Gas Vs Electric Mowers: Are You Ready to Go Green?

There are many factors to take into account when deciding whether to purchase an electric-powered lawn mower or a gas-powered lawn mower. Today there are more options than ever due to advances in technology in both gas motors and batteries. As you weigh your options you should consider the size of your lawn and how you wish to mow it.

Gas-powered mowers

Gas-powered motors have traditional gas engines that use gas tanks and oil reservoirs. When operating they produce carbon monoxide, also known as combustion exhaust, which is detrimental to the environment. Also, you have to make sure you have enough gas on hand and that it is the correct grade.

Electric-powered mowers

Electric mowers operate using the same concepts as gas mowers; however, their motors operate using batteries that are charged by connecting them to typical garage outlets, a process which is greener and cleaner. While this does give them many eco-friendly benefits, there are many other factors to consider.

Noise Pollution

Environmental pollution isn’t the only pollution to be considered when comparing gas-powered mowers to electric-powered mowers. There is also the matter of noise pollution to consider. Gas-powered lawn mowers are loud. Electric-powered mowers, on the other hand, purr like kittens by comparison.

You might want to take into account how close you are to your neighbors; or you might want to consider whether you or your neighbors have small children or pets that might be frightened by the sounds of a loud gas-motor.

Maintenance

While the battery used to operate an electric mower is a quieter and cleaner source of power, it does need maintenance. The battery’s posts need to be cleaned from time to time and the battery itself needs to be charged regularly, regardless of how often it is used.

Still, this is much less than the maintenance required for a gas-powered mower that needs to have spark plugs, filters, oil and other components regularly replaced.

Battery life vs Gas-power

How long will an electric-powered mower’s battery hold a charge if it is well maintained? For about an hour, which should be more than enough time to mow a small or mid-sized lawn. If you have a lawn that is larger than an acre, you might want to consider purchasing a riding lawn mower. At this time an electric-powered lawn mower will cost around twenty percent more than a gas-powered lawn mower of similar size, so for an electric-powered riding lawn mower you may be looking at several hundred dollars more than its gas-powered equivalent.

It is up to you, based on the size of your lawn and how often it needs mowed and the current price of gasoline, to do the math in order to determine whether an electric riding lawn mower is cost-effective.

Raw Power

Another point to take into account when considering gas vs electric mowers is that a battery’s charge will drain and so will the mowers power right along with it. In other words, a mower with a fully charged battery will be able to cut thicker grass than it will at a half or a quarter charge; whereas, a gas-powered mower will cut grass with consistent force whether it is fully gassed or it is running on fumes.

If the weight of the machine is an issue, you should know that electric powered mowers are much lighter than their gas-powered counterparts. This is due to the fact that gas-powered engines need metallic parts in order to function properly; while electrical engines can work just as well if certain metal parts are replaced with plastic parts. A lighter mower will be easier to push through well maintained lawns, yet harder to push through overgrown lawns.

Safety

Finally, there is the issue of safety. It takes a great amount of force to bust open a battery. All batteries, from the AAA you use in your television’s remote control to the car battery that can withstand a head-on collision, are designed to stay intact. As long as they do, they are completely safe.

Gas-powered engines, however, require gasoline and oil which are both flammable and combustible, not to mention toxic if inhaled or swallowed (again thinking of small children and pets).

In conclusion, there are pros and cons to switching to electric and it is up to you to evaluate your individual needs and their requirements as to whether or not the switch is warranted. Remember, for smaller or mid-sized lawns electric mowers are an eco-friendly option; while larger yards may benefit more from the power of a gas-powered mower. Whichever you choose, keep in mind that, due to technological advancements, both options offer an efficiency and an ease of use that surpasses mowers of yesterday.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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