SCAQMD Launches Nation’s Largest Zero-Emission Commercial Lawn Mower Demonstration Program

zero-emission lawn mower

The South Coast Air Quality Management District today delivered a dozen new, battery-electric commercial lawn mowers to agencies in San Bernardino County as part of a long-term demonstration program to promote the zero-emission equipment.

“We hope the ease of use and significant fuel cost savings associated with these mowers will encourage more wide-spread use of this cleaner technology,” said Janice Rutherford, San Bernardino County supervisor and SCAQMD Board Member. 

At an event held at the Inland Empire 66ers stadium in San Bernardino, the SCAQMD delivered 12 new, zero-emission, battery-electric commercial lawn mowers, at no cost, to seven government and non-profit agencies, including:

  • Cal State San Bernardino;
  • City of San Bernardino;
  • County of San Bernardino;
  • Inland Empire 66ers baseball team;
  • San Bernardino International Airport;
  • San Bernardino Police Department; and
  • Urban Conservation Corp/Southern California Mountains Foundation.

An additional five mowers will be delivered to the agencies next week for a total of 17 mowers provided by SCAQMD, representing the largest such demonstration in the nation.
Each agency will use the mowers and provide fuel savings estimates, hours of usage and other information to SCAQMD to help in quantifying air quality benefits and monitoring equipment performance.

The mowers are manufactured in the United States by Mean Green Products based in Hamilton, Ohio, and include riding and walk-behind mowers. Depending on model, each mower costs about $3,000 to $20,000, which is about 25 percent more than a comparable gas model. However, considering the cost savings in gas and maintenance, the electric mowers could pay back the cost differential in about two years.

The mowers also are about 50 percent quieter than a commercial gas mower.  Depending on model, they can operate up to 7 hours on a single charge.

Commercial lawn mowers are typically used multiple times per day, have a useful life of about 10 years and use thousands of gallons of gasoline per year.  Replacing one commercial gasoline-powered mower with a battery-electric model is expected to save 700 gallons of gasoline per year and reduce more than 600 pounds per year of smog-forming emissions and fine particulates.

Funding for the program comes from U.S. EPA’s Targeted Air Shed Grant Program to implement incentive programs to reduce air pollution in the communities of San Bernardino and Boyle Heights.

SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riversidecounties.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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