Today I edged, mowed and leaf-blowed using only sunshine.
Solar panels on my roof charge the modular 18v battery pack in the shed which fits the Ryobi electric mower, lawn edger, blower and chainsaw I own.
Which means zero fuel cost for me and zero-emissions for the world (instead of high-emission 2 stroke smog). It’s also about 1/3rd the weight of a fuel-powered equivalent. Very much quieter too.
My electric mower, blower, edger and chainsaw have required absolutely no maintenance in five years of ownership – very low moving part count, no spark plugs, no compression seals.
When I’m done I slot the battery pack into the charger. Ryobi’s clever modular design means it’s impossible to incorrectly slot the battery, and easy to see the charge status of the battery.
I can edge, cut and blow my 40 square metre garden on a full charge on one battery, and as I have three batteries, I’ll sometimes help cut the communal pathway next to our house or do some mowing or chainsawing for a neighbour.
To start a fuel-powered mower you turn on the fuel, prime the cylinder, adjust the choke, adjust the throttle, pull, pull, pull on a cord against all that resistance or press the starter button, then adjust the choke and throttle again, then try not to stall it as it warms up.
Then when you want to empty the grass catcher you have the option of leaving the mower running, consuming fuel and spewing pollutants while it waits for you, or turn it off and then go through the whole starting rigmarole again.
With my electric mower I just hold down the safety bar and press the start button. If I want to stop and empty the grass catcher, I just let go of the safety bar and it instantly stops. Then to go again, I just hold down the bar and press the start button. It instantly starts, every time. At first it’s a little spooky.
This is not a paid endorsement of Ryobi products and it’s not any other form of content marketing. I just really like the product and bought them using my own money five years ago.
There’s a newer version of mine now for sale, plus another high-end version with a brushless motor, but mine appears to just keep on trucking along.
Sunshine makes my grass grow, but it also makes my mower go. I like the symmetry there!