Goodbye gas: Electric lawnmowers rapidly taking over

The switch to all-electric lawn equipment is happening faster than in cars, as lithium-powered mowers soar in sales.
Posted at 6:53 AM, May 24, 2023

It's not just cars going electric at a blinding pace.

More and more lawnmowers, trimmers, and leaf blowers are switching to electric power, making it the hottest trend in lawn care.

Dirk Marder has owned Pleasant Valley Outdoor Power, an outdoor power equipment store for two decades. He has never seen a trend like this spread so quickly.

He says many of his customers now want electric mowers, trimmers and chain saws.

"This is perfect for a small subdivision, for things like tree pruning," he said, showing off a lithium-powered chain saw.

Companies are cranking out lithium tools in response to the growing demand, from popular brands like Stihl, DeWalt, Cub Cadet, and Craftsman, to name a few, along with electric-only newcomers like E-GO.

"With more and more smaller yards, people don't want to mess with gas, don't want to mess with oil, don't want to pull a cord. Lithium's got the edge," Marder said.

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What to look for in electric lawn equipment

Tyler Graham is co-founder of the site The Lawn Review.He says to forget about weak battery-powered tools from a decade ago.

He says battery technology is performing as well or even outperforming some gas-powered equipment.

"If you buy the most expensive electric, it's going to be better than its gas equivalent," he said.

For mowers, Graham recommends you look for a few keywords:

Brushless motor, which he says is more efficient.

"It just gives you longer run times and more powerful cuts," he said.

Advertised run time, which he says should be somewhere in the 50 to 60 minute range (cheaper models may only run for 30 minutes).

Battery charge time, so you know how long the battery needs to get juiced.

Of course, electric won't be for everyone.

For instance, Graham cautions that one battery won't be enough if you have several acres.

"However," he said, "if you have a half acre or less, you're not going to run into an issue where you run out of battery."

Something else to keep in mind: some states and cities, like California and Washington DC, are phasing out new purchases of gas-powered equipment to cut back on air and noise pollution.

So the next time you need a mower or leaf blower, Marder suggests you consider electric.

"Just take it off the shelf, put a battery in, and go," he said.