You might not think that your petrol-powered lawnmower could possibly do that much damage to the environment (other than to the grass you are trimming), but various studies have shown that lawnmower emissions can be up to four times as high as those for the average automobile. In other words, using a petrol lawnmower for an hour can produce the same level of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides as driving a car at 40mph for 160 miles! As well as damaging the natural environment, the hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides produced also react with one another in the presence of sunlight to form ground-level ozone, which irritates the eyes, damages the lungs and aggravates respiratory problems. The pollution produced by petrol engines has also contributes to acid rain, global warming and increased incidences of cancer and heart disease. None of which are good things.
Regulators and lawnmower manufacturers have at least been working together to try and reduce the impact of emissions produced by petrol-powered horticultural machinery, but despite some progress the sheer number of petrol mowers in use every week means that these machines remain a significant source of pollution. As such some have argued that we should switch to electrical equipment for our lawn maintenance needs, but in many cases this is simply impractical. Corded lawnmowers, although fine for those with smaller, uncomplicated lawns, will inevitably struggle in larger gardens or on lawns abounding with ornaments, trees and other obstacles, as being tethered to a mains power outlet makes even routine mowing nigh on impossible in such circumstances.
Thankfully some lawnmower manufacturers – such as Bosch – have been pursuing alternatives to traditional petrol and corded mowers, building upon advances in battery technology which mean that modern lithium-ion batteries offer a much higher energy density than the old-fashioned nickel-cadmium variety. As such battery-powered lawnmowers now have enough clout to compete with their petrol guzzling equivalents, delivering fantastic cutting results without the pollution, noise and hassle that has until recently been an inescapable part of routine lawn care.
Take Bosch’s Rotak Ergoflex LI battery-powered rear roller rotary mowers as an example. Available with three working widths (32cm, 37cm and 43cm) for efficient mowing in a variety of gardens, Rotak Ergoflex LI mowers are driven by advanced “Powerdrive LI +” motors and quick-charging 36V/4.0Ah lithium-ion batteries, designed to ensure consistently high torque in all conditions along with brilliantly dependable grass cutting performance. More importantly, however, is that they do this without the annoying restrictions of a corded machine or the harmful emissions of petrol mowers. Not having to stay close to a power source, for example, offers pleasing freedom to roam compared to a conventional corded machine and Rotak Ergoflex LI mowers can therefore be used for effective maintenance of larger lawns (without having to worry about getting yourself in a tangle because an extension lead has wrapped itself around a tree trunk).
But the benefits of battery power really jump out when you compare Bosch’s Rotak Ergoflex LI mowers with their petrol counterparts. We’ll begin with pollution. Undoubtedly the biggest selling point here is that cordless mowers do not produce exhaust emissions. Quite aside from the positive environmental implications of this, fume-free mowing makes routine lawn maintenance much more pleasant and less detrimental to the operator’s health! But pollution doesn’t just come in the form of exhaust fumes, as most petrol lawnmowers are also notoriously noisy. Petrol machines have thus long been a source of dispute between neighbours and inevitably add further to the general clamour of modern life. The quiet-running cordless lawnmowers in the Rotak Ergoflex LI range, however, significantly reduce the effects of noise pollution while also making your weekly mow a much more peaceful experience (both for you and your neighbours). Cordless lawnmowers are therefore perfect for use in built up urban or residential areas, especially if smog and noise are already problems.
Bosch’s Rotak Ergoflex LI mowers also offer a range of additional benefits compared to conventional petrol machines. A battery-powered mower is cheaper and easier to run and maintain than a petrol mower, for example, especially as there is no need to waste time, energy or money on refuelling (with an extra battery to hand you can even set one charging while the other is in use, ensuring that you can mow uninterrupted for longer). The relatively simply design of Bosch’s cordless mowers also means that they are appreciably lighter than petrol machines, which combines nicely with their adjustable Ergoflex handles and rubber coated wheels for outstanding user comfort and ease of handling.
The various machines in the Rotak Ergoflex LI range are designed to enable effective mowing in a variety of gardens, so the best choice for you will depend on your particular circumstances. The Rotak 32 LI High Power, for example, is a compact mower designed specifically for the urban gardener, with its 32cm working width and 31 litre grass collector. As such it is small enough to be tucked away neatly in the shed, powerful enough to make mowing small lawns almost effortless and the quietest cordless mower in Bosch’s current range. Moreover, Bosch’s clever front-mounted grass combs and the inclusion of three steps of centralised height of cut adjustment – with settings ranging from 30mm to 60mm – allow the Rotak 32 LI to achieve excellent cutting results in all sorts of conditions, even when trimming long, wet grass.
The Rotak 37 LI Ergoflex and Rotak 43 LI Ergoflex, meanwhile, each feature an increased working width (37cm and 43cm respectively) and larger grass collectors (40 litres and 50 litres) for efficient maintenance of medium sized domestic lawns. Both machines also include the same Ergoflex handles and grass combs as the Rotak 32 LI High Power, along with six steps of cutting height adjustment (20mm-70mm) for even greater precision. The Rotak 43 LI Ergoflex even features a clever “leaf collect” blade designed to pick up leaves and other loose debris from your lawn, thereby ensuring a pristinely tidy finish all year round. All but the largest home gardens can therefore be maintained with ease using one of these outstanding machines, saving you from the fumes, noise and added expenses of running a petrol lawnmower.
There are, of course, some situations in which a cordless lawnmower won’t be appropriate. Trying to maintain the sprawling expanses of a country estate, for example, will quickly becoming frustrating with any cordless mower (even if you have a sack full of spare batteries handy). But for anyone with a small to medium sized domestic garden, battery power offers a viable alternative to the noise, pollution and hassle that running a petrol mower entails. Bosch’s Rotak Ergoflex LI mowers are therefore just as good for you as they are for the environment, making them a great investment in the quality of your lawn as well as the future of Old Mother Earth!