I visited Home Depot recently and was struck by the significant change in the lawn mower aisle. Just a year or two ago all the lawn mowers on display were powered by gas, save for one or two electric models stuck off to the side. On this recent visit I counted 13 out of 20 lawn mowers as electric models, with the 7 gas ones pushed toward the end the display. That’s a pronounced shift!
This is great news for the environment because lawn mowers are a significant source of pollution. Running a gas lawn mower for an hour is equivalent to driving a gas automobile for 100 miles. The reason why the tide is turning isn’t solely because of environmental concerns however. Yes, the manufacturers may be making some of their production plans with climate change in mind, but the reason why electric lawn mowers are on the upswing is because they are better products. No having to remember to go out and buy gas, or deal with pumping gas (which is absolutely never an enjoyable task), no having to store the gas can in your car on the way home along with the unpleasant stench, no checking the dipstick and having to add oil and deal with oil containers and getting rid of oily, flammable rags. Not to mention that the actual process of mowing is so much better – no fumes, no smell, less noise, etc… Just plug in the batteries after you mow and you’re ready the next time your yard calls.
It equates to power tools – there was a certain tipping point when people realized that the corded drills they were buying were way less functional and helpful than cordless drills. Nowadays people pretty much only buy cordless tools because they are better products.
If EVs win in the automotive marketplace, it will happen the same way. There absolutely are those in society who choose to drive hybrid or electric because they want to purchase a more environmentally friendly product (hand raised!). But ultimately people will move to EVs because they are better products. And from my experience they truly are: quiet and powerful, ridiculous torque, no having to stop at gas stations with the accompanying grime and stench, etc… Driving an electric car provides you a better experience, just like using cordless power tools or mowing with an electric lawn mower.