Electric mowers are gaining increased popularity as the technology becomes more effective. Where they once had a reputation for being low-powered, or a power cord dragging nuisance, newer battery powered models are top of the line. But are they the right fit for you and your yard?
What are the environmental benefits?
Studies have found that operating a gas lawnmower for one hour can emit as much emissions as driving anywhere from 45 to 93 miles. Overall, gas lawnmowers account for five percent of the total air pollution in the U.S.
While electric lawnmowers still have an environmental impact from the power they use and the production and disposal of their batteries, it pales in comparison to gas mowers, according to Consumer Reports. This is especially true in comparison to two-stroke gas mowers which use a mixture of gas and oil.
How much ground can they cover?
This depends on the type of electric mower. Mowers that use a power cord are only limited by the length of the cord, although you add an extension cord to extend their range.
Battery-powered electric mowers are limited by how long the battery lasts for. Standard charges range from 30 to 60 minutes, which Consumer Reports says is enough to cover 12,000 to 15,000 square feet. If you don’t mind spending some cash, you can extend that life by buying a second battery to swap out while the first one recharges.
For context, an average lot size in Seattle is around 5,000 square feet and the on the Eastside 10,000 to 15,000 square feet – including house and driveway. Electric mowers clearly have the range to handle most properties!
How much do they cost?
Generally, electric mowers are still more expensive than gas ones. The New York Time’s Wirecutter project recommends a $700 model, but also lists a $479 one as its budget pick. However, while an electric mower may be more expensive initially, Consumer Reports calculates that it is actually cheaper in the long run due to fewer maintenance needs and not having to pay for gas.
Electric mowers are generally lighter weight and easier to handle than gas mowers. They’re also generally quieter. However, while it’s never a good idea to mow while grass is wet, this is especially true of electric mowers as the moisture can damage the electronic components.
Which is right for you?
If you can afford it and your yard isn’t too large, an electric mower is a great investment. For most city lots, it’s a no-brainer. Not only will you save money and reduce your environmental footprint, your neighbors will thank you for reducing noise.
For further gains, also consider replacing other gas garden tools, like blowers and trimmers, with electric options.