Greenworks demos line of 82-volt battery-powered equipment

By |  July 24, 2018 0 Comments
Photo: Golfdom staff

The newest products from Greenworks — including its Lithium Z zero-turn mowers and 40- and 82-volt battery powered equipment — on display for all in attendance. Photo: Golfdom staff

On July 12, Greenworks Commercial opened the doors to its Mooresville, N.C., headquarters to unveil the first production models of its Lithium Z zero-turn mowers and demo its 40- and 82-volt battery-powered equipment.

At the event, Tony Marchese, director of independent retail for Greenworks North America, discussed the full range of Greenworks products. He noted that the market for battery-powered equipment is experiencing rapid growth similar to the electric vehicle market.

What’s behind the power of this new cordless equipment? The switch from nickel cadmium to lithium ion battery technology.

“Lithium ion batteries have really been the game-changer—it’s lighter, more powerful and it’s allowed the industry to go from low-voltage tools to high-powered gas replacement tools,” said Marchese.

Driving the growth of cordless power equipment are noise and emissions restrictions on gas-powered equipment. According to Greenworks’ aggregated research, in October 2017, 250 cities in the U.S. had noise regulations, and today, that number has shot up to 500 cities. He explained that with quieter, zero-emissions tools, crews can work an additional three to six hours a day—hours that that were previously lost due to noise and pollution ordinances.

The noise factor is a big one for superintendents, said David Orr, senior manager of commercial sales for Greenworks. Orr said that he’s seen great interest among golf course superintendents for some of the 82-volt commercial equipment, in particular the handheld GB 500 blower. “They can just pick this up out of the back of their cart, blow off a green and go,” said Orr.

The pros and cons of battery power

Marchese mentioned the following benefits of lithium ion battery technology:

  • Gas power equivalent;
  • Convenience of push-button start—free of priming, choke, pull cords and annual maintenance that comes with gas equipment;
  • Comfort—less vibration and less noise;
  • Fuel savings;
  • Zero emissions; and
  • Versatility—the batteries are interchangeable for use in multiple tools.

The benefits seem to be catching on in the industry. Juli Denike, market insights manager for Greenworks, cited a recent Outdoor Power Equipment Institute study which noted that battery-powered outdoor power equipment (OPE) is currently 24 percent of market share, a 92 percent increase from 2008.

Denike said the electric products are on the path to surpassing gas-powered equipment purchases this year.

Concerns over price, battery life

Despite the upswing in electric equipment in the industry, a major concern for many turf pros is the battery life and the price of this equipment. Greenworks is working on changing that perception on both counts.

The company will be providing more on-the-go charging options with the release of a rapid six-pack battery charger, which will allow crews to keep running all day.

As far as the price of electric equipment, the Greenworks team acknowledged that it’s been a shift to educate the industry on the upside, especially when faced with a higher price point on large outdoor equipment, such as mowers.

Marchese said that it’s a matter of explaining that you’re buying your fuel upfront, and that you’ll see cost savings over time. These cost savings include not having to purchase fuel or repair equipment and saving time by not having to perform daily maintenance.

Battery power in practice

Photo: Golfdom staff

The run time of the 82-volt blowers, along with other equipment in the series, can be extended by attaching them to the GL 900 backpack battery. Photo: Golfdom staff

At the media event, the Greenworks team took to the grounds of the Mooresville Golf Club to demonstrate their 82-volt commercial and 40-volt residential equipment in the field. The range included blowers, edgers, string trimmers, pole saws, chainsaws and push mowers, as well as battery-charging equipment.

Greenworks 82-volt batteries range from 2.5 amp hours to 6 amp hours and charge time ranges from 37 minutes to 90 minutes.

The run time of the tools can be extended by attaching them to the GL 900 backpack battery, which offers a 15 amp hour battery capacity.

Here are some specifications for Greenworks’ line of handheld and backpack blowers.

GB 500

82V Handheld Axial Blower:

  • Brushless Motor
  • 500 CFM
  • 125 MPH
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • 2 Year Tool Warranty
  • 2 Year Battery Warranty

GB 600

82V Dedicated Axial Blower:

  • Brushless Motor
  • 600 CFM
  • 150 MPH
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • Battery backpack and battery harness compatible
  • 2 Year Tool Warranty
  • 2 Year Battery Warranty

GBB 600

82V Backpack Blower:

  • Brushless Motor
  • 150 MPH
  • 600 CFM
  • Turbo Button
  • Variable Speed Trigger / Cruise Control
  • 2 Year Limited Tool Warranty
  • 2 Year Limited Battery Warranty

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