Do lawn care companies exist in Colorado that use electric equipment?
They sure do. We recently conducted interviews with Colorado-based companies who use a variety of electric tools for the clients whose properties they maintain. These small business owners ranged from a 14-year-old entrepreneur in Littleton to the CEO of a nationwide electric lawn company headquartered in Fort Collins. What follows is a selection of their responses.
Which types of properties does your company service?
- “Residential small and medium properties and larger properties with lawns up to 15,000 sq ft”
- “Small to large residential and small commercial properties”
- “All the above”
Which types of equipment does your company have electric versions of?
The answers ranged from “Push mower, Leaf blower, String trimmers” to “Riding mower, Push mower, Leaf blower, String trimmers, Hedge trimmer, Chain saw, Edger”
Why did you decide to use electric equipment?
- “Better for the environment”
- “There are a variety of reasons we choose to use only electric equipment. Electric equipment tends to require less maintenance, vibrates less while in use (better for joints of operator when using 8+ hours per day), quieter which is better for the customer and neighbors of customers (noise pollution), and using electric equipment over gas equipment reduces the amount of local pollution. This last reason is important to us here in Denver specifically since we often struggle with air quality issues during the summer and small 2 stroke engines are a massive contributor to this problem.”
- “It is easy and quiet”
- “Air and noise pollution”
- “It’s so much easier to use and it’s better [for] the earth.”
- “Figured out how to have solar on tops of trucks and trailers power everything, the environment and being quiet.”
Do you think electric lawn & garden equipment can get the job done?
- “Electric equipment has been getting the job done for our company since 2018. Each year the equipment gets better and better as more companies move towards electric products creating competition and innovation.”
- “For a home owner that answer is absolutely. For a lawn mowing /maintenance company I would say we are close if not there already as well.”
- “Mostly. When it comes to everyday maintenance and average mows, electric does perfect. Where electric equipment struggles is when properties get crazy thick and overgrown, or when it gets too hot for batteries to charge. At the same time, it is hard to find quality built electric equipment that will stand commercial use. That being said, I have gotten the job done now for 2 years, and you just have to change up how you work with it. Overall, I’ve mostly enjoyed my experience.”
- “Yep it works the same if not better than gas equipment.”
How do you keep your batteries charged throughout the work day?
- “Buy equipment with larger batteries and/or have extra batteries to cover our work day”
- “We have a large number of batteries that last us throughout the day. In the near future we will be putting mobile charging solutions into use in our 6’x12′ enclosed trailer.”
- “I have a large battery bank that charges all of my smaller batteries. The trick is to always have something on a charger.”
- “Solar system on truck”
- “I give them the time they need to charge in the garage.”
- “I am the first company in the world to have solar on top of my trucks and trailers that charge a battery bank to then charge my equipment’s batteries”
Does electric lawn equipment take more or less time and money to maintain over time than gas equipment?
- “Less. The walk behind/push mowers take the most maintenance and are the piece of equipment that still could use some improvement.”
- “Way less. No oil changes, no spark plugs, or filters. Just have to clean them off and keep everything lubed up.”
- “I have had my mower for 4 years and the only thing I had to replace was the blade.”
- “Same maybe less as you can have batteries go bad but you don’t need the yearly tune up.”
- Several respondents shared that parts and repairs for electric equipment can be hard to come by and/or costly and that warranties could use improvement – good feedback for manufacturers.
Do your clients notice you use electric equipment and if so, what do they like about it?
- “Some do – and those that notice usually comment on the reduced noise”
- “They like that it’s very quiet, and does not fill their yard/house with fumes.”
- “They like how quiet the lawnmower is.”
- “They love how quiet it is.”
Anything else you’d like to share?
- “As a lawn care company owner and operator that mostly mows smaller lawns -I do think electric is the way of the future for us anyhow and I think it will have a big emissions impact on the environment once more electric equipment starts being proven and more parts are available and more and more equipment is put into use by others. I also think that if you are a homeowner – electric is the only way to go! Just do your homework and invest in good equipment.”
- “If you’re interested in hearing more hands on experience about electric lawn care Electric Lawn Talk is a good podcast.”
- “Overall I think it’s an important switch to start moving over to other methods other than gas. Electric is definitely in the works, and is definitely making a change.”
Clean Air Advocate, CoPIRG Foundation
Kirsten joined CoPIRG's staff in 2022 and is focused on fighting for clean air for Coloradans and transforming transportation systems. Previously, she oversaw The Public Interest Network's efforts to engage alumni/former employees and volunteers in the network's work, specializing in communications and organizing events in dozens of cities. Kirsten lives in the Denver area with her husband and two children, where she is an avid hiker, biker, church choir member and gardener.