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Harley-Davidson’s all-electric motorcycles will be on the road within five years

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Iconic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson is known for chrome, freedom, and big, beefy V-twin engines — but soon, it'll also be known for something very different.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal, Harley senior VP Sean Cummings says that it'll put an all-electric motorcycle on the road within five years. You might recall that the Wisconsin-based company built a limited number of LiveWire electric prototypes in 2014, letting media and customers go for test rides, but those bikes were never sold to the public and were never intended for a production run. Still, LiveWire's existence suggested Harley was pretty serious about exploring the notion of an EV motorcycle — and apparently, the customer response was positive.

The LiveWire was pretty impressive for its day, capable of 0 to 60 in under four seconds and a top speed of nearly 100 miles per hour — but the 55-mile range (33 in a high-performance mode) along with the 3.5-hour charging time made it a little less versatile than a traditional gasoline motorcycle. Presumably, Harley will use the next few years to engineer a newer, better powertrain that offers more range and quicker charging.

The final look, specs, and target demo for the production electric Harley aren't yet known — and probably won't be for some time — but it's safe to say that the company is looking to attract a new generation of customers: as of 2013, the average Harley buyer was born in 1965.