BLOWERS, MOWERS AND MORE: AMERICAN YARDS QUIETLY GO ELECTRIC
Techlife News|Techlife News #516
For Jared Anderman, of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, switching from gasoline-powered tools to electric ones for lawn care was a no-brainer.

“I’m concerned about climate change and wanted tools that are more eco-friendly, and also quieter. I like listening to music when I do yard work and this way I can enjoy music or a podcast while I work,” he said. “I could never do that with gas-powered equipment.”

The biggest advantage of all, he says, is maintenance. “Gas mowers are a pain. With electric tools, they boot right up and there’s really no maintenance at all. It’s just about keeping the batteries charged.”

First, he bought an electric lawnmower. Then an electric string trimmer, hedge trimmer and leaf blower. “I don’t have an electric snowblower, yet. But when I do replace the gas snowblower, it’ll be with an electric one,” he says.

There’s a quiet transformation going on in yards across the country. Longstanding complaints about the roar and fumes from gas-powered leaf blowers, mowers and other equipment have grown even louder as more people work from home because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the quality of zero- to low-emissions electric landscaping equipment has improved markedly, with battery packs that last longer.

“Batteries have changed a lot in the past year alone, and we are there in terms of technology. Now it’s just a matter of getting the word out to professionals and consumers,” says Kurt Morrell, associate vice president for horticulture operations at the New York Botanical Garden.

“Last year we were 90 percent electric on hedge trimmers and this year it’s 100 percent. My guys won’t even touch a gas hedge trimmer anymore,” says Morrell, who oversees the trimming of the garden’s 4,850 linear feet of hedges.

There are even autonomous lawnmowers akin to the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

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