you're about to leave them in the dust. On the more hightech side of things the bike will be fitted with enhanced connectivity, allowing drivers to share information and track location. Harley Davidson isn’t alone in the realm of traditional motorcycle mega-brands shifting into the EV market; Italian motorcycle maker Ducati has recently announced similar plans.