(first published in Sustain Nov-Dec Newsletter of the Baw Baw Sustainability Network)
We have just bought a battery powered electric lawn mower to mow our 1½ acre Garden and I think it is one of the best purchases we have made. We had done some research on them in preparation for when our petrol mower died, thinking that would be a long while away, but not so. Suddenly we needed a new mower and we had already found one locally.
We bought a 56 Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Mower with a 50cm cut, a steel deck, and a 5 year warranty. It’s lighter than our old mower of the same size and much quieter. There is no smell of petrol and you can stop and start it in an instant. No pulling on starter cords, especially the ones that need lots of pulls! You just press the green button and pull back the bar at the top of the handle and hold the bar against the handle as you mow. As soon as you let go of the bar it stops.
When you finish mowing, you fold it up and you can hose off all the excess grass then put it away for next time. There’s no oil or petrol to leak out and it’s very compact to store in the shed. We use ours as a mulching mower, but it comes with a grass catcher (a mesh bag that clips on the back). The battery lasts about 30 – 40 minutes on one charge, and takes about the same time to charge up. That suits me fine, as I can mow while I’m doing other tasks in the garden, or have a break and a cuppa which is rather nice after 30 minutes mowing. When charged the battery slips easily into a lidded compartment on the top of the mower.
This mower cost $899. Very comparable to a good quality petrol mower, or maybe cheaper. The cost of a second battery is $299 so certainly not worth getting. It will be interesting to see how long before we need to replace the battery, as although we are saving on petrol, oil and servicing, a new battery is quite expensive. Maybe in 3 years they will be cheaper. We’re very happy to be reducing our carbon footprint by using our solar panels to mow the lawn.