Gas Mower & Leaf Blower Bans, Electric Demand Grows
Canada has been working hard to become an environmental leader for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help mitigate climate change. Ontario, Quebec and BC have all considered or implemented bans on gas leaf blowers and mowers in specific municipalities. In fact BC as a province also recently committed to make all vehicles zero-emission by 2040. Many provinces have also banned 2 stroke engines in lakes and waterways. But the worst culprit for both noise and toxic health and safety emissions on land? The leaf blower.
As far back as 2004, the West End of Vancouver has banned gas powered leaf blowers. Montreal had also banned leaf blowers in some suburbs back in 2014. Noise complaints are the main impetus behind the city council voting these out, where the droning of these blowers echoed down city streets between apartment buildings. This year Victoria council followed suit and advocates for electric blowers in their place.
In the Interior of British Columbia, the public works departments of Trail, Castlegar and Grand Forks are all testing electric tools such as trimmers, chainsaws, mowers and leaf blowers for their municipalities. Comments from Trail indicate that they can start mowing/trimming closer to resident homes earlier in the morning due quieter electric brushless motors.
Other towns of Nelson, Rossland, Warfield and Kaslo have or are close to making a 2040 all renewable commitment. Nelson's school district 8 has also received demos for blowers, mowers and trimmers and are considering electric lawn and maintenance tool and vehicle options. Another benefit for municipalities is allowing them to save on liability insurance for the maintenance of land. Using electric tools vs gas reduces the fire risk that comes with using explosive/flammable gasoline. Electric brushless motors do not generate the heat that gas engines do, further reduce risk of fire in dry grass etc.. Also, the oil, filters and gas rags that result as waste are not an issue with electric tools.
Gas Leaf Blower Noise
One of the main initial issues with leaf blowers is noise. Gas leaf blowers especially are loud, and emit a deep vibrating low frequency sound that travels farther than quieter higher pitched electric tools. Lower frequency sound can also pass more easily through walls, unlike higher frequency electric motor sounds. Brushless motors have made electric motors even quieter now. The average electric blower produces noise at about 65 dB(A). At the operator's ear, a gas leaf blower sends out 95 to 115 decibels. Typical speech is about 60 decibels, a washing machine is 75, and a chain saw is 115. Greenworks electric tools are 50% quieter than gas equivalents.
Electric Is Better for Worker Health & Safety
In addition to electric tools being free of cancer causing fumes and 50% quieter, they are also much lighter than their gas counterparts. On average, electric tools are 30% lighter in fact even when you include the weight of a battery. Gas combustion engines include pistons, oil, gas, carburetors, oil reservoirs, spark plugs and fuel lines. Not only are these gas engine heavy, but all these numerous heavy parts need maintenance and fluids. Workers who run gas power tools all day must carry about a lot of weight, which strains backs, shoulders, necks and limbs.
Vibration white finger (VWF), also known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or dead finger, is a secondary form of Raynaud's syndrome, an industrial injury triggered by continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery.
And its not just weight of gas engines that creates a health and safety risk, but vibration also. Electric tools have 5 times less vibration than gas engines. Gas engines include pistons pulsing up and down up from 3,000 RPM up to 10,000 RPM which causes tremendous vibration on the hand, forearm and shoulder, especially for chainsaws and trimmers. Chainsaw owners who run them over a number of years often develop "cool hand" syndrome where they experience nerve damage that makes their hands feel cold.
New research published in the Journal of Environmental and Toxicological Studies says the devices run at a lower sound frequency that allows the noise to not only travel further than other noises but also penetrate thick walls.
It would follow a recent ban in Westmount, Montreal, which only permits leaf blowers use in April, October and the first half of November. South of the border, there are now hundreds of municipalities doing the same from Nevada to New Jersey.
Two stroke engines are particularly harmful to the environment and operators by expelling a high volume of very harmful carbon monoxide fumes.
Gas powered snow blowers are not far behind the environmental disaster that leaf blowers are. They also have high decibel low frequency sound waves that can travel through walls. And the carbon monoxide emissions in 1 hour are equivalant to driving an F150 for over 1,000 miles. Electric snow throwers are now as powerful as gas, and can be perpetually recharged when you use 2 batteries (one recharging).
Top 3 Electric Tool Myths
- Electric Tools Lack Power vs Gas - This used to be the case, but now with 82 Volt Lithium Ion Batteries, electric is just as powerful as gas. In fact electric brushless motors have more torque. An 82 Volt 5 Amp battery with our electric chainsaw provides the same power as a 50 cc gas equivalent.
- Run-time Is Less Than Gas - With 2 batteries (1 in the tool, and 1 charging) you can run perpetually. And single 5 Amp batteries will run from 45 to 60 minutes. We also provide battery backpacks that add 2 hours to your run time.
- Electric Tools Are More Expensive - Nope, gas are. In fact the average total cost of ownership for electric tools is 1/3rd the cost of gas tools. Electric tools are lower maintenance due to brushless motors, no messy oil, clogging carburetor, corroding fuel lines or air filters. Greenworks tools use metal for all high impact wear-and-tear parts.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas powered lawn mower produces volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions air pollution in in in one hour of operation as 11 new cars each being driven for one hour.
Why Greenworks Commercial eTools?
- 80% world market share for electric tools since 2002
- the ONLY line of commercial 100% battery powered equipment including blowers, chainsaws, trimmers, pole saws, edgers, zero-turn mowers, snow throwers, tillers, winches and utility vehicles
- global company with 1,000 patents, 5,000 employees and presence in 8 countries in North America, Europe and Asia
- Stihl power tools is largest shareholder
- Battery technology leader with 82 Volt power and long battery life after 500 charges (batteries are 100% recyclable)