A New York state garden and landscape business says they’re the first all electric company of their kind. Erik Chase is the owner of GreenerWe Landscaping, and has been in the industry for over 25 years. He’s not the first to use this equipment of course, which has been around for a few years. But he is the first to operate an entirely electric fleet of mowers, whipper snippers and blowers.
The firm that makes his equipment is Mean Green Products in Hamilton, Ohio. They have been at the fore front of electric power mowers and gardening utensils since about 2008. Their focus is on commercial applications, and making products that can be in use for long periods. Most people would probably say, “big deal, it’s just a lawn mower”, but petrol powered units make heaps of emissions.
This did grab my eye when reading the specs, and the background to these products. The US EPA says that people use over 3 billion litres of petrol for lawn equipment each year. That they spill 64 million litres of fuel in the process, creating environmental issues. That because there are no regulations for this type of equipment, for their size, they are massive polluters. A petrol motor mower is 30 times – yes, that’s 30 times more polluting than your average car!
For most of us, that’s not really a big problem as we run our mowers for short periods, infrequently. But for the many units operated by contractors, that adds up. Even a 2 stroke whipper snipper in one hour makes more CO² than a pickup truck travelling 4800km! The efficiency of these engines is only about 20% too. Compare this to zero emission electric units that run at 90% efficiency, and running costs about 5% of petrol units.
But ironically, Erik Chase of GreenWe says that cost maybe holding up others from going all electric like he has. A large ride on mower similar to what he runs costs about AUD$25,000 to buy. So that is a pretty hefty investment. However, there is a growing financial case for switching over to electric even with high startup costs.