Decreased Fossil Fuel Use
According to the US Department of Transportation, Vermont consumes 5,453,000 total gallons of gasoline per year for lawn and garden care (the nationwide total is 2,982,755,000 gallons). Traditional commercial gas/diesel mowers typically burn 1 to 2 gallons of gas or diesel per hour. Therefore, for every commercial gas/diesel lawn mower that’s replaced with an electric mower in the New England region, fossil fuel use can be reduced by approximately 1,440 to 1,920 gallons per year (assuming 6 to 8 hours/day, 5 days/week, 24 weeks/year).
Additionally, depending on the type and horsepower rating of mowers used by homeowners mowing 1 to 2 hours a week (for 24 weeks), anywhere from 5 to over 50 gallons of gas or diesel could be saved per year.
Since every gallon of gas/diesel burned emits an average of about 22 lbs. of CO2 (includes the carbon in the gas/diesel plus the oxygen used during combustion) and because electric mowers have zero CO2 emissions, for every commercial gas/diesel lawn mower that’s replaced with an electric mower in the New England region, CO2 emissions could be reduced by approximately 31,680 to 42,240 lbs (approx. 16 to 21 tons), less the amount of C02 emissions generated by the production of the electricity used, which increasingly is being generated from renewable sources such as sun, wind, and hydro. Therefore, for every 100 commercial gas/diesel lawn mowers that are replaced with electric mowers in the New England region, CO2 emissions will be reduced by approximately 1,600 to 2,100 tons, (again, less the amount of C02 emissions generated by the production of the electricity used).
Since gas and diesel lawn mowers have minimal emission controls, they are widely recognized as a major source of smog-forming air pollution. In-fact, according to one EPA study, for every 1 hp rating, a typical lawn mower emits the equivalent air pollution of 3.67 automobiles driving at 55 mph. Therefore, replacing a 36 hp diesel or gas mower with a 36 hp electric mower, the equivalent emissions of 132 cars driving at 55 mph could be avoided per hour of mowing. Similarly, the equivalent emissions of 88 cars could be avoided for every 24 hp gas/diesel mower that’s replaced with a 24 hp electric mower, and the equivalent emissions of 20 cars could be avoided for every 5.5 hp gas/diesel mower that’s replaced with a 5.5 hp electric mower. Clearly, considering the hundreds of thousands of conventional lawn mowers operating in New England, there exists enormous potential to improve regional air quality throughout the lawn mowing season, which is both when “High Smog Alert” conditions are most frequent AND when many people are outdoors recreating.
Increased Use of Renewable Energy
With ever-expanding solar and wind energy capacity in New England, there’s an ever-increasing potential for the electricity used to recharge batteries to come from renewable sources.
Battery-electric lawn care equipment produces significantly less noise compared to conventional gas-powered equipment which improves the quality of life in our communities. For more information about how the issue of noise is being addressed on a local and national level, visit Quiet Communities.