Electric mowers cut fuel, noise and fatigue
Recreational Services, a professional parks and facilities maintenance company, trialled two Mean Green Machine CXR-60 fully electric commercial ride-on lawnmowers.
The mowers run for 7 hours on one charge, and recharge in 9-12 hours. An optional solar canopy provides sun protection and 30 minutes extra operation.
They have a top speed of 16km/h. Operational noise level is 82 decibels – quieter than an electric drill.
The project aimed to demonstrate that electric mowers can replace diesel mowers in many commercial applications, saving fossil fuel and reducing carbon emissions.
Recreational Services was the first New Zealand company to import Mean Green Machine CXR-60 electric mowers. They were put to work in Auckland and Whangarei, operating five days a week for up to seven hours a day.
The company provides turf, horticultural and asset management services to councils, schools, golf courses, public parks and gardens across New Zealand.
EECA helped fund the project to test an underused technology on behalf of New Zealand.
Recreational Services added extra weight to the front as staff found the mowers very light. Extra training was provided to staff as the controls were found to be very sensitive compared to the diesel mowers.
Mean Green’s manufacturers expect the batteries, or Lithium Energy Modules (LEM), to achieve around 8,000 hours of peak performance and then gradually decrease in capacity. Users have the option of one battery (2.25 hours of operating time), two batteries (4.5 hours) or three batteries (7 hours).
Key benefits expected over the two-year trial period:
- Savings: over $9,000 a year in diesel fuel costs.
- Electric commercial mowers save 21 tonnes of carbon emissions a year compared to a diesel mower.
- Noise level is about 25% of diesel equivalents.
- Repairs and maintenance costs were much lower because there is less vibration and fewer moving parts.
- Health and safety benefits, as reduced noise and vibrations mean staff feel less fatigued.
- Recreational Services decided to import a third mower to work on council facilities in Queenstown.