The announcement of the Tesla Cybertruck certainly invoked numerous differentiating opinions. With the design elements aside, let’s talk about the future of electric trucks and how it relates to the landscaping industry.
Personally, I am ecstatic about the new Cybertruck. For far too long, the truck market has been dominated by only a few viable options. Gas guzzling, maintenance hogs take its toll on the bottom lines of companies.
For our company, I can see the benefits of implementing electric equipment. Overall the fuel is cheaper, virtually no maintenance, and ease of use are my top benefits. The only downfall I see is the capital costs of installing charging stations and without strict controls in place, the equipment failing to be charged when needed.
In our future, I do see us replacing internal combustion engine vehicles with electric powered vehicles. The Cybertruck is an exciting start to hopefully what will turn out to be a greener revolution in how our industry operates. The Cybertruck is a promising option, however the rest of the equipment manufacturers lack behind.
In the past few years, electric lawn mowers have been improved on and implemented in some of the largest lawn maintenance companies in the country. With doing so, these companies have also outfitted enclosed trailers with solar panels to help recharge the mowers throughout the day. The truth is, these electric lawn mowers are just too large of a capital cost to justify for smaller companies. The pricing is just about double for an electric mower compared to its gasoline counterparts. Not only that, but the run time on electric mowers at most is eight hours, which is just too short for our needs in the heavy-growing springtime. The benefits though, are outstanding. No oil changes, no belts to replace, no carburetor clogging, no more air filters to replace, and so on. If the technology improves, hopefully with the help of Tesla’s pioneering battery technology, and the price drives down, yes I can see our company adapting electric mowers.
For the small handheld items, like leaf blowers and string trimmers, electric equipment is just too expensive. The average heavy duty battery pack is one thousand dollars, not including the actual equipment piece. You can count on the equipment pieces being just about double their gas counterparts. It is a huge capital investment just to get started. A gasoline string trimmer is anywhere from 250-500 dollars, whereas the electric system would be at least 1500. The numbers, unfortunately, just do not work for lawn mowing.
With all that being said, once the technology improves, the price point drives lower, and possibly we can integrate an electric trucks batteries to recharge electric mowers and handheld equipment. Then I am totally sold and committed to changing over. Until then, we will continue to be stewards of the environment by continually upgrading our processes to lessen any impacts that we have.