If you are thinking of purchasing an electric lawn mower, one thing on your mind is cost. We did the math and broke down the cost of owning an electric lawn mower vs the cost of a gas mower over the course of their lifetime. Read on to see the results.
Do You Save Money With Electric Lawn Mowers?
If you’re the mower of your personal or commercial property’s lawn, the type of machinery you’re using does matter. The two primary options on the board are traditional gas lawn mowers and the newly advanced cordless electric lawn mowers.
Are the electric lawn mowers cheaper than a traditional gas powered mower over the course of time? In doing the math, we found that typicaly you will save about 35% over the lifetime of the mower by choosing a cordless electric lawn mower. This number may vary depending on the brand and features you choose.
Here we will break down all the costs that come with both electric and gas lawn mowers.
Costs to Operate - We Do the Math
To get the total cost of operation for these mowers we decided to break it down into three categories...purchase cost, fuel cost, and maintenance cost.
In order to have a more fair comparison, we are going to assume that both mowers are self-propelled Snapper mowers. This is because Snapper offers both an electric and gas model in this category, and they are close in features.
Of course, a price break down will completely depend upon the model you purchase. But we will do an estimation to break down the basics with you. Like I said above, we are going to focus on similar model gas and electric Snapper mowers.
The gas version of the Snapper comes in at around $300. This is a pretty good price for a quality self-propelled gas mower. The electric version we are using is about $500. However, this does come with all you will need to get mowing. It includes two batteries, rapid charger, and the mower.
You can find gas and electric mowers for less money, but to make sure we are comparing two similar mowers of each type we will focus on these for the costs.
Gas Mower: $300
Electric Mower: $500
A main factor in comparing costs is to account for the fuel. It can be around $2-3 per gallon for gas right now in America.
Gas Mower - $1.50 per half-acre mowed
Electric Mower - $.10 per half-acre mowed
It is obvious that the electric mower will completely dominate in the fuel comparison which is a main perk of paying a bit more for a quality electric mower to save more later.
So let’s say you mow your lawn every week in the summer (12xs in Summer) and perhaps once a month for every other month of the year where there is less sunshine and rain, therefore slower growth in the yard and weeds (9 addition mows).
With 21 Yard-Mowings For The Year
Gas Mower - $31.50 per year for half-acre mowed
Electric Mower - $2.10 per year for half-acre mowed
So these are each very affordable prospects in the grand scheme of an entire year of yard maintenance. Where it may get more expensive is when we’re multiplying that by a 10-15 year lifetime for each mower. Some mowers may last longer, and with proper upkeep can live a long, useful life.
For this scenario, we’ll multiply the annual cost times 15 years to see the savings at a larger scale.
Total After 15 Years
Gas Mower - $472.50 for 15 years of 21 mowings a year on a half-acre property
Electric Mower - $31.50 for 15 years of 21 mowings a year on a half-acre property
Gas Mower - $31.50 per year
Electric Mower - $2.10 per year
As you can see, the electric mower really starts to take the lead here. Not only does it save a ton of money, but it is also much better for the environment. And we didn't even look at the cost of oil that the gas mower will need as well.
At this point we can see how large the savings can be to invest in a more environmentally friendly, electric mower.
Other factors to consider are the maintenance costs that come with lawn mowers. Gas mowers use combustion engines, and those are not easy to repair unless you have been trained. According to homeguide.com the average cost to have your lawn mower repaired is about $65. I know I have spent more than that in the past, but we will use that for the average.
How often your lawn mower needs repaired during its lifetime could be debated. Gas mowers have tons of parts. You never know when the carburator, ignition coil, spark plugs, or even the pull cord are going to need repairs. Taking your mower to the shop every three years is not unheard of, so we will use that.
Between repair visits, filter changes, and part replacments you can easily spend $450 in the matter of 15 years on a gas motor's upkeep. This comes to about $30 per year on average.
You’ll need to replace the battery about every 5 or more years. Oil changes don’t exist with electric mowers, and they don’t use combustion engines.
The maintenance for electric mowers is one of the bright spots. While you may have to repair a part or two over the lifetime of the mower, it is not likely. There is much less that can go wrong with an electric mower.
Your mower should come with a battery. In the case of the Snapper we are using for this example, it comes with two. If your battery lasts 5 years, you would need to purchase two more during the life of the mower. A Briggs & Stratton battery for the Snapper runs about $100. So that is $200 for the life of the mower...or about $13 per year.
Another point of maintenance will be to keep the blades sharp which will need to be replaced every few years on most any mower. This may cost $20 every other year. This should be about the same for each type of mower. This average cost is $10 per year and will be rolled into the cost of both types of mowers.
Gas Mower: $40 per year
Electric Mower: $23 per year
Lifetime Cost Breakdown
So, accounting for all of these factors, let’s look at a 15 year breakdown of expenses. I know there is a chance you may purchase a new mower in less than 15 years, but we all try to get the most out of what we got.
Total Lifetime Cost (15 years)
That is over 35% in savings when choosing an electric mower!
Please note - This scenario is hypothetical so prices of the model you purchase may vary and different models require different upkeep. Use it as a basis for understanding fuel costs and maintenance which can lead to huge long-term savings when making this purchasing decision.
Opting for the electric mower will be green for the environment, lower pollution, allow you to avoid gas and oil needs, have much less routine maintenance, and will be cheaper! What’s not to like?
A cordless electric mower can save you quite a bit of money when being compared to gas mowers. However, if you opt for the electric that still has the cord, it will be more economical than either option. If you are interested in the best corded mower, check out our recommended mowers page.
If you’re still not sold, here’s an in-depth outline of further reasons why the electric mower reigns supreme.
Are There Other Reasons To Choose Electric?
You may be wondering what the actual appeal is over these modern electric mowers. Some of the reasons that people are making the conversion are:
Fuel Cost - Fuel costs are less expensive for electric mowers because they have lithium-ion technology which has grown to become more affordable than gas prices. The breakdown above outlines exactly how much savings there can potentially be in an electric mower, but this will be subject to variables.
Ease of Maintenance/Operation - You won’t have spark plugs to change, fuel filters, oil to change, or gasoline to refill as with a gas mower. The upkeep and routine work is substantially less on the electric models making it the easier option to operate.
Fumes - Electric mowers don’t stink. One of the big complaints people have with the gas, is it fills up the air with fumes you don’t want to be breathing in. It’s messy, gassy, stinky, and not to mention, noisy. The electric motors are arguably less hassle and won’t gas-chug. Electric mowers are a cleaner and greener way to maintain your yard at rivaling quality to the traditional mowers.
Going Green - Electric mowers will be better for the environment and not pollute. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency, a gasoline-powered lawnmower running for an hour puts out about the same amount of smog-forming emissions as 40 new automobiles running for an hour.
Weight - Electric mowers are usually lighter. This is not always the case, so you’ll need to read up on the weight of each specific model. Know what you want and seek it out actively. If you don’t want a heavy machine to lug out into the heat each weekend in the summer, shop accordingly.
Quiet - Electric mowers are much quieter than gas mowers. You would be surprised just how quiet an electric lawn mower sounds. It compares to the sound of a box fan running on high.
Cost - The consumer reports show that electric mowers are gaining in popularity which is causing the prices to go down in recent years. Now may be the perfect time to invest in an electric and energy saving mower while the prices are at their most affordable.
Best Electric Mowers
When shopping for a mower you will need to understand your needs for it. To view our top-rated options be sure to check out our recommended mowers page. We rank our top options in cordless and corded mowers as well as electric trimmers and blowers.
Please filter all of this information through your own personal yard and mowing needs. Only you know what will suit your situation the best. I hope this guide has helped you form a starting point to compare the costs involved in either electric or gas models for your needs.
In summary, electric models may be a little bit more expensive with their initial investment, but they will require substantially less upkeep, maintenance costs, fuel costs, while also being environmentally friendly and much easier to use. Happy shopping and happy mowing!