Gas-Powered Lawn Mowers and Leaf Blowers Might Become History in California


California wants to get rid of gas-powered lawn equipment such as leaf blowers and lawnmowers, through a bill that bans the sale of such tools.

The recently signed bill requires state regulators to adopt regulations that prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new SOREs (small off-road engines) by July 2022.

As specified in the bill, gas-powered SOREs emit high levels of air pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx), reactive organic gases (ROG), and particulate matter (PM). Last year, these air pollutants emitted by the small off-road engines reached higher levels than the emissions produced by passenger cars. In fact, according to the bill, operating a commercial leaf blower for one hour is equivalent to driving 1,100 miles in a new passenger vehicle in terms of NOx and ROG emissions.

In 2020 alone, these small off-road engines used in California emitted an average of 16.8 tons of NOx and 125 tons of ROG per day.

The most commonly used gas-powered equipment in California when it comes to SOREs are garden tools such as leaf blowers and lawnmowers, which prove to be big polluters. But other equipment such as that dedicated to emergency response or generators, are also included in the category.

California has to ban the sale of gas-powered equipment with SORE by January 2024, with the law also incentivizing consumers to buy electric alternatives instead. Battery-powered, zero-emission equipment is already available on the market for both residential and commercial use.

Take Segway’s autonomous robotic lawn mower for instance, on which we wrote a piece just a short while back. This smart device is electric and can cover up to almost 32,300 sq ft (3,000 sq m) on a single charge if you opt for the most premium version of the machine.

The Navimow, as it is called, promises to be as quiet as an electric toothbrush and comes with a smart navigation algorithm.