Homeowner Survey: More Than Half Say They Would Switch to Electric Equipment

An ongoing theme in encouraging the shift from noisy, hyper-polluting, inefficient gas-powered yard equipment to modern battery-powered models is that this amounts to "accelerating the inevitable."

The change is inevitable, because these phenomenally dirty small two-stroke engines have been outlawed or abandoned in most other uses. And it can be accelerated, as with other clean technologies, through public standards that increase the market for battery-powered equipment and thus hasten the  improvements in cost and power that are already underway.

An industry consulting organization called The Farnsworth Group conducted a study recently on this shift. A summary of the findings is here; the graph below shows one important point, which is that most householders would already be willing to consider the change. 


The caveat, of course, is that the price and performance of electric equipment has to match that of the current dirty technology. This is a familiar story in other realms, for instance early resistance to cars with catalytic converters or that would use only unleaded gas. Public standards helped build in some of the environmental costs of those dirty technologies -- and also hastened research, production, and market size for cleaner alternatives, which in turn made them more affordable.