Less noise and no emissions — both are big selling points of electric lawn mowers. That’s right, it’s not just cars that have moved on from fossil fuels. Here we’ll provide some information on these new-school models and discuss electric lawn mower maintenance.
Cord or Cordless?
The first decision you have to make in buying an electric lawn mower is whether you want a corded or cordless model. If you plug it in, it’ll run until you unplug it, essentially granting unlimited mowing time. The biggest concerns are safety and convenience. You need to keep an eye on your extension cord at all times to avoid accidentally running the mower over it. If you do accidentally run over the cord, there’s a risk of electric shock, not to mention damage to the cord and possibly to the mower itself. Getting a separate, brightly colored extension cord for the mower is a good idea.
Like electric cars, cordless lawn mower models are evolving. Formerly niche tech, the newest e-mowers run longer on a charge and charge more quickly. Still, there are limits. If it takes more than 45 minutes to mow your yard, you may need to stick with gasoline power.
That said, there are some significant advantages to electric lawn mowers compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts. For example, they’re about 20 decibels quieter, so your eardrums and your neighbors will thank you. They’re also lighter-weight and more maneuverable, and many models fold up for easy storage. Recently, starting prices have been quite competitive as well.
Electric Lawn Mower Maintenance
This is the area where electrics really make a case for themselves. First off, you wouldn’t have to keep volatile fuel in the mower and in your garage or shed. You wouldn’t have to deal with oil, oil filters, air filters or spark plugs. Checking and changing those can be both a chore and an expense, so each year you own an electric mower instead of a gas mower will bring repeat savings.
In fact, electric lawn mower maintenance really comes down to just a few tasks:
- Ensuring that the cord on a corded model is free of nicks and fraying.
- Keeping all vents debris-free for cooling.
- Monitoring battery life on cordless models.
It can vary by model, but you should expect five years’ life out of the rechargeable battery in your electric lawn mower. If you notice it getting weak, consider replacing the battery pack. That’s pretty much it, apart from the one common maintenance item for both gasoline and electric lawn mowers: keeping the blades nice and sharp.
An electric lawn mower can be ideal, but it may not be for everyone. Still, improvements in technology continue to make them a logical and economical answer for more and more people.
Check out all the lawn mower products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on electric lawn mower maintenance, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Mike Hagerty is an automotive journalist whose work has been featured on radio, TV, in print and online since 1997. He's the Publisher and Editor of MikeHagertyCars.com, and contributes car reviews to the Los Altos Town Crier and losaltosonline.com. Previous outlets have included KFBK and KFBK.com in Sacramento, California, the ABC television affiliates and Hearst-Argyle and Emmis radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona; AAA magazines for Arizona, Oklahoma, Northwest Ohio, South Dakota and the Mountain West and BBCCars.com.