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they had/have electric riding mowers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Chop Stuff Up, May 6, 2008.

  1. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

  2. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,458

    The GE mower was actually pretty good, just cost too much.

    Check out the Electric OX. This mower would be great for mowing around condos and other areas where noise is an issue.

  3. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I'm a bit older than Oldtimer, and I remember them too. But I don't remember anyone liking them. They were pretty much of a flop for GE that manufactured them from about 1970 to 1975. If anyone is interested, here's a website

    I didn't understand then why anyone would want one, and I sure can't understand why anyone would want one now. Someone who has more money than he knows what to do with, I suppose.
  4. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    There are several reasons why someone would want one. For one thing, less maintenance. No gasoline. Can be charged for free off of solar panels. Quieter than a gas powered mower. Ready to go as soon as you unplug and flip the switch. And the fact that there is a website/forum for them should tell you that there are people who like them.
  5. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Lead acid battery powered vehicles, be it carts, mowers, whatever actually have more maintenance requirements than a comparable gasoline powered unit.
    The corrosive gases emitted as a result of the chemical reaction of the acid on the lead plates in the batteries necessitates constant and vigilant attention. Forget to clean the unit after a discharge cycle and all sorts of ancilliary problem occur.
    About the only mower that seemed to even have a chance was the E-Plex originally marketed by Textron. I ran one in a test program both in the NE and in the deep south and the unit would only go nine greens at a maximum before requiring a lengthy recharge.
    Doomed it to a very limited market.
    This isn't to say I wouldn't ever run a battery powered mower but the power cell technology and associated costs need to be comparable to gasoline technology.
    Let's face it, the profit margin in commercial mowing isn't that high to begin with, so if a manufacturer wants to market a machine it has to at least keep up with the gas units.
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    What I'd like to see is quick recovery battery powered equipment, be it mowers or trimmers etc. I'd like to be able to change out the battery packs in seconds. I'd like to see battery powered equipment with the power and weight of gas powered.

    With all of those things above I could roll up to a customer's house, jump out and cut their lawn silently. I'd also be able to plug my equipment's charger into the customer's outside outlet and charge my spare batteries while I'm servicing their lawn.

    That would cut my gas cost in half.
  7. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    Seems to me any commercial mower I've operated, the deck/blade noise is far louder than the engine is.
  8. herberg

    herberg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    looked at the website for those - seems it' kind of a cult thing. not like drink the kool aid cult - but a very select number of people have and are using them. did you see all the attachments available? look in the gallery - you can even turn it into a forklift.

    would be interesting to see how long the batteries last.

    the blue mower with the 5 blade home-made deck is pretty impressive looking.

    noisy decks on mowers - i think a lot of that noise is the belts, combined with bearing noise, etc. It looks like these use electric motors for the blade rotation. Assuming that they are running at 1750 rpm - 18" blades = i have no idea, but it doesn't seem like you'd get the tip speed you need for a clean, consistent cut.

    but - the idea is intriguing. sell it as environmentally friendly lawncare, pair it with organic fertilization - all the twig and berry people would jump on that in no time at all.
  9. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    Used the E-Plex on a baby 18 hole. On a good day it would make it through, on a bad day it got towed back to the shop
  10. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    I guess with the heavy duty deep cycle batteries today it would run longer. Even if you could charge it off your trailer between lawns with electric generated off the truck. Still wouldn't be practical for a business. I see what you mean with the electric motors on each blade, I guess that does eliminate most of your noise right there.

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