So if that's true, then dumping my gas mower is an awesome idea. Why? Two Big Reasons...
- Small gas engines under 25 hp contribute about 16 percent of HC emissions and 21 percent of CO emissions from mobile sources nationwide! April 2003 EPA Program Update Report
- Because one hour of lawn mowing with a gas-powered lawn mower produces as much pollution as driving your car for four hours.
So what's a better alternative?
If you can't get rid of your lawn, then switching to cleaner lawn equipment is the next best thing. Since this an EV inspired blog, wouldn't it be smart if there was a lawn service that used an EV to drive their clean lawn equipment around?
There is...and I just met them today.
The company is called Evoscape from Winter Park, FL. It was dreamed up by two brothers (Jarrett and Ardis Phillips) that have owned other lawn service companies in the past. The company has only been alive for a few months, which included 3 months for buying and configuring their equipment.
These guys did their homework.
- The Truck: A Chrysler GEM eL XD. They love this thing. They can get 40 miles of range with it empty, but only 25 miles with it pulling the trailer. The range isn't a big deal since their growing client base is just a few miles away.
- The Trailer: This is where the magic is...
- Positioned for visibility and functionality, it has three solar panels right up front. They plan to put more on top of the trailer, but having them up front is a great marketing tool...once people stop looking at the GEM.
- Inside, they have a battery backed up power supply that charges the batteries used in their electric power tools (18V & 36V).
- The Tools:
- The mower is a converted gas mower that runs on propane (Heritage Propane did their conversion). While I don't know how clean their mower is, a mower designed with propane in mind spews 26 percent less greenhouse gases and 60 percent less carbon monoxide than a gasoline model.
- The backpack Blower and Edger are also fueled by propane. These were made by a California company.
- The power tools (hedge clippers, small blower, string trimmer, etc) were made by Black & Decker and Ryobi and they used Lithium Ion 18V and 36V Batteries. They keep a few battery spares in the solar powered battery chargers inside for ready use.
- A small Kegerator that keeps a pony keg of organic beer ice cold to make up for the lack of air conditioning in the GEM. OK, I'm kidding about the Kegerator, but it does sound like a good idea!
Their goal is to go all electric with their rig, but until battery prices come down (and energy density goes up) enough to power energy hungry devices like mowers, edgers, and blowers...they'll be using propane.
That said, I'm thinking that in 5 years, we'll see mowers competing with cars to recharge their equipment at Charging Stations. I hope by then, the guys who started Evoscape with a dream to do lawn maintenance with a Low Carbon Footprint will be running a large operation by then.
Good luck guys, you've got a great idea!