Battery Power vs. Gas Power!
As we continue in the outdoor power equipment business, we are noticing some trends that can't be ignored. Most landscapers that come into our shop are used to using gas powered machines all day long. Many haven't thought about converting over to battery powered equipment unless forced to by some city ordinances. Times are changing though, and maybe now is the time to start looking into battery power. There are many reasons to make the switch, health of the user, health of the air quality, low noise, lighter equipment, fuel prices going up, the cost and availability of repairs. I mention repairs here because that is an ongoing need for gas powered equipment. Carburetor work, tune ups, air filters, spark plugs, fuel filters, damaged cylinders from bad mix, etc... The list goes on. We are a repair shop so in the past this has been a big part of our business, but things are changing. The main change we see is the lack of skilled mechanics. Nobody is learning the trade properly anymore. Without mechanics, we are out of luck with gas powered equipment repairs. Battery powered equipment has the advantage here with little, if any, maintenance required. Just charge the batteries and go. Many people ask; "But how long do the batteries last?" The answer, right now, is about as long as a tank of gas, or longer, depending on the user. "Yeah but they're so expensive." Not really. Most battery equipment packages give quite the deal on the battery cost. When you look at the price of gas and oil mix, repairs, and normal maintenance of gas powered equipment, battery is cheap. I saw a study on the cost of gasoline power compared to battery power for a landscaping company. In five years the estimated gas expense was $50,000, the estimated battery expense if replacing all batteries was $4,000. I took a look at a Makita battery backpack power supply and how much gas and oil mix it would replace. The fuel it would replace ended up being about 203 gallons. I guess the question is, "How much time does it take to use 203 gallons of gas?" Not much, when you consider that some batteries will last 5-7 years, or more. Something to think about, not to mention repairs and maintenance.