Frequently Asked Questions
The availability of any product is driven by a combination of factors. For example, while almost all the major auto manufacturers now offer electric and plug-in hybrid automobiles, with many such as Volvo, Toyota, and GM planning to phase out internal combustion engines entirely within the next few decades, the availability of this new generation of automobiles is driven by a combination of factors including the availability of state and federal incentives as well as consumer demand, which is tied to the price of gas and environmental concerns about smog and climate change. With that in mind, there are four primary reasons why the legacy mower manufacturers (e.g. Toro, John Deere, Kubota, X-Mark, Dixie Chopper etc.) have not started making electric mowers:
- To-date, there are no federal or state tax credits or incentives/rebates available for electric lawn mowers. However, this is likely to change as more people become aware of the huge volume of fossil fuel being consumed and the significant amounts of CO2 and smog-inducing air pollution these mowers produce.
- While federal CAFÉ standards require auto manufactures to sell a certain number of fuel efficient cars, there’s no equivalent federal fuel economy standards applied to lawn mower manufacturers.
- While not common knowledge, conventional lawn mower dealers actually don’t make much money selling mowers but instead rely on the profits generated by the servicing and repair of mowers as well as the sale of parts of engine and hydraulic oil. Conversely, since electric mowers require minimal servicing, minimal repair, and no engine or hydraulic oil, lawn mower manufacturers and their dealers have little economic incentive to make and sell electric mowers.
- Considering that creating high-quality electric mowers would threaten their existing business model, the legacy manufacturers have a vested interest in keeping the status quo.
With horsepower ratings between 24 and 36 horsepower and having blade tip speeds that meet or exceed industry standards, both factory tests and feedback from hundreds of customers around the country confirm that there’s no difference between the cut quality of Mean Green mowers and that of conventional mowers with similar horsepower ratings.
Designed for optimum operating efficiencies and the use of a patent-pending “Green Lithium” battery system, Mean Green mowers are specifically designed for use by commercial and institutional users with run times of 7-plus hours. And even though mower operators may be “on the clock” for more than 7 hours, when considering work breaks, travel between mowing locations, and the use of other maintenance equipment, mowers are rarely operated for over 6 hours a day. However, in the unlikely event that the charge level drops below a critical threshold at the end of the day, the controllers are programed to automatically stop the wheel motors giving the operator another 10 or 15 minutes of drive time to get back to a trailer or shop.
Mean Green mowers are designed to remain useable for at least 6,000 hours under heavy operating conditions, while conventional mowers are typically only kept in service for half that time, primarily due to the high repair costs expected after warranty expiration. Mean Green mowers decks are made from 7-gauge aluminum with 3/8-inch stiffeners around the edges, compared to conventional mower decks that are often made using thinner 8-gauge steel. Mean Green mowers are also built using manufacturing techniques used in the aviation industry to provide maximum strength with minimum weight, such as the use of “lightening” holes, high-tech bending techniques, and “box sections” that make up the battery compartment, front frame, and the electrical compartment under the seat. Similarly, the chassis are made from a combination of 7-gauge aluminum with steel supports and a 7-gauge steel front beam. Finally, Mean Green mowers are also fabricated with mechanical bolts that flex to avoid the cracking common to welded conventional mowers.
In general, the cost of the electricity consumed by a Mean Green mower is about 1/5th of the cost of the cost of the gas or diesel fuel consumed by a conventional mower. For example, assuming a conventional 24 hp mower consumes 1.5 gal of fuel per hour and the fuel costs $2.50 per gallon, the cost of the gas or diesel fuel consumed would be $3.75 per operating hour. For comparison, Mean Green mowers consume an average of 2.8 kWh of electricity per operating hour, so if the electricity costs $0.16 per kWh, the cost of the electricity consumed by the Mean Green mower would be $0.45 per hour, for a savings of $3.30 per hour, or $2,277 per year, assuming 6 hrs/day x 5 days/week x 23 weeks.
Depending on the specific circumstances (e.g. hours operated, operating conditions, whether the work is done in-house or is outsourced, etc.), maintenance costs will vary. However, because conventional mowers need regular oil changes (ie. engine and hydraulic systems) and have a significant number of grease points (ie. drive train, belt pulleys, etc.), those extra maintenance costs in a commercial or institutional setting could range between $300 and $600 per year, beyond the costs for cleaning and blade sharpening. Conversely, the ONLY maintenance required for a Mean Green mower beyond cleaning and blade sharpening is lubrication of the two front wheels every 50 hours – there is no other routine maintenance required.
The repair costs for Mean Green mowers are significantly less than conventional mowers for the following reasons:
- Mean Green mowers have relatively few parts to wear out and/or break, compared to the thousands of parts found in the engines, fuel delivery, cooling, drive and blade drive, and hydraulic systems in conventional mowers.
- The Mean Green batteries, drive and blade motors, and electronic controllers are all designed for 6,000 to 9,000 hours of use.
- With a user-friendly design, the internal components of Mean Green mowers are very accessible and relatively easy to remove and replace.
- The Mean Green factory offers experienced phone support as well as through on-line “virtual repair shop” containing videos demonstrating the tools and step-by-step repair procedures.
- Although drive motor assemblies are expected to remain useable for many thousands of hours, a replacement assembly currently costs only $620. And while this is the most complicated repair that could be needed, it can be done in less than 30 minutes using basic repair tools.
- Blade motors should last equally long, cost only $290, and require only about 15 minutes to replace. Similarly, the electronic controllers cost only around $340.
- A full inventory of all these parts is available at the Mean Green factory in Ohio, and they’re shipped by “Next-day Air” or “2-day UPS Ground.
Because their drive wheels are powered by electronic motors rather than hydraulics, Mean Green mowers accelerate faster than conventional mowers, which can require a few hours of operation to get used to. As needed, the mower can also be slowed down using the HI/LO speed control, for example when working in tight spaces.
Mean Green mowers are generally equally stable on hills compared to gas/diesel mowers. However, since the CXR zero-turn mower weighs less than most diesel/gas mowers, weights are available to be bolted onto the front end to provide additional stability on slopes greater than15 degrees. As demonstrated on the video posted on the Mean Green website http://www.meangreenproducts.com/revolt, the newest DWBX “ReVolt” combination Walk-behind and Stand-on mower was specifically designed with a very low center of gravity to provide exceptional stability on steep hills.
Each Mean Green 48 volt lithium ion battery (Model: LEM-48140) requires 7 kWh of electricity to be charged, so a mower with two batteries would require 14 kWh, and a mower with three batteries would require 21 kWh.
Depending on the electrical service being used (120 VAC or 220 VAC), it takes between 1.75 to 2.25 hours to recharge the Mean Green batteries for every hour of operation. For example, if the three batteries in the CXR zero-turn mower were depleted after seven hours of operation, recharging would take between 12 hours and 16 hours. Similarly, one battery in the NXR was depleted after 2.5 hours of operation, recharging would take between 4.5 hours and 5.5.
If you are planning to charge one mower using a 120 V outlet and charger, then there are no special requirements. However, if you plan to charge multiple electric mowers and/or you plan to use a 240 V charger using a 240 V outlet, then we recommend that you consult with a licensed electrician to ensure that you have sufficient electrical capacity for charging.
120 VAC supply: The charger (Model: LEMC-3548) plugged into 120 VAC power supply will charge at 25amp 48v which uses about 12 amps of 120 VAC power (1500 watts).
240 VAC supply: When plugged into a 240 VAC supply, the output of this charger will increase to 35 amps 48 volts, which is about 9 amps at 240 VAC (2100 watts).
120 VAC supply: When plugged into a 120VAC supply, around 16.8 hours is needed to charge three completely depleted LEM-48140 batteries, about 11 hours to fully charge two batteries, and about 5.6 hours to charge one completely depleted battery.
240 VAC supply: When plugged into a 240 VAC supply, around 12 hours is needed to charge three completely depleted LEM-48140 batteries, about 8 hours to charge two depleted batteries, and about 4 hours to charge one depleted battery.
The batteries are rated for 1,500 charge cycles which represents well over 8,000 hours of use, which would be 11years if the mower was operated 700 hours per year. Over those 11 years, one can expect no more than a 10% decrease in battery storage capacity. Additionally, the batteries are manufactured with a patent-pending process that allows for easy replacement of the individual cell blocks, allowing the batteries to be repaired for a few hundred dollars.
The electric motors in Mean Green mowers are contained in factory-sealed housings and the batteries and controllers for the mowers are located are in sealed compartments behind and under the seat, so Mean Green mowers are completely safe to operate in rainy conditions. For cleaning, the factory recommends using compressed air and/or a regular hose nozzle rather than a “pressure washer” to reduce the risk of water infiltration.
Although there may be some benefit of storing the batteries above freezing, the batteries will not be damaged if the storage temperature drops below freezing during the winter in northern climates. However, whatever the temperature, it’s recommended that the batteries be stored at a charge level of about 50%.
Similar to electric and plug-in hybrid automobiles, Mean Green mowers are currently more expensive than conventional mowers in large part because of the relatively high cost of their lithium ion batteries, which represents a significant cost of the mower. However, as clearly demonstrated in the Life-cycle cost comparison spreadsheets found on the EES website, the lower operational costs of Mean Green mowers typically result in savings of at least $2,000 to $2,500 per year compared to the operational costs of conventional mowers due to lower electricity versus fuel costs, lower maintenance and repair costs, and the higher residual value of electric mowers.
As described in more detail in the “Why Electric” section of the EES website, the three main environmental benefits of electric mowers are:
- Zero emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2): For every gallon of gas or diesel fuel burned, an average of 21 lb of CO2 is emitted. Since high-performance lawn mowers burn an average of 1.5 gallons of fuel per hour, assuming an average speed of 3.75 mph and covering 2.26 acres per hour, a 24 or 36 horsepower lawn mower would consume .66 gallons per acre, or 13.9 lbs of CO2 per acre of mowed lawn. Assuming 20 mowing events over the growing season, a total of 13.2 gallons of fuel would be consumed per acre annually, emitting approximately 277 lb of CO2 per acre. Considered on a regional basis, for every 1,000 acres of mowed lawns, approximately 13,200 gallons of fuel are burned and 277,200 lbs (139 tons) of CO2 are emitted. For comparison, a Mean Green electric zero-turn mower consumes approximately 2.8 kWh per hour when mowing at an average speed of 3.75 mph. Therefore, mowing 2.26 acres per hour, a Mean Green mower is consuming 1.24 kWh per acre. And since the VT Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) estimates there’s an average 0.26 lb of CO2 emissions associated with every kWh of electricity consumed in the state, approximately.32 lb of CO2 is emitted per acre of lawn mowed with an electric mower, or 6.5 lbs of CO2 per acre per year, which represents only 2% of the CO2 emissions of a conventional mower.
- Zero emissions of smog-forming pollutants: Because conventional lawn mowers have little to no emission controls, they represent a major source of smog-forming air pollutants. Therefore, using electric lawn mowers completely eliminates those direct emissions.
- Less sound pollution: Mean Green mowers make roughly 1/3rd the sound of conventional gas/diesel mowers.
Mean Green mowers are designed and manufactured in Ohio.
If needed, the Mean Green factory can arrange financing through Synchrony Bank.
Mean Green Mowers have a limited 3-year warranty for both residential and commercial mower use. We also offer a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – good for up to 8 hours of run time, or 15 days from season start, whichever comes first. Purchaser is responsible for the return of undamaged mower crating and shipping.
Since the electric drive wheel and blade motors are mostly inaudible, the only noticeable sound from Mean Green mowers is generated by their spinning blades, which makes Mean Green mowers about 1/3 quieter than conventional mowers. A video demonstrating the significant difference in sound levels between the two types of mowers is posted on the Eco-Equipment Supply website https://www.ecoequipmentsupply.com/why-electric/.
To schedule a demo in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and northern and western New York State, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-363-3930. Demos can also be scheduled at our facility in Charlotte, VT.
To obtain a price quote including freight, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 802-363-3930.