Solar Charged Lawn Mower – Part 1 – No More Excuses

Editor’s Note: This series of articles reviewed in detail the first year of the Solaris / Epic / Utopia brands of cordless electric self propelled lawn mower with the optional solar charging station from Linamar Consumer Products. To view the 2010 review, simply select this link to the Solaris Electric Cordless Solar Charged Lawn Mower 2010 review.

With the ever increasing focus on energy conservation and solar power generation due to global warming concerns, it’s sometimes easier to make a ‘contribution to the cause’ by doing the little things. Install a home solar panel system for your home to meet all of your electricity needs? Are you kidding me? Not in Canada, eh, with the absence of viable governmental funding. The last thing I need is yet another mortgage on my house.

So, what little things can the average home owner do to ‘contribute to the cause’ of environmental consciousness that will also save them money and not force the home owner to take out a new loan?

Let me ask you the following question: what type of lawn mower do you use? Does your lawn mower run on gas? Or, does your lawn mower use a 50 or 100 foot extension cord plugged into your home? Are you finding it increasingly difficult to push your manual lawn mower up and down your lawn yet do not want to consume non-renewable resources directly (gas) or indirectly (electric plug-in)?

From this year going forward, when you are ready to replace your current lawn mower, or when you are ready to buy your first lawn mower for those first time home owners, you can now purchase a solar powered lawn mower.

We have learned that new for 2008 is a mass produced solar powered lawn mower from a new entrant into the consumer lawn mower product line which eliminates all of the excuses for using what ever type of lawn mower you are currently using.

solaris solar powered lawn mower Solar Charged Lawn Mower   Part 1   No More Excuses

Before reviewing the specifics of this particular brand I’d like first to simply review why, when you are actually ready to purchase a mower for your lawn, it makes sense to at least look at any solar powered lawn mower by looking at some of the disadvantages of the other three main types of lawn mowers:

  • Gas Mower
    • Environmental – Consumes a non-renewable resource (gasoline)
    • Environmental – Spillage of gasoline during refueling
    • Environmental & Usability – Noise pollution  
    • Cost – Ongoing purchase cost of gasoline
    • Cost – Frequent engine maintenance
  • Electric Mower
    • Environmental – Consumes home electricity generated by consumption of non-renewable resources (natural gas, coal, etc.)
    • Cost – Ongoing cost of home electricity consumption
    • Cost – Replacement of cut power cords
    • Usability – Frequent stopping to move the 50 or 100 foot extension cord out of the way of your mowing direction
  • Manual
    • Usability - Full manual effort to push a manual lawn mower
    • Usability – No automatic bagging; need to rake and bag clippings
    • Usability – Arguably, no mulching of clipping

All of the above disadvantages of the above types of lawn mowers does not apply to a solar powered lawn mower. Each of the above disadvantages are advantages for a solar powered lawn mower. It’s really that simple.

Are you ready to learn about the make and model we have chosen? Select this link to Part 2 in this series about our new solar charged lawn mower where we tell you why we decided to purchase the Solaris solar powered 19 inch lawn mower.

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Comments

  1. Russell Hollingsworth says:

    Where in the heck can I BUY a Solaris mower in the USA (I Live in Texas)

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Russell,

    In the USA they are being sold this year at the Home Depot stores in the Seattle and Boston areas.

    My understanding next year they will be available nation wide.

    However, one visitor to our site indicated that he called up a Home Depot store in the Boston area who said that they would ship a unit anywhere in the USA so you migh try that.

    I hope that helps.
    Dan

  3. John Mattatall says:

    I purchased one of these in May/08 and was quite happy with it. Recently I had an issue where the height adjustment lever started dropping on its own to the bottom position. I normally have it the top or next to the top position as i like to keep the grass fairly high. I was able to “fix” it by bending out the metal between the stops to give it more grip. I’m wondering if this is going to be a common problem with this product. I just sent an email to their support and will see how they respond.

  4. Dan says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for this. I had noticed that a couple of times myself this summer, but thought that since the handle sticks our more than other hieght adjustment levers on other mowers I have had in the past that likely it was me and I banged it getting it out of the shed in the back.

    Do let us know what they say.

    Dan

  5. JimL says:

    I purchased a 21″ Solaris from Home Depo in Brampton. I live in Guelph where Linamar Cusumer Products are located but the mowers were not available here! I also got $100.00 for trading in my old gas power mower! That with a another $100 dollar off promotion ment I saved $200 off the original retail price!

  6. Patrick says:

    Help! I recently purchased a Solaris 21″ SP cordless mower. When it runs, it’s a terrific mower. However, after a full charge, it mows for about 20-23 minutes, then cuts off. After a full re-charge, same thing: 20-23 minutes, then cuts off.

    Surely the mower is not intended to cut for 20 minute bursts? Is anyone else experiencing anything similar?

  7. Dan says:

    Hi Patrick,

    I will assume that you charged the batteries for a full 24 to 48 hours (or what ever the operating manual says) before you used them for the first time, right?

    And, that they are fully charged, i.e. the green light is fully green, not red and not yellow?

    Other than that I don’t know what to tell you.

    I suggest you contact first the store where you made the purchase and see what they say (perhaps the batteries are old?), and if you can’t get a satisfactory answer from them possibly Linamar Consumer Product’s Customer service.

    Dan

  8. Patrick says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Dan. Yes, batteries were charged and all instructions followed per the book. (Could it be and simpler?)

    I am now on Solaris mower #3. Number 2 would not start at all. Now, #3 is acting the same way as #1, running for 17-25 minutes, depending on grass conditions, then cutting off. Batteries show totally discharged. After complete reharging, the same thing again.

    I have been in touch with Linamar. They have been friendly, but not helpful in solving the problem. It seems to me it must be a battery problem. Could they have put defective batteries in the US models? It seems incredible to me that I have bought three of these mowers, and all three have had similar problems.

  9. Dan says:

    Hi Patrick,

    Interesting.

    David and others who have left comments on our updated for 2009 article on these mowers have indicated they recently purchased the 2009 model as well but we have yet to hear back form them.

    I’m very courious because this could by a symptom of something not quite right with the 2009 design, either the batteries, or the amount of ‘juice’ consumed during the mowing operation.

    Here’s the link to the updated 2009 article we wrote and you will see lots of comments thereon.

    http://dailyhomerenotips.com/2009/03/12/solar-charged-lawn-mower-solaris-epic-utopia-new-for-2009/#comments

    Dan

  10. Debbie says:

    I bought the Epic mower (rear wheel propelled) about 2 months ago from Amazon and am
    pleased with it’s performance.
    It seems to cut as well as my
    old Sear’s mower. I have had
    no problems so far. I’ll keep
    you posted.

  11. merv pawluk says:

    I am experiencing the same problem with the batteries dying within 20 minutes. I am not sure what else to do, and Iam not sure where to get a replacement set of batteries. Unfortunate, because I really do like the concept and looked at a number of different types, and finally pick this unit because it was primarily made in Canada. I’m a little disappointed with the batteries life, and hope it’s something that can be fixed.

  12. Dan says:

    Hi Merv,

    I would suggest you contact the store where you purchased it and / or the manufacturer, Linamar Consumer Products, directly and see what their Customer Service says.

    Dan

  13. rwilson says:

    This a neat idea. But I find someone needs to first invent something better as a lawn mowers to get da grass cut. It is very annoying when I have to mow my lawn, I don’t like it.

  14. frank says:

    When they claim no maintenance, they mean it. The controller quit on mine and no parts available. It was a good mower but without parts it is USELESS. Never again. They were willing to supply me with batteries though. Dah!!!

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