No form of wheeled transport, whether recreational or utilitarian, is immune to the wave of electrification. These maintenance-intensive, expensive, and carcinogen-spewing combustion engines are on the way out in almost every industry, not the least of which is lawn care. The only problem is that the larger, more sophisticated zero-turn electric lawn mowers are usually quite expensive when they go electric, at least until now.
Turns out, you just have to go halfway around the world to find a zero-turn electric lawn mower for half the price.
That’s right, the vehicle featured in this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week is none other than essential lawn care equipment for anyone with a decent sized piece of grass.
Of course, most of the electric vehicles featured in this column are on the wackier side of things, from the world’s smallest electric truck to the inflatable electric jet ski.
But every once in a while it’s fun to offer a more utility-oriented ride, like the zero-turn electric lawn mower below.
It’s no forest snapper (a lawnmower my dad had that I have fond memories of mowing in the summer), but it’s still a pretty sleek design.
A top speed of 11.2 km/h (7 mph) might take some time to navigate on a larger property, but the inclusion of English units of measurement indicates at least some export interest in the from the manufacturer.
For power, the mower appears to have a pair of 1kW motors and a second pair of 1.5kW motors, although I don’t understand the Mandarin spec sheet well enough to determine which are for drive wheels and which are for blades. I suspect the most powerful motors are for the blades.
The included 4.8kWh LiFePO4 battery should give it a long enough runtime while allaying fears about fire safety.
And it even seems to be quite powerful, at least based on the apparent whiplash injuries followed by the centrifugation-induced vertigo symptoms the model is surely suffering from in the test video below.
How much do electric zero-turn mowers cost?
Of course, the thing that most questions you the most is probably the price. Fair enough, here’s how it works.
Alibaba seller has it listed at US$3,800, though they kindly offer to take $50 off that price if you buy 30 or more clippers. Ah yes, the old “buy 75 and I’ll give you the 76th free” trick.
In all seriousness, though, that’s a pretty killer price. John Deere just dropped an electric zero-turn mower at almost twice as much.
And believe it or not, this Chinese electric zero-turn mower actually has a 50% bigger battery. Sure, the quality probably won’t be on par with John Deere, but at least they will not prevent you from repairing your machine.
In reality, however, you probably can’t beat JD’s price if you personally import one from China.
Between all the freight charges, customs fees, arrival fees, and other ransoms involved in importing large products from China, you’ll almost certainly end up paying well over double the listed price.
I once bought a $2,000 electric mini-truck from China and ended up with a lighter $8,000 bank account by the time it sat in my driveway. It’s an awesome mini truck that’s still running great almost two years later, but let that be the benchmark for how much it would cost extra to get these products in the US.
Even so, it’s great to see how much innovation is coming out of China, and it may help drive prices down here even further if companies ever start importing these things in bulk for western markets.
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