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Rechargeable "Green" Lawn Mowing Options

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Many communities around the nation are offering incentives to homeowners who are willing to contribute to clean air and energy-efficient lawn care. In March 2008, Consumer Reports cited two California communities that offered substantial cost breaks in new rechargeable electric mowers to residents who turned in their noisy, gas-belching power machines. In Sacramento and South Coast areas, municipal utility districts offered lawn mowers for as little as $100 as part of a "Mow Down Air Pollution" campaign.

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One participating utility company said that a single older, traditional gas mower blasted out the same pollution in a year as 24 new cars driving 12,000 miles. Despite its offer, only about 400 residents in Southern California swapped out their emission-belching machines for a 24-volt electric mower that runs up to 60 minutes on a single charge. The 24-volt model equates to 5 hp on a gas model.

Electric Mowing and Models

Consumer Reports evaluated a range of cordless, rechargeable mowers and reported that, unlike their gas-powered cousins, electric mowers don't necessarily improve in performance by total voltage. The organization tested a 48-volt rechargeable machine costing $400 and a more expensive 60-volt model that operated with or without a cord, and discovered the best performance came from third machine, a 24-volt cordless.

Rechargeable electric mowers tend to be lighter and easier to start than the old standbys, and can make mowing a breeze if you can get across the entire lawn in the time it takes to drain the battery--typically up to 5,000 square feet. There are mulching models that double up on lawn care chores, but if allow your lawn to grow into a jungle, or have a lot of hills, it may not be the right machine.


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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