It’s lawncare season, which means you might be purchasing new lawncare power tools. The battery-powered grass and weed trimmer my dad handed down to me finally died last week, so I’m in the market for a replacement. If the inventory available in hardware stores is any indication, lawncare season is powered by electric switches, and has been for quite some time.
In just the three home improvement stores near our offices, I found the inventory of electric trimmers and mowers outnumbered gas-powered versions. Available electric mowers outnumbered gasoline mowers at all three hardware stores, with a ratio as high as 17:11. But the inventory of electric grass and weed trimmers, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers far outnumbered their gas-powered counterparts. There’s nearly twice as much electric inventory when it comes to these manicuring lawncare tools. Only gas-powered chainsaws are more available than their electric counterparts because of the power required to cut large branches.
The lithium-ion battery market is skyrocketing, mostly due to the demand for electric vehicles. IDTechEx predict the EV demand for lithium-ion batteries will approach 5,000GWh within a decade. That’s 10 times the current supply, which is asking a lot of the lithium-ion battery production industry, especially given the supply issues facing us all in a post-pandemic, more locally sourced world.
Luckily for the lawncare tools industry, the move to electric started decades ago. Craftsman introduced cordless, electric rotary and riding mowers in 1974. Now electric mowers make up the largest revenue share of the global lawn mower market, which was 29.7 percent of the $30.4-billion market in 2021. The electric mower market is also expected to grow at an eight-percent rate between 2022 and 2027, while the overall mower market growth projection is just 5.3 percent.
Much of that growth is attributed to how much easier electric mowers are to use than their gas-powered counterparts. You don’t have to choke or pull-start an electric mower. There are no air filters to clean, and there’s no oil needed. Also, the high torque-to-weight ratio (electric motors are much lighter than gasoline engines) allows for the cutting of tall grass, especially given the advancements in battery-powered engines increasing the efficiency and durability of these machines.
Pretty soon you won’t even have to mow your lawn, as robotic mowers are expected to surpass $15 billion in sales by 2030, which is 2.5 times higher than 2021 sales. Homeowners are likely to integrate robotic mowers into other “smart home” technologies already installed, allowing them to mow the lawn from an app on their smartphone.
Most electric mowers operate like gas-powered mowers, with a safety lever that’s depressed to start the mower and during use. But instead of repeatedly pulling a cord to start the engine, you simply push a button or turn a key. One E-switch offering is often used in electric mowers: the R7 Series sealed, illuminated rocker switch.
The R7 Series rocker switch is perfect for electric mowers because it’s made for harsh environments, with an IP67 rating for protection against dust and moisture. We all know how much dust is kicked up by lawn mowers, and the R7 Series sealed rocker switch helps assure your lawn mower will start regardless of how much dust settles on it.
If your mower features a keylock switch, it very well could be the KO Series keylock switch from E-switch. The KO Series switch comes in a variety of sizes and with a wide variety of key options, including barrel and flat key options. The KO Series keylock switch also deters the potential theft of your mower, which is an easy item to steal given its wheels. But what good is a lawn mower to a thief if it can’t be started?
If you’ve got a riding lawn mower, it likely has a snap action switch that allows for safely starting the machine. When you sit on the seat, the actuator of the switch is depressed, opening the ignition circuit. The WS Series snap action switch from E-Switch can fulfill this function and is suitable for most riding lawn mowers. Its electrical rating of 2A, 12VDC is perfect for the electric load most common to riding mowers. The WS Series snap action switches also protect from dust and moisture at an IP67 ingress protection rating and feature a mechanical life expectancy of up to one million cycles.
When it comes to the smaller, manicuring lawncare tools like grass and weed trimmers, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers, the RA1 Series rocker switch with a PVC cap is popular. The RA1 Series power rocker switch has a high electrical rating of 16 amps, and an optional PVC cap provides protection from dust and moisture at an IP54 ingress protection rating.
So if you’re in the market for new lawncare power tools, consider the many electric options available. Your neighbors will appreciate how quiet they are, and you’ll appreciate how much easier and cheaper they are to operate now that you don’t have to clean air filters or buy oil and fuel.