Electric Riding Mowers: Cut Your Grass, Without Gas!

Why deal with greasy gas guzzlers when electric riding mowers are available to mow your lawn quietly and without nasty odors?
June/July 2010
http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/electric-riding-mowers-zmaz10jjzraw.aspx
Check out the growing crop of all-electric riding mowers, such as this one from WhisperMow.


PHOTO: WHISPERMOW

Electric riding mowers have arrived! Finally, you can trade your petroleum-burning engines, hydraulic systems, belts, and pulleys for a sleek, silent, battery-powered machine.

WhisperMow’s all-electric, rear-steer lawn tractor comes equipped with a 48-volt sealed battery, and a 41.4-inch-wide, front mount cutting deck that will cut grass for 80 to 100 minutes. That means you can mow about 1.5 acres on a single charge. The commercial-quality tractor can also be fit with a snowblower, rotary sweeper, and more to make it a true multipurpose machine. WhisperMow has a single electric transmission and single-deck motor. At $5,000 ($5,500 for the higher-end XR model), it is competitively priced with comparable petroleum-burning models.

The Ariens AMP is a traditional style riding mower that looks like the classic rear-engine rider. The 48-volt, low-maintenance, lead-acid battery powered machine can operate for up to 75 minutes on a single charge. The AMP is powered by a single electric motor that’s connected to the drive wheels through a hydrostatic transmission. The electric motor delivers constant torque to the hydrostat, which in turn controls speed and direction. A pair of spindle motors spins the AMP’s mower blades — no more belts and pulleys to contend with. At $3,299, the AMP offers an attractive price, and its 34-inch cutting width is perfect for smaller yards.

The Hustler Turf Zeon has finally entered production! This all-electric zero-turn makes use of proven lead-acid battery technology in a 48-volt package that can mow more than an acre on a single charge — in 42-inch-wide swaths. This machine is so quiet that it gives the impression of inadequate power, but the Zeon’s welded deck is as heavy-duty as many of Hustler Turf’s other machines. This level of quality comes at a price: $6,999. It’s currently the only all-electric zero-turn, but another is expected soon from Eco-Mow.

For smaller yards, the 36-volt Recharge Mower Model G1-RM10 can reportedly operate for up to three hours on a single charge. The all-electric Recharge’s 27-inch diameter mowing deck should handle tight spaces with ease, and like the AMP and Zeon, it employs a pair of motors to drive the mower blades. At $2,295, this little electric rider is currently only available online.