Delta-Q Technologies exhibited for the first time at the GIE+EXPO (The Green Industry & Equipment Expo) in Louisville, Kentucky. Since it is the largest trade show for outdoor power equipment, we were eager to learn what was buzzing in the industry, especially around the topics of electric outdoor power equipment (OPE).
With increased pressure from regulatory bodies, and states like California pushing to become an all-electric state, we expected there to be endless conversations about moving from gas to electric. But, to our surprise, there was a split in opinion for commercial and residential applications.
Moving from Gas to Electric
We had the opportunity to speak with many commercial and residential OPE manufacturers about transitioning from gas-powered equipment to electric. From our conversations, we understood that commercial OPE manufacturers were not ready to make the switch in the next few years, while residential OPE manufacturers have commenced the process of switching over.
The main concern for OEMs in the commercial space is runtime, as they are unable to find a battery pack that can run on par with gas-powered equipment. Their customers require a high-performance product that can spend the entire day on the field – meaning higher watt-hour battery packs with longer runtimes. Today’s lithium battery technology can run a product for a few hours, without having to be recharged again, which is not long enough. However, with lithium battery technology improving, we are hopeful that commercial OPE manufacturers will switch in the near future.
So, why are OEMs for residential outdoor power equipment transitioning from gas to electric?
The top reasons are: the environment and electric benefits. As communities become aware of the health and environmental hazards of gas-powered equipment, many neighborhoods are pushing against the use of loud and harmful lawn and tree care products. For example, the Maplewood Town Council in New Jersey approved a leaf blower ban from May 15 through September 30, 2017. This occurred because of the noise pollution and the impact gas fumes have on people’s health. According to a 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, leaf blowers are listed as a common noise that can contribute to permanent hearing loss.
Benefits of Electric
Residential electric outdoor power equipment includes a full range of mowers, from push, self-propelled, stand up, and ride-on, to leaf blowers, grass trimmers, and lawn edgers. Below are three reasons why lithium technology is beneficial for OPE products.
- Minimizing Replacement Costs: Lithium-ion batteries typically have a useful life exceeding five years, and a well-designed lithium-ion pack can last as long as the equipment it powers.
- Size Benefits: Lithium batteries are light and small, which allows OEMs to create a lighter product that is packed with energy.
- Lower Energy Costs: Lithium batteries charge very quickly and require less energy to do so. This means a reduced environmental impact and carbon footprint.
As the interest in lithium battery technology continues to develop in the outdoor power equipment industry, we look forward to seeing the next wave of changes at the GIE+EXPO next year.
The GIE+EXPO, co-located with Hardscape North America, is the largest trade show for outdoor power equipment and lawn and garden care products, as well as light construction and landscape equipment. Topping the last two record setting shows, this year’s expo had exhibits covering 500,000 sq. ft. more than last year, and a 20-acre outdoor demonstration area. A variety of exhibitors also showcased their new products, while seminars were held throughout the day. The GIE+EXPO 2018 will be held from October 17-19, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, please visit www.gie-expo.com.
About Delta-Q Technologies
Delta-Q Technologies is a leading provider of battery charging solutions that improve the performance and reliability of electric drive vehicles and industrial equipment. The company has become the supplier of choice to many of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric golf cars, lift trucks, aerial work platforms, outdoor power equipment, motorcycles and scooters, floor care machines, and utility and recreational vehicles. Delta-Q is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with a local presence in the U.S., Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.delta-q.com.