Lawn mowers and their evolution
Battery-powered lawn mowers are rising in popularity on account of several surprising factors. For one, they’re quieter than the traditional gas-powered alternative which means they can be used earlier in the morning. The earlier that professional landscapers can start work, the more revenue they can generate each day.
The noise factor is appealing to consumers too and as more cities ban noisy lawn care tools like leaf blowers and lawn mowers, consumers are looking for a quiet alternative. As the average homeowner also gets older, the difficulty and inconvenience of starting a gas-powered tool have become more salient. Reviewers cite the convenience of not needing to buy oil and gas and the annoying process of starting a gas motor.
The Lawncare industry is surprisingly massive at $36 billion and is exploding online: Reddit's lawn care community now has 368,000 members, up 240% since last year. As of 2005, American lawns covered an area roughly the size of Texas, making it the most cultivated crop in the country. But unlike corn, grass cannot be eaten; the main purpose is to help us look and feel good about ourselves. A well-maintained lawn signals that the owner has the time and/or money to support it.
Lawns are so uniquely central to American culture, in fact, that many homeowner associations regulate lawn maintenance frequency and have been known to levy fines on households that don’t comply. Even the American communities in the deserts of Saudi Arabia have lawns.
Battery-powered lawn mowers benefit from the continuous improvements in battery life and cost, essentially subsidized by the highly-funded arms race between companies in industries like phones, electric vehicles, and drones. The price per kilowatt-hour of lithium-ion batteries has dropped by 97% since 1991 and as more products become battery-powered, scale drives further cost decreases.