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Screen shot via YouTube. Credit:EGO

Consumer Technology

Battery-Powered Landscape Equipment Can Now Recharge Inside A Solar-Powered Toolshed

Landscape equipment like mowers, trimmers, and blowers create millions of tons of exhaust emissions every year in America. It’s time to go electric.

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The smell of newly mowed grass is sweet, but the aroma of a Briggs & Stratton 4-stroke engine is not. Today there are battery-electric power tools, leaf blowers, and lawn mowers of every description available, but they have just started to become available in the past year or so. Previously, battery-powered tools had too little oomph to get the job done, but things are changing rapidly.

Battery-Powered Landscape Equipment

EGO is one of the leading suppliers of battery-powered lawn equipment, including string trimmers, leaf blowers, robotic lawn mowers, and zero-turn riding mowers, all of which use interchangeable 56 volt lithium-ion batteries. The company says its batteries equal or exceed the power of gasoline — all without the noise, fuss, and fumes of internal combustion engines.

If you think battery-electric mowers and such are just toys for suburbanites to use on weekends, consider this. On June 28, 2023, John Deere announced a new strategic partnership with EGO (which is now owned by Chevron) that will allow both companies to provide homeowners with EGO battery-powered lawn care solutions through John Deere dealers.

“Simplifying the landscape management of properties is what drives us every day. We seek to provide our customers with a broad range of tools, which will now include a battery ecosystem that can be extended into a variety of property care solutions,” said David Thorne, vice president, John Deere turf and compact utility business. “Partnering with a leading electric solutions brand, like EGO, to provide top quality battery powered equipment will propel both John Deere and [EGO] into a stronger market position to serve our evolving customers.”

As part of the agreement, EGO-branded battery products will be available through John Deere dealers. EGO batteries are portable and can be used across over 70 compatible products, allowing customers to complete multiple projects using multiple products with the same battery system. If EGO tools are good enough for John Deere, they are good enough. Period.

Similarly, Home Depot pledged recently that 85% of the outdoor lawn equipment it sells will be battery-powered within 5 years. The company claims the transition will prevent 2,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions from the exhaust pipes of residential lawn equipment from being dumped into the atmosphere.

To reach this goal, Home Depot will take a leadership position in battery technology and offer cordless outdoor power tools from market leading brands such as Ryobi, Milwaukee, Makita, DeWalt, and more. The company says those brands are committed to building rechargeable tools that deliver the power that customers have come to expect from gasoline-powered equipment and the run times they need to complete a job, all with less noise, less maintenance, and easier startups.

Home Depot adds that its greatest environmental impact comes from the products it sells, and the biggest opportunity to create change is providing customers with product selections that reduce their carbon impact. “According to industry data, using a gas powered lawn mower for an hour creates as much air pollution as driving 300 miles in an average car. Running a gas leaf blower for an hour creates the same number of emissions as driving from Los Angeles to Denver,” the company says.

“By innovating residential lawn equipment away from gas powered combustible engines, we can help make our neighborhoods cleaner and quieter,” says Ron Jarvis, chief sustainability officer for Home Depot. “By working with our suppliers to bring innovative and sustainable products to every aisle of our store, we can help our customers create more sustainable homes and workplaces.”

Charge Your Lawn Mower With A Solar-Powered Tool Shed

solar tool shed

Image courtesy of SunVilla

Perhaps you would like to convert your landscape tools to battery power, but worry about how you will keep them charged. Never fear. If there is a need, the market place will find a way to fill it. SunVilla, a leading manufacturer of premium outdoor furniture and accessories, has partnered with SunTek to offer a solar-powered tool shed that can help keep battery-powered tools ready to work when needed.

SunVilla’s Solar Powered Smart Yard pairs solar panels with next generation semi-solid-state batteries to create a self-sustaining ecosystem that generates clean renewable energy. The stored energy can be used to power electric yard tools and outdoor furniture, marking a significant step towards sustainable outdoor living practices.

The power station, a crucial component of the system, is available in various models to meet different power demands. Suntek’s pioneering use of semi-solid-state batteries allows the power station to store up to 6400 Wh and supply up to 3800 watts of electricity. When paired with a Solar Powered Tool Shed — a first of its kind centerpiece of a sustainable, rechargeable outdoor ecosystem — multiple devices can be powered simultaneously, ensuring uninterrupted outdoor functionality.

The SunVilla collection includes smart umbrellas, pergolas, gazebos, and enclosed outdoor rooms, while SunTek products include leaf blowers, trimmers, edgers, and a robot lawn mower. The entire product line is equipped with the Suntek Smart Link app, which enables users to conveniently control and monitor product status and life cycle data in real time.

landscape equipment

Image courtesy of Suntek

“We are thrilled to add Suntek’s innovative smart living technology to the SunVilla family. With this groundbreaking addition, we are bringing the future of residential living right to your doorstep. Our team has worked tirelessly to develop a seamless integration of advanced features and cutting-edge functionalities, all aimed at enhancing your comfort, convenience, and overall quality of life,” says SunVilla executive vice president Matt Weiss.

The Takeaway

Many Americans live in condo communities where landscape equipment is in use on a daily basis. There is nothing quite so soothing as the sound of a leaf blower cranking up outside your window at 7:00 am. Not only are battery-powered machines less harmful to the environment, they are much quieter in operation, which can be of great benefit to those who live in those communities.

It can be argued that emissions from landscape equipment is not as much of a concern as those from trans-oceanic container ships, and that is certainly true. But those emissions are not insignificant either. How much is a quieter neighborhood with fewer fine particulates in the air worth? Most people would say the answer is, “A lot.”

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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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