Electric Vehicles aren’t just replacing internal combustion vehicles on the road, but are moving into every vehicle type. One such vehicle that is seeing new EV competition is ride-on lawnmowers. There are two major options on sale in Australia, from Ryobi and Toro, both of which somehow managed to land on exactly the same price tag.
For those with larger properties that would require a ride-on mower, upgrading to an electric mower offers many of the same benefits as road-going EVs. This includes quiet operation, fewer moving parts, low-to-no servicing and no need to run to the servo to get fuel when you run out.
In considering the feature list, it seems both manufacturers wanted to offer some new features to owners. When moving the lawn, most of us listen to music or podcasts, so having the ability to charge your phone through a USB charger, is a really nice feature.
There’s also a cup holder included, great for a bottle of water, a cup of coffee, or more likely, a cold beverage. If that session (of mowing) runs into the late hours, there’s also headlights to allow you to mow into the evening. Unlike ICE-power mowers, this won’t annoy your neighbours, offering a wider window of operation.
While many other outdoor garden maintenance products offer removable rechargeable batteries, these both use Lead Acid Batteries that stay in the mower and you simply charge overnight with a charging cable.
It is worthwhile mentioning that the ongoing costs of an electric mower would also offer a similar saving over the ICE equivalent. An example of this would be the fuel costs versus charging costs work out to be around 1/3rd of the cost, depending on your electricity plan and if you have cheaper off-peak rates.
When it comes to features for these mowers, they’re both very capable, however, the Ryobi does offer a larger deck, but is heavier by some margin. Despite that extra weight, they both offer the same 2 hours of battery life.
|Battery life:||Up To 2 Hours, est. 8,000 sq/m||Up to 2 hours of run time, est. 8,000 sq/m|
|Deck size||96cm (38″) Removable Steel Deck||76 cm (30”) deck to fit in tight spaces with a nimble 46cm turning circle.|
|Cutting heights||12 Position Cutting Height (3.8cm –11.4cm)||10 positions of cutting height (2.5cm -10.5cm)|
|Other features:||Adjustable Seat|
USB Charger And Cup Holder
|Mow in reverse and effortlessly shift between mulching to side discharge modes.|
High back seat, cup holder, LED front lights, cruise control and USB connector.
Price & Availability
As we see with electric vehicles for the road, the price of going electric does come at a premium over ICE right now.
These manufacturers are clearly betting on people being swayed by the benefits listed above and the dramatically better riding experience.
By way of comparison, the cheapest ride-on mower I could find was the Rover Mini with a 30″ deck for $2,499. so the EV alternatives do come at a significant premium.
Both Ryobi and Toro somehow landed on exactly the same price point for their electric ride-on lawnmowers. These are both available now, with the Toro available through their dealer network and the Ryobi offered exclusively through Bunnings.
Ryobi also offers a 30″ version for a cheaper price tag at A$3,999, but this is designed for smaller jobs, offering just 1 hour of battery life. Depending on your mowing needs, this may be a great alternative at a cheaper price, offering many of the same features.
Of the two compared above, I think the Ryobi would be my pick, given its larger deck size, which should mean fewer laps to get the same area cut. The optional catcher would be nice if you’re mowing residential properties and are chasing a cleaner finish.