There’s no form of wheeled transport, whether for recreation or utility use, that is safe from the sweeping wave of electrification. Those maintenance-prone, expensive and carcinogen-spewing combustion engines are on their way out in nearly every industry, not the least of which includes lawn-care. The only problem is that the larger and fancier zero-turn electric lawn mowers are usually pretty pricey when they go electric, at least until now.
As it turns out, you only have to go halfway around the world to find a half-priced zero-turn electric lawn mower.
That’s right, the featured vehicle in this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week is none other than a critical piece of lawn care gear for anyone with a decent-sized piece of sod.
But once in a while it’s fun to feature a more utility-focused ride, like the electric zero-turn lawn mower below.
It’s no Forest Gump Snapper (a lawn mower my dad had and which I have fond summertime mowing memories upon), but it’s a pretty slick looking design nonetheless.
A top speed of 7 mph (11.2 km/h) might take it a while to navigate a larger property, but the inclusion of english units of measure at least point to some export interest on the part of the manufacturer.
For power, the mower seems to have a pair of 1 kW motors and second pair of 1.5 kW motors, though I can’t quite understand the Mandarin spec sheet well enough to determine which are for the drive wheels and which are for the blades. I suspect the more powerful motors are for the blades.
The included 4.8 kWh LiFePO4 battery should give it quite a long run time while also assuaging any fears over fire safety.
And it even seems to be pretty powerful, at least based on the apparent whiplash injuries followed by the centrifugally-induced vertigo symptoms the model is surely suffering in the testing video below.
How expensive are electric zero-turn mowers?
Of course the thing you’re probably most wondering about is the price. Fair enough, here’s how it works.
The Alibaba vendor has it listed at US $3,800, though they kindly offer to knock off $50 from that price if you buy 30 or more mowers. Ah yes, the old “buy 75 and I’ll give you the 76th one for free” trick.
In all seriousness, though, that’s a pretty killer price. John Deere just dropped an electric zero-turn mower at nearly twice as much.
And believe it or not, this Chinese zero-turn e-mower actually has a 50% larger battery pack. Of course the quality probably won’t compare to John Deere, but at least they won’t prevent you from repairing your machine.
In actuality, though, you’re probably not going to be able to beat JD’s price if you personally import one of these from China.
Between all of the freight charges, customs fees, arrival charges, and other ransoms involved in importing large products from China, you’ll almost certainly wind up paying well over double the sticker price in the end.
I once bought a $2,000 electric mini-truck from China and wound up with an $8,000 lighter bank account by the time it was sitting in my driveway. It’s an awesome mini-truck that still works great nearly two years later, but let that serve as a point of comparison in terms of how much more it costs to get these products stateside.
Even so, it’s great to see how much innovation is coming out of China, and perhaps it will help force prices even lower here if companies ever start importing these things in bulk for western markets.
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