Impact on the Environment

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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What are the emissions (tied to the emission at the power plant) related to charging the battery for 30 minutes vs. running a gas powered mower for 45'?
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Chris Tuten

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Posted 6 years ago

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Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

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Official Response
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 5 percent of annual air pollution emissions for the entire U.S. come from lawn mowers. Think about that... 5% of all air pollution comes from Gas Powered Lawn Mowers.  A single gas-powered push mower emits as much hourly air emissions as 40 cars (California Air Resources Board). Spilled fuel is another problem; the EPA estimates Americans spill some 17 million gallons of fuel every year while refueling lawn equipment – more than all the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Spilled fuel releases volatile organic compounds into the air which also contribute to smog-forming ozone. 

 

The emissions from your power plant will vary with its fuel source (coal, natural gas, wind, solar, nuclear, etc.), its efficiency, and its pollution controls.  Compare the facts on gas to what we know on electric... An EGO user with a  1/2 acre or less will spend about $1.20 total in a typical season to recharge the battery ($.03 per cut, 40 times a year).  We are quite certain that $1.20 worth of energy produces less emissions at the power plant than what the EPA describes about gas powered lawnmowers.  

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Dennis

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Environmental impact involves much more than what you address, it is global. The unit is plastic, is it recyclable? If not, how will take long to bio degrade in the landfill? The batteries are hazardous waste. The motor has both recyclable and landfill components. Since your products are made in China, how environmental friendly is their manufacturing processes? How healthy is their work environment? Remember poisoned contaminants leach into the soil, rivers, oceans, air and carry to other lands. We have to carefully weigh the life of the mower when it becomes land fill and hazardous waste vs your facts stated.


Now we go on to another aspect, which is price and value. The Toro smart stow, self propelled costs $349 at Home Depot, the same place you exclusively sell your produc. It has a steel body which is recyclable, you take care of it and it will last 7-10 years (Toro warranties it for 2 years), this is based on personal experience with gas mowers. You burn gas which is bad for the environment, however the used oil is taken to a recycling center. A good lawn mower engine can be rebuilt for less the cost of a new mower. I doubt if you will have repair parts available for your motor, and a new motor would probably cost as much buying a new battery operated mower, and you would probably break the plastic deck trying to get the old motor off (more stuff in the landfill). So in the long haul which one is more environmentally friendly/cost effective? A major competitor to Ego is Greenworks (20” twin blade), it runs on two 40 volt batteries with an advertised run tine of 70 minutes. Its made from plastic and made in China too, costs $400 at Lowes and $360 with free prime shipping at Amazon. Your product has a five year warranty, Greenworks has a four year one.

In conclusion, I am finding it hard to the justify spending $100 to $140 more for a reportedly environmentally friendly battery powered mower for $600, or even $360 or $400. I have my doubts if these are truly better for the environment. One thing for sure the battery mowers will be a lot quieter when mowing early in the morning or late at night, so my neighbors would be less likely annoyed. I also wouldn’t have to wear hearing protection either, I will still wear safety glasses (seriously, once I was mowing my lawn and the mower threw a rock which bounced off the shed and hit me right on the safety lenses).

If I go with a “green” mower it will most likely be the Greenworks which is less money; because battery mowers are quieter and no air pollution from burning fuel.

Still researching.



Dennis


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Rita Campbell

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How much does the Greenworks lead acid battery weigh? (28-40 lbs? I had hoped that the Ego battery would have been lighter than it is but it is lighter than all of the previous generation's electric lawnmowers.
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Robert C

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The advantages of the EGO cordless electric lawn mowers are:
ENERGY EFFICIENT  Compared to a gas mower, where most of the energy from a gasoline engine is wasted as heat.
EASY TO START  Just press the button and pull the handle in.  Gas mowers are notorious for being difficult to pull start.
QUIET  Electric lawn mowers are significantly quieter than gas mowers.
NO GAS OR OIL  There is no need to have to go buy or store gas.  There is no need to breathe in the fumes from gasoline or pour gasoline into the lawn mower.  There is no need to worry about gas in your eyes or on your skin.  You don’t have to worry about the possibility of a fire from the gas.  You don’t have to worry about the health effects of gasoline.  The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for unleaded gasoline is 15 pages long.
DOES NOT POLLUTE   You don’t have to breathe in exhaust fumes the whole time you mow the lawn.  Gas lawn mowers don’t have pollution controls.  Gasoline and the fumes from burning gasoline are known carcinogens.  You are breathing in the exhaust the whole time you are mowing with a gas mower.
EASILY FLIPS UPRIGHT   You should clean the underside of your mower regularly, and, unlike most other cordless mowers and gas mowers, the EGO mower stores upright.
CHARGES QUICKLY   The EGO mower has more battery capacity than other cordless mowers, 224 watt-hours, and charges in 30 minutes (compared to 120 minutes for the GreenWorks mower.)
BATTERY RECYCLING  The lithium battery has value even after it loses capacity and should be recycled.  The composite mower deck can also be recycled.
TIME SAVING  You save your valuable time by not having to go buy gas in a can and transport it in your car.  You also save your valuable time by not having to maintain a gas engine or winterize it.
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Eric

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The charge-time being less than the run-time is an interesting distinction to me.  It means that even if you needed to run the mower all day you would only ever need two batteries and one charger.  As to whether it's likely that anyone would use the EGO mower in particular for that length of time, I have no idea.
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Eric

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The real advantage that Greenworks has at the moment (aside from price, which is typically higher for a newer product) is that there are a fair number more product types that use its batteries (a chainsaw and an air compressor to name a couple).  One thing I did not like about Greenworks was that it was very difficult to find out any information about the batteries online (weight, etc.), whereas EGO has a PDF manual specifically for the battery easily downloadable.  The closest I could get to a listed weight of the batteries was on Amazon where it the shipping weight was shown as 2 pounds for the smaller and 3 pounds for the larger of the 40V batteries.
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Daniel Armstrong

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Dennis, there is no way a gas mower would have less impact. Also, remember that it takes about 5.5 kWh of energy on average to refine a gallon of gas. So, while an electric mower or car has "a long tailpipe" -remember that a gas one has two, the short smelly one near you, and the long really smelly one at the refinery.

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