Cost of Ownership: Gas vs Electric

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  • Updated 8 months ago
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  • (Edited)
All of us are current owners of EGO Outdoor Power Equipment, and surely, have thought about the long term "cost benefits" of gas vs. electric.  That said; I came across this article from Consumer Reports regarding this topic, and thought it would be interesting to share with you all ...



According to this article, after 10 years of utilization, both gas and electric mower will even out in terms of "cost of ownership."  Curious what others think about this analysis?

http://www.consumerreports.org/push-mowers/electric-lawn-mowers-that-rival-gas-models/
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David HD, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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summetj

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This is a pretty picture, but Consumer Reports did not say that they included the purchase price of a new battery around the 5 year mark.  I do not anticipate the LiIon battery to last a full 10 years before needing replacement.
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TheAtomTwister

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Another thing to consider after reading all of this is how much you use the tools. 

Also, I see more stuff on 26650 cells than on 2170 cells.  Tesla and some E-bikes may use the 2170s, but I see more 26650s for sale.  

As far as "And with Tesla building the giga-fascist, all those current 18650 makers are going to either go to the new form factor or close up shop." goes, I'm not buying it.  18650 cells have been around at least since 2006, probably for longer, Tesla Motors was founded in 2003, and while I do not know when it really took off, I do know that Tesla isn't the only one that was demanding 18650 cells.  They aren't going to close up shop because they are still selling cells to so many buyers, ones for laptops, ones for cordless power equipment, etc.  Now, I know that there are high-drain cells and non-high-drain cells, and even ones between (many different chemistries), but I do think they're going to be around for a while.
(Edited)
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Oliver Clark

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I won't buy another battery powered tool as batteries don't last and are expensive my mower battery is $398. Batteries also lose there ability to hold a charge as they age requiring more frequent charging and they are less effective. My honda gas mower is over 12 years old and I keep it around so I can finish mowing my lawn when batteries die.
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Bill Menzel

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Good for you!!!!
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Frank Woodbery

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Saving a few bucks 10 years from now wasn't even in my top 5, no, make that not in my top 10 reasons to buy an electric tool. For the chain saw, it was about noise levels and instant starting. For the different hedge trimmers, it was about avoiding the weight of gas or lack of dealing with a cord for a corded trimmer. I plan to keep my gas mower. and I think tools can both work at whatever they do best.    
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Oliver Clark

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I do plan on keeping my battery hand tools but need better longer lasting and cheaper batteries(I have no gas ones including chain saw). I also am keeping the battery mower (as well as my old Honda). I have solar panels and want to stay electric but won't buy any more until warranties and batteries are improved.
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Brad Carey

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I spent big money on this mower for the convenience and the form factor that allows it to fold up and stand on its side (important for getting my car in the garage over the window). I figured I was paying a premium for this, and was okay with that, however this chart makes me feel even better about my purchase. I'm okay with it taking 10 years to recoup my initial outlay.
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szwoopp, Champion

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window painted a much more interesting picture
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Well said, Brad. The convenience is darn near priceless! :-)
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Amber F., Official EGO Rep

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Here’s a similar thread that touches on this, too: https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/payoff_break_even
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John Zappatos

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I'll be tickled if this thing lasts 10 years but I'll pay the premium for the convenience of not messing with oils or fuels and ability to store it anywhere.  My beef with EGO is they're going to lose me if they don't start producing add on items like edger, vacuum both indoor and shop. 
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David Cline, Champion

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The edger is out now. I fully expect a vacuum within 5 years, based on the fact that Ego has been very responsive to customer demand (see SP mower, power head, snow blower, pole saw, edger).
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szwoopp, Champion

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I was willing to spend extra to save on the hassle of maintenance (small engines are not my forte) and enjoy the quiet of operation.  If I come out even in the end money wise then that is a bonus I was not expecting.
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Mike Willcutt

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What convenience you have to charge to often 2hrs on riding mower be pushing back to charger if they had a brain it charge it self while mowing a very simple part to add on to solve mowing time.lol junk
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Cost benefit and analysis aside, I like the reduced emissions. Yes, I know there will be some additional emissions at the power plant where the electricity is made, but since I don't need to charge a battery every time I mow, those emissions will be really minimal compared to spewing uncontrolled emissions every time a gas mower is operated. Plus, I like that it can be folded and stood on edge for stowage and also for ease in cleaning.
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Mike Willcutt

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But your talking no yard to mow lis it's a push mower not riding model
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Cldlhd

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Plus the emissions from a gas mower are far worse than the local power plant for what you're doing.
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SCDC, Champion

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I'm just looking for convenience.  I love that I'm not dealing with gas mixtures, oil, fuel stabilizers, spark plugs, PULL CORDS, etc.

I wouldn't mind if gas ended up cheaper, but over all it probably isn't.  The only thing gas is good for around my house now is my Generator.
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Geoff O

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All that plus effortless starting. The mower works as well as my old gas mower did, had no problem mulching last autumn's leaves.

I finally got fed up with my old gas chain saw which always had issues cranking up. For the level of my use, the EGO is ideal. 
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Blue Angel, Champion

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I can imagine convenience being the #1 reason why most would go cordless electric, especially given the high initial cost.

Whether there's an eventual payback or not, for me anyway, was not even a consideration... there are MANY MANY things to focus on in my daily/monthly expenses that are orders of magnitude greater than the operating cost of my lawn equipment.

Anyone can analyze the operating costs of different types of lawn mowers, but for most people with average sized lawns, the difference in price between a medium and large morning coffee will have a greater effect on your retirement goals. ;-)
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SLG

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Hmm, I need to switch to small morning coffee to retire earlier.

Good point!
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TheAtomTwister

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This is true unless you mow professionally, then you will burn through so much more gas (or so many more batteries in my case).
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Alexander Scott

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I think this is marketed to the guy or gal who cuts his grass, and maybe his parents yard to save the family some money on lawn service. He can plug in at his home and cut his/her grass, put mower/blower in the back of his/her suv, not worry about gas or oil in the vehicle, drive to see his/her parents and plug and cut theirs too.

The only way to possibly use this as a commercial tool with the initial cost of on average of $450 every 5 years, is if you had a battery bank ($500 every 3-5 years) charged by your alternator ($160 diode charge splitter every 5 years + $60 worth of wire and connectors), New ego battery every 3 years ($300) and an inverter every 5 years ($400) to charge the EGO batteries on chargers while you're working. Maintenance is probably a way of life for most professionals, and when you have a bunch of small engines you get pretty good at maintaining them or you outsource the maintenance. Either time or money you are paying for it. Similarly to when you consistently use a small engine daily, you get more hours of run time out of the engine with less maintenance work, lithium batteries generally greatly exceed their expected charge cycles when they are used regularly and not left discharged, which the internal software prevents from happening. The upfront cost of a echo, Stihl, or Husqvarna are probably $300-$500 every 5ish years if you run them constantly. Taking the ICE engines to the shop every season can cost $50-$100 per season. Then you add in a gallon of ethanol free gas and a 1.4 ounces of two cycle oil a day and you are looking at $4 per day 5 days a week 6 months a year at $120 per season. Ego per year cost: $384, Ice equipment per year cost: $275 per year or a $109 dollar difference in favor of ICE. Per trailer/crew you are probably looking at 5 or 6 small engines. That's at the very least $550 or more per year per crew.

I would guess a well paid crew of 4 would cost $18/hr x 40hrs per week x 26 weeks per year = $74,880 per year. The additional equipment cost is 0.07% of what the crew makes, not to mention the truck and trailer cost, truck fuel, insurance, etc. The only way you can justify it is if your customers prefer quiet equipment like if they have an at home job that requires low noise (think masseuse, music studio, tutor, and that's all I can think of) or a wealthy neighborhood, or an environmentalist that may pay more than 1% extra for less noise. There are probably pockets of neighborhoods popping up that are creating niche markets for some ambitious person to fill.

So I guess that's how it is possible. It takes a person whom is willing to find and fill these markets. Not easy but not impossible either. I hope new tech get's more affordable as time goes on so we can get away from ICE. Electricity can be way more fun in my opinion! But I'm told that's called EV MADness!!!

Y'all at EGO hiring?
(Edited)
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Alexander Scott

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The next real hurdle to break into that market is the riding lawnmower. There has to be a way to get a riding lawnmower's cost down to $5000 and have it be able to run for 8hrs with an hour break for lunch to charge. Also it needs to be able to stop to protect the blades, motor, and deck just like the EGO push mowers. This would save a ton of money in deck repairs and new blades. No transmissions to burn up, full analog forward and reverse saving even more money every three or four years on transmission repairs.

There are literally so many cool things you could do with an electric riding mower. I bet you could make it wicked fast without the blades spinning, protect the deck and blades with software, sell solar range extender shade covering, sell bagger/collector that has additional battery plugs to extend range and increase power. Phone charger/holder. AC outlets to power power tools. So much fun you could have with this.
(Edited)
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TheAtomTwister

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You make a few good points, but I do work commercially.  I'm just getting started, and the upfront cost is high, but I buy enough batteries to get me through half the day, then I come back and get everything charged, then I go out for the other half of the day.  This is way easier for me than dealing with gas, plus I maintain the tools because I know my way around electric.  Plus, you can get the EGO backpack blower 5Ah kit, then sell the blower for about $150, and keep the battery and charger.  You can do the same with the mowers, buy them for the battery and charger.  You can save so much money that way.
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Alexander Scott

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I can't believe this includes the cost of rebuilding the carburetor on a gas mower every season. Not to mention the chiropractor visit after pulling it add infinitum when it won't start because of vapor lock, gummed up carb, fouled spark plug, and diagnosis of the bloody issue at hand. Please deliver me to my electric heaven.
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Cldlhd

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I'll be happy if I get 5 to 7 years out of the battery. By then I'm hoping a replacement will be a lot cheaper or they'll be a new battery powered mower I want more. I know it's cheaper per cut but I don't expect to save money over a gas mower as for the $400 I just spent on my EGO lm2101 I could get a decent $250 gas mower and with maintenance I'll get 15 years out of it but you only live once and I like a new toy( if a lawnmower can be called a toy) . Plus I don't have to smell the exhaust, change the oil, plug , air filter etc. It's quieter, I can store it vertically which is helpful in my shed. I can flip it up and remove the blade without worrying about gas or oil dumping out etc...
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TheAtomTwister

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That is why I go electric.  It is just more convenient for me.
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Dave M

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I have all of the ego tools as well as my gas mower and I use all of them. For weekly mowing i prefer the quiet Ego mower so much more than my gas mower because I don't have to blast my radio or headphones and I can talk on my phone while I mow if I need to. The gas is nice when the yard gets really tall because of rain or I want to pick up after leaves and debris towards the end of the season. I'm not rich but I never really considered the price because I can afford both and I have plenty of room. The best thing about the Ego over gas is the headlights and how quiet it is for night time mowing when it's hot. I also like a little less power when I'm re-seeding bare area's of the yard, as the gas will leave marks in the dirt because of the added weight and will ruin the delicate new grass. The Ego is so much lighter it saves my back.
(Edited)
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SCDC, Champion

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A year later (after my last post in this thread), is the continued high price of the batteries.  I just don't see them moving like I had hoped.  LOVE Electric, don't love the cost of the power source.  If EGO could get the pricing down on the larger batteries, it would pretty much alleviate most if not all questions/concerns people have in their minds about going electric.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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There have been many people on this board questioning the investment when the battery replacement cost is 2/3 the price of the whole kit, and rightly so.

The run time argument is also more important when batteries are too expensive; if the included battery doesn’t finish the job you’ll be stuck waiting for it to charge, rather than buying a second battery to swap in. Cheaper batteries mean more batteries and less need for “range anxiety”.
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SCDC, Champion

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Yes sir, i know that feeling about "range anxiety".  Like that term!
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Matt Moore

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This is probably my major concern as well.  We all know that batteries often don't last as long as manufactures state that they will and any sort of replacement inside of 3 years will kill any chance of ROI.  Also agree that the additional battery cost is far too expensive.  I believe that most manufacturers are making high profit on batteries.  This seems to be normal in the industry.  Look at batteries for other battery tools, it is the same scenario.  It is better to buy another tool and get another battery than have to buy a battery outright.
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SCDC, Champion

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Yes, I believe they do that to move more tools, that you would normally not purchase.   Industry standard practice.
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szwoopp, Champion

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Matt - if you had to replace a battery inside of 3 years it would be free under Egos warranty.
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Cldlhd

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I agree. Assuming they priced them at a level where they were still making a decent profit they'd easily make it up in volume. I got my LM 2101 on sale but still $400 is a bit more than most "normal" mowers people are used to. I've been in Home Depot with friends and co-workers and showed them the EGO mowers and usually they think it's cool but too expensive or they think battery powered tools are better for weed wackers or blowers and aren't sold on the idea of a battery powered mower.
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TheAtomTwister

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I myself almost wasn't.  If my gas mower didn't start having problems, I wouldn't have got the one that I did.  For Greenworks: Get a high lift blade.  For EGO, get a real side discharger on the 21 inchers.  For both: Put a turbo button on the handle.
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Matt Moore

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Over 10 years?  How often does any mower gas or electric last for 10 years?  In the case of battery, it does not appear that they have included the cost of at least a few batteries that will be needed over the 10 year period and the fact that it might require that multiple batteries are needed at the outset depending on the size of the yard.

I so want the battery powered to be the thing but the additional and replacement battery cost seems too high and longevity is still unknown to some degree.
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SCDC, Champion

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Nobody has a crystal ball, but none of my li-ion batteries last very long.  My laptop ones stop holding much of a charge at 4 years, but they do work.  Our phones are pretty much toast after a year (iPhones).  iPads about 3 years. My Garmin Fenix gave 2 years, my Apple Watch about 2 before much reduced battery.  You start to see the picture. 

If I can get 4 good years out of a battery, and get a reasonably priced replacement, I'm good.  

I'm realistic with my expectations. 
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Brad Carey

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Many of the devices listed above as examples will have many more charge cycles than EGO batteries will. I wonder if that'll be the difference.
(Edited)
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szwoopp, Champion

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Only time will tell.  But it is fun and interesting to discuss and analyze the issue 
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SCDC, Champion

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And fun to guess, because that is all we are doing  :).  EGO has much more technology in their battery system than the bare batteries in our consumer devices I listed above.   And when using a non-commercial item, the charge cycles are not high per year.
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Cldlhd

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Ya I charge my phone daily but the mower probably once a week for maybe half the year at most. Probably just over 20 charges a year.
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richbrew

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Personally, I find it interesting that the comparison is vs a $250 mower. If one will spend $500 on an electric mower, the competition is more likely to be a $400/$500 Honda. In that case, the electric wins the TCO in year 1 and the rest is bonus.
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szwoopp, Champion

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Great point richbrew !
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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Sure, but that's not really the point of the comparison. I think most will buy something gas powered in the $250 range because that is a popular price point for gas mowers. And Consumer Reports' top rated mower at the time of the report costs $250. Ego doesn't offer a mower at that price point. I think the best price right now is $399. So, the comparison is apt. The slope will be different because the comparison was made at $499 instead of $399. I imagine if Ego offered a $250 mower then the comparison wouldn't work and electric would win out every time, but since they don't it does. The comparison isn't really about if one were to upgrade to a more expensive gas mower, but what the average person would pay for a gas mower and how cost of ownership compares to Ego's offering. Also, the comparison goes into yard size as well which would require more than one battery if the yard were large enough to run down only one battery.
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Cldlhd

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I disagree. A $250 gas mower would do what I need and cut just fine so I wouldn't pay $400 or $500 for one. However if I want a good battery powered mower I have to pay $400 so I did because I want an electric mower.
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szwoopp, Champion

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I think we all understand the math.  The point is when making a comparison you have to factor in what the choice is for YOU.
Some can use the chart as is
Some wouldn't buy a $250 gas mower, so need to make that adjustment.
Some are certain they will have to purchase 3 batteries in order to make it 10 years
Some think 10 years is realistic for the life of one battery (particularly an Ego battery with all of its technology)
and so on.
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Cldlhd

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I agree . I'm just saying that for myself if I was getting a gas mower I wouldn't have spent $400 but I did for the EGO.