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SVOboy 09-15-08 01:18 AM

[BLOG] Mowing the Lawn for 2.5 Cents
Mowing the Lawn for 2.5 Cents |


Yep, thatís all it takes for my to mow and edge my front lawn. A cool 2.5 cents. How is this possible? With electric garden tools.
Electric lawnmowers arenít newÖ

ÖBut, they are gaining in popularity. A few years ago I remember someone using an electric lawnmower and I was mightily confused. Why was this person dragging a cord around their lawn? What benefit could this possible have? These days, however, I know quite a few people with electric lawn mowers or even new-old-fashioned push mowers, including myself. Hereís why I made the switch:

* my old lawnmower was dying,
* even before it was dying, it smelled horribly and puffed smoke,
* remembering to keep it filled with gas and buying that gas was a pain,
* I did some research on 2-stroke emissions
* electric mowers use less energy
* electric mowers cost less to operate
* electric mowers are quieter
* electric mowers are lighter and easier to push around

2.5 cents for a lawn-trim

I knew my electric lawn mower was better than my old gas mower, but I was curious about just how much energy I was using. So, I decided to hook up my trusty Kill-a-Watt and take some measurements. Hereís what I learned:

* Lawn mower: 480 wh in steady use, .14 kwh to mow the front lawn
* Edger: 1200 wh in steady use, .11 kwh to edge the side walk

Altogether, the trimming on the front lawn takes just .25 kwh, which at 10 cents per kwh means Iím only paying 2.5 cents in electricity to spruce up the lawn.

Anyone else using electric lawn tools?

davidbr13 09-17-08 12:43 PM

I'm definitely headed in that direction. My ICE riding mower is starting to self-destruct (it is 12 years old, after all), and so I am currently in the thick of restoring (and upgrading) a 1970's vintage General Electric E-15 Elec-Trak mower. After this, I can mow early in the morning when it is relatively cool without disturbing the neighbors, and will save around $4.00 per mow, maybe more.

Aside from mowers, I've tried ICE powered tools like weed eaters, etc., and quickly came to the conclusion it just isn't worth it when an electric starts up instantly, every time, and runs cleanly without requiring me to wear hearing protection.

Daox 09-17-08 01:12 PM

I had to look up this mower. Very cool!

Here is an example: Rod Hower's E15 Elec Trak.

dentprone 09-18-08 12:04 PM


Neat mower, I ran across the ElecTracs on the 'net when I was looking for ideas.One guy had found 3 of them in a warehouse, new in the crate. I had put a 1hp 12V electric motor on an old Sears rider about a year back, but never mounted the deck. One Deep cycle would run the little dude around for several hours of stop and go around the yard. If you need any components fabricated or replicated, let me know, I weld for a living and have a small lathe.

davidbr13 09-22-08 06:37 AM

Yeah, I used to have a couple acres in Oklahoma, and was impressed that it could cut that much in 1 charge. At the time, I couldn't find any. They seemed to all be up in the northeast. Most are still there, though I know of 2 here in Georgia and a couple in Texas, as well as several in MO.

Whatever else this particular mower might have wrong with it, it is complete, so thanks, but I shouldn't be needing anything (though I have an on-road EV that could always use custom parts...). Thanks for the offer, though. I have a couple more bolts/screws to remove and all the parts will be ready for sandblasting and coating at the powder coat shop.

dcb 10-06-08 09:34 AM

I'm in :)

Cord was no problem with a little thinking ahead. cut better than the old gasser even. Reuse @ $40, pays for itself in 20 mows :thumbup:

toyobug 10-07-08 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by Daox (Post 209)
I had to look up this mower. Very cool!

I did the same thing. Here's what I found
Electric Tractor - GE Elec-Trak E15

Having an electric mower is a great idea if for nothing more than being able to mow your lawn early in the A.M.
Guess I'll start searching craigslist and ebay now.

davidbr13 10-07-08 04:24 PM

At the smaller end of the spectrum, every now and then surplus sites get a shipment of plug-in push mower motors and sell them dirt cheap. A while ago I picked one up to replace the motor on my push mower when it dies (not installed yet, as I hardly ever use it). It even comes with the switch, dead-man switch, and cord so all you have to do is bolt it to a mower deck and plug in an extension cord. You get a whole mower for less than $100 by using an old deck and a surplus motor.

Some people will complain about the cord (they will literally come up off the street to tell you 'how bad it must be to have to drag that around,' ignoring the fact that they can actually converse with you while the mower is going). I understand, but I mowed with a plug-in many moons ago (when I first got old enough for dad to make me do it), and it isn't a big deal, as long as you don't have a whole lot of trees to tangle it around.

When I get the ET done, I plan to holster an electric weed eater and hedge trimmer to it and use an on-board inverter to have an all electric cordless lawn care system. They did originally come with 36V accessories (drill, rotary inverter, snoblower, trimmer, chainsaw, etc. Even a welder), but those are VERY rare nowadays.

dcb 10-07-08 05:21 PM

Excellent idea on the surplus motor!! I got the mower covered but I can still convert the snowblower :)

davidbr13 10-08-08 06:21 AM

If you're interested, this guy has a page about his electric snowblower. I think his is plug-in, but then he only does a driveway:

A Quick and Dirty Snowblower Covversion

His home page (Mike Chancey's Electric Car) has links to a mower as well at the bottom.

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