Improved Batteries Make for Better Yard Tools - NECN

Improved Batteries Make for Better Yard Tools



    Industry hoping companies and consumers will switch to batteries, rather than gas (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN/NBC News: Chris Clackum, Louisville, Ky.) - Just as you get ready for those fall yard cleanup projects, there's some encouraging news about the outdoor power equipment you could be using.

    "People think battery-powered stuff is weak and under-powered or cheap," says Lincoln Jore of Core Gasless Outdoor Equipment.

    At a huge trade show this week in Louisville, Kentucky, some big names in the largely gas-powered outdoor equipment industry. Concede batteries have gotten much better.

    "The performance of batteries today far exceeds that of prior technologies," said John Marchionda of Husqvarna, a power tool company.

    "The batteries that you're talking about that have evolved immensely over the last 5 or 6 years, primarily driven by the automotive industry,” said Jore.

    The push at the trade show was to get professional lawn care guys to take the "electrics" for a spin.

    "But these are now lithium-ion batteries and the best part about it is the recharge time is anywhere from. It’s generally an hour, but you can probably get 80% use in maybe 30 minutes of recharge,” said Peter Sawchuk of Consumer Reports.

    Core outdoor equipment out of Montana has taken it a step further.

    President Lincoln Jore says their motors, made with circuit boards, are better suited for battery powered equipment.

    "So, basically, the battery does not have to work as hard because you've got a more efficient motor? Correct, correct, where a traditional wire-round motor is about 50% efficient, our motors are up into the 90% range," Jore explained.

    Manufacturers are hoping, if more pros can be convinced, to switch to battery. More consumers will follow.