lawn equipment

Not Just Cars: Lawn Equipment

We do a lot of work with EVs with Recharge America, but the world of electrification keeps expanding all the time. We’re doing a series of blog posts to explore some of the non-car ways that electrified equipment can be incorporated into your daily life. The first in this series is below: lawn equipment.

How do you clean up all the leaves falling in your yard? There’s the good, old-fashioned rake, which has been a classic fall chore for generations of kids. It’s time-consuming and hard work, though, making a leaf blower a tempting option. 

A selection of the equipment ACE Hardware brought for attendees to familiarize themselves with

Or maybe you have a landscaping company do a fall cleanup for you. If you do, they’ll almost certainly use a leaf blower, and more than likely their leaf blower will be gas-powered: you know, those loud “brrrrrrrrrrrrr” engine noises you hear throughout the neighborhood. But did you know that electrified versions of leaf blowers, weed whackers, chainsaws, and even riding lawn mowers are available? ACE Hardware has even created a separate section for electrified hardware within their stores.

Families enjoyed trying out the electric riding mower at the Faribault event

At our recent event in Faribault, MN, Faribault ACE Hardware brought a selection of these for attendees to check out: hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, even snowblowers! These tools are rechargeable, and some of them even have interchangeable batteries — allowing you to swap out a fully-charged battery pack in the middle of your yard work and keep going. Just as with cars, electrified lawn equipment drastically lowers carbon emissions, but it also dramatically cuts down on noise pollution.

Attendees at the Faribault event got hands-on experience with the equipment, including some family-friendly rides on the electric riding mower. There’s a very practical side to making the switch, though: more than 150 communities across the U.S. have banned gas-powered yard equipment — usually targeting leaf blowers — in recent years. Typically those bans are being phased in gradually over a number of years and professional landscapers are usually the first group required to comply. However, this fall if you decide to reach for a leaf blower, you might consider picking up an electric one. And snowblower season is right around the corner as well!

ElectriFUN Faribault: Not Your Average EVent!

Despite threatening weather in the morning, approximately 150 people turned out at Trystar in Faribault, MN, to experience EVs and energy solutions of all kinds!

All Energy Solar and Cooperative Energy Futures were just some of the exhibitors on hand

Trystar’s newly-expanded facility manufactures wires, conduit and other electrical components for the mass distribution of electricity. They incorporated a large solar array into the additional space, allowing them to operate and control their own microgrid on-site. They even manufacture portable, solar-powered generators and were generous enough to allow the food truck from Praeliza Fusion Kitchen to hook up to that during the event.

Trystar’s solar-powered mobile generator

There was an impressive lineup of both showcase and test drive vehicles, and 36 people had the opportunity to take a ride in an EV. The cars were not the only electrified options on display, though. In addition to Trystar’s solar generator, there was also an electric school bus and electric yard equipment. We were also thrilled to welcome Jean Wallace, Deputy Commissioner of MnDOT, who visited with a number of attendees and exhibitors, as well as taking a tour of Trystar.

Selection of electric lawn equipment

The success of the event can be attributed to the dedication of the steering committee, who championed the event across town. Many thanks go out to the City of Faribault, Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Trystar, Harry Brown’s Family Automotive, and South Central College – North Mankato for guiding the organization of the event and helping spread the word throughout Faribault and to our energy partner Xcel Energy