Electric lawn mowers cut your grass, without gas – Grit


Future Weekend Warriors who have a lot of grass to mow could swap petrol engines, hydraulics, belts and pulleys for sleek, quiet, battery-powered machines that look more like moon rovers, if manufacturers like Husqvarna have something to do with it. When the company launched its Panthera Leo concept in 2009, the lithium phosphate battery-powered marvel took the outdoor power industry by surprise. No one expected an electric ride-on mower that could run for two hours on full power. No one expected a futuristic design that made extensive use of composites created with recycled materials.

This mower is still in the prototype stage and it is difficult to say if it will ever reach full production. In the meantime, check out these electric riding mower options available online or at a dealer near you.

Ariens AMP

The Ariens AMP is a traditional-style riding mower (think Forrest Gump) that resembles the classic rear-engine rider. The low-maintenance, 48-volt lead-acid battery-powered machine can run for up to 75 minutes on a single charge. The AMP is driven by a single electric motor coupled to the drive wheels through a hydrostatic transmission. The electric motor provides constant torque to the hydrostat, which in turn controls speed and direction. The AMP mower blades are driven by a pair of spindle motors – no more belts and pulleys to contend with. At $3,299, the AMP offers an attractive price, and with its 34-inch cutting width, it’s perfect for split-acreage yards.

Zeon Lawn Hustler

Hustler Turf’s Zeon is an all-electric, zero-turn design that uses proven lead-acid battery technology in a 48-volt package that can mow over an acre on a single charge – in windrows 42 inches wide. . This machine is so quiet it takes some getting used to as there is no motor noise to tell you how well the mower is working. The Zeon’s welded (fabricated) deck is as sturdy as most other Hustler Turf machines – that level of quality comes at a price ($6,999). This mower is currently the only fully electric zero-turn mower.

Reload

For smaller yards, the Model G1-RM10 36-Volt Small Recharge Mower can run up to three hours on a single charge. The Recharge’s 27-inch-diameter all-electric mower deck handles tight spaces with ease, and like the AMP and Zeon, it uses a pair of motors to drive the mower blades. The Recharge is designed with a hitch for pulling lawn rollers, small carts, sweepers and other tools that don’t engage the ground. At $2,195 delivered, this little electric rider is currently only available online.

Eco Mow

At least one more player will be joining soon. In the near future, look for the Eco-Mow B-41 tractor with a 48-inch deck and a single load mowing capacity of up to 2.5 acres. This zero-turn design is well into its testing stages and, at the time of this writing, will likely use a single electric motor coupled to the drive wheels via a hydrostatic transaxle. A separate motor(s) will power the mower deck.

If you’re tired of the noise, odors and maintenance hassles associated with your old petrol or diesel mower and don’t plan on mowing for more than a few hours a day, these battery-powered options are likely to please. Before investing your hard-earned cash, request a test drive at your home and be sure to talk to other owners to gauge their level of satisfaction (check owner conversations online or ask the dealership for owners in your area) . If you want to zoom around the yard on a futuristic machine like the Panthera Leo, you might have to wait a few years. Husqvarna says the Panthera Leo, or something like it, could be a reality by 2015. I’m sure you’ll have dozens of battery-powered ride-on mower options by then.

Editor-in-chief Hank Will still remembers the Electrak garden tractors built by General Electric in the 1970s and hopes the alternative-fuel ride-on mowers will be here to stay this time around.


Hank goes raises furry sheep, heirloom cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Joanne, on their rural farm in Osage County, Kansas. His family life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor of GRIT and Capper’s Farmer magazines.

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