The invention of the electric motor revolutionized life at home. We take it for granted in the western world that clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners, fans, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers are electric. However, everyday electric outdoor machines were slower to gain mass adoption, with internal combustion engines (ICEs) being favored for a century due to what had been a fuel density advantage. energy.
But the importance of ICEs in equipment began to decline.
If you look around in the garden section of your local DIY store, you’ll notice that the assortment of lawn mowers, leaf blowers, weed trimmers and trimmers now includes a nice selection of electric options.
Head to the boat show, and the Civic Center talk is the reveal of slick electric boats.
E-bikes are all the rage in circles ranging from Zoomers to Boomers.
Lightweight, convenient, and easy to ride, electric scooters are becoming especially popular in communities that want to reduce car traffic.
Electric off-road vehicles are attracting the attention of outdoor enthusiasts who want to do their part for nature.
Improvements in the power density and efficiency of outdoor electric machines have resulted in innovative designs and improvements, and new classes of battery-powered machines are emerging. A recent New York Times The article claims that electric outdoor machines are gaining market share faster than electric cars in many categories, with many startups courting investors with the lure of being the next Tesla, albeit from the lawn and from the electrical garden or the leisure industry.
The environmental and financial benefits of everyday electrified outdoor machines are potentially significant.
The electrification of ships
Ship electrification is happening right now, according to Motor boat and yachting magazine. From 7.7m foiling sports boats to 18m catamarans, electric boats are here. Because water creates so much resistance, small day boats make the most viable conversions to electric power.
The electrification of boats is accompanied by a change in culture, so that top speed becomes less preferred than comfortable cruising.
- Mercury has unveiled a prototype electric outboard motor and is closely monitoring the move to electrification.
- Flux Marine is one of many companies trying to adapt the power supply for watercraft. With the help of $15 million in venture capital, he plans to start selling electric outboard motors made at a factory in Bristol, RI, this summer.
- Vision Marine sells 100% electric boats, outboard motors and technology to the marine industry through an online retail website, boat rental companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). ). The E-Motion 180E is the company’s signature and powerful electric outboard motor.
Some engineers are taking advantage of the switch to electrification to rethink the design. The only electric offshore powerboat racing series, E1, plans to start holding events in Miami and other cities next year. The series will use battery-powered boats fitted with hydrofoils that lift the hulls above the water, significantly reducing drag.
The series was created to create an exciting and competitive racing platform to promote sustainable electric watercraft and reduce environmental pressures on the ocean, rivers and lakes. “We need to change the paradigm,” said Rodi Basso, CEO and Founder of E1. “That’s what Tesla did.”
Small electrified boats are ideal for the hundreds of lakes where conventional outboard motors are now banned due to noise or pollution. Sailboats, of course, are the original sustainable craft and have been powered by wind power for thousands of years. A Bloomberg The article made us smile, as a small number of specialty roasters in Europe are now offering beans that have been sailed – rather than shipped via fossil fuel-burning ships – from South America.
The cold, clear path to electrified snowmobiles
Imagine your connection to nature if your motorized sled traveled through towering forests and rugged rocky outcrops without the sound of the engine. All you would hear would be the sound of metal skids on the snow or the murmur of a nearby stream.
Like many other electrified machines, electric snowmobiles, which start at $17,500, save money on fuel and maintenance. The whole-life cost-benefit analysis compared to ICE snowmobiles is pretty close to even—plus, electric snowmobiles are good for the environment.
- Taiga was the first electric snowmobile to be widely sold. Without compromising performance and power, the Canadian company’s vision has been to accelerate off-road electrification with mass production capabilities. Taiga has installed charging stations along a popular snowmobile trail network in Quebec and is planning more.
- BRP, headquartered in the Canadian town of Valcourt, Quebec, manufactures Ski-Doo snowmobiles and said it will offer electric versions of all of its products by 2026. BRP executive, who is the largest manufacturer of snowmobiles. “We can’t ignore it.”
However, the market for electric outdoor recreation is smaller than that for electric vehicles, so it may be more difficult for manufacturers to make a profit.
- Global snowmobile sales increased to 133,444 units from 2020 to 2021.
- Electric car sales more than doubled to 6.6 million over the same period, accounting for nearly 9% of the global car market and more than tripling their market share from 2 years earlier.
The Truth About Electrified Lawn Equipment
Lawn mowers are usually noisy and smelly. Without catalytic converters to reduce harmful emissions and powered by inferior fuel, they are the source of high levels of localized emissions which include hazardous air pollutants, criteria pollutants and carbon dioxide.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas-powered lawn mower produces the same air pollution in one hour of operation as 11 new cars in the same amount of time. Additionally, more than 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled each year when refueling lawn and garden equipment – more oil than the Exxon Valdez spilled.
California passed a law banning gas-powered mowers starting in 2024. But sometimes people convert to electric because it offers practical benefits. An electric lawn mower with a power cord is a thing of the past, and battery-powered electric lawn mowers are more powerful than ever. Electric mowers are lightweight, quiet and, usually with a push-button design, easier to start than their ICE counterparts. And range anxiety isn’t a problem in the yard.
- EGO Power Plus offers a 21-inch wide cutting deck and 56-volt battery that works with EGO’s entire line of garden power tools.
- Ryobi One Plus HP 18-Volt Brushless is compact and weighs only 34.5 pounds. The machine also uses Ryobi’s standard 18-volt rechargeable batteries. These are the same lithium-ion power packs the company uses in its popular line of household power tools.
- Hart 40-Volt Cordless Brushless has a cutting width of 20 inches and weighs 52 pounds. It is not self-propelled, so pushing the mower uphill should be considered alongside its low price. It has a pair of 40-volt batteries and a charger compatible with Hart’s line of power tools.
The lawn and garden industry has gone electric faster than the automotive industry. In 2020, electric mowers, leaf blowers and other equipment accounted for 17% of the market in the United States, according to market research group Freedonia. That’s more than 3 times the share of electric vehicles in the US auto market.
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