Marv Klowak, Briggs & Stratton vice president of research and development and quality, says hybrid electric technology is only viable in automobiles because they have a lot of part-load applications.
"In most lawn care equipment, you tend to run more than mid-throttle due to the nature of the power requirements," he
Beyond power concerns, Klowak
says another issue hindering smaller hybrid electric technology is pricing.
Hybrid systems, which consist of an engine, electric motor and complex power management programs, are still relatively costly.
And even if those costs could somehow be amortized for lawn care equipment, there are still issues with hybrid battery technology.
Klowak and Jim Roche, executive director of the Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC), both say today's batteries don't have the required energy density to work in mower applications.
says it will all be up to the end-users.
"Ethanol actually has worse fuel economy compared to regular gasoline," Klowak
"It's a 35 percent reduction."
"Unless you get into some of the larger applications, the up front cost versus the value just isn't there," Klowak
"Gasoline is pretty darn good," Klowak
"It's the most cost-effective from the initial price," Klowak