You can read our series of articles reviewing the lawn mower including this one comparing the 2009 to the 2008 Solaris cordless electric lawn mower.
The bottom line was that we liked it a lot for many reasons, especially because of its:
- Terra Phase brushless motor which was supposed to require absolutely no maintenance
- Optional solar charging station
Here is a picture of the 2009 Solaris cordless electric lawn mower when we first received it back in May 2009:
And what I want to you to notice is how lush and thick our lawn was at that time and ow tall the uncut crass was to the lower left area of the picture. I’ll get back to this aspect a little later.
Earlier this week, DailyHomeRenoTips received a comment from Teresa M. to our one article this year about any changes in 2011 for the Solaris electric cordless lawn mower stating she would like us to write about our experience with this electric lawn mower now into its third year of operation.
So we will.
Regrettably, it is not good.
Solaris Mower Replacement Batteries Had To Be Purchased
The documentation which accompanies the Solaris (and also the Utopia and Epic) cordless electric lawn mowers indicates the batteries will loose approximately 20% of their charge each year.
Well, when I first received and started to use the Solaris I was able to cut the front lawn, back lawn and side lawn on a single charge including using the self propelled feature around 40% of the time.
Now, at the start of year #3 I was not able to complete mowing my lawn on a single charge. Even when I did not use the self propelled feature, which used more of the batteries’ charge, I could not even finish the front or the back lawn.
Yes, we have had a lot of rain and yes the lawn was initially very thick and long. Yet, still needing three charges to finish just the front or just the back yard lawn was ridiculous.
Now, to be fair, I did not leave in the batteries all the time in the charger plugged into the wall during the winter. Instead I plugged them in about once a month until the green light on the charger was on and then unplugged the unit.
I was told by Linamar customer support that this is what caused the significant reduction in the available charge in the batteries. If they are right, don’t you do this! Leave them with the charger plugged into the wall all the time.
Yet, for such a degradation of battery charge seemed excessive to me. Yet, I am not an engineer or scientist so I have no choice but to rely on Linamar in this regard.
So, I purchased a new pair for around $123 including shipping.
As soon as I received the replacement pair of batteries for my Solaris cordless electric lawn mower I placed it in the charging station.
Yet, the other batteries still have a little use left. However how can I re-charge them if I am supposed to leave the replacement pair always and forever without exception in the charging station?
The replacement pair did not come with the cap on the top into which the charging transformer is connected. Why is this important to me?
Remember, I have the optional solar charging station which you can see here in our article discussing our improved setup of the Solaris optional solar charging station last year; that is one of the reasons I purchased the original Solaris back in 2008 in its first year of mass production. I could have one pair plugged into the wall and the other pair plugged into the solar charging station. Yet I cannot if I have only one cap. I guess I should have known but I also think the Solaris customer support person should have asked; they would have been able to seen it on my order history would they not?
Anyway, Wally at Linamar said he would have one sent to me for my troubles even though it is a separately priced component. Thank you, Wally.
Replacement Batteries For Solaris Lawn Mower Not As Good As Initial Pair
After receiving and charging the new pair of batteries for 5 days I used them to today.
They worked, but barely; when I say barely, I mean I was barely able to finish mowing the front, side and back lawns in one charge.
And, that was without using the self propelled feature at all!
I was and am very disappointed.
I called Linamar Consumer Products customer support again and they gave me the expected ‘well we have had a lot of rain lately, ….yada yada yada’. Look at the picture below of my front lawn with the replacement batteries from earlier today.
Now compare that picture to the first one in this long article. The grass is not nearly as thick now for my lawn as it was when I first received the Solaris lawn mower, brand new back in 2009 when the batteries lasted for the full lawn and that was with using the self propelled feature a lot.
The Solaris, Epic and Utopia Batteries Have No Manufactured or Expiration Date
The reason for the reduced performance of the replacement batteries cannot be due to the motor being now into its 3rd year. It is a brushless motor which requires zero maintenance. I confirmed this with both Linamar Consumer Products customer support as well as subsequently Wally who works in their sales / marketing department.
So, why the reduced battery life of the supposedly new batteries?
They could not tell me. After comparing the two pictures above you can see that if anything the batteries I received this week should have lasted longer because the grass is not as thick or long as when I first used the mower two years ago.
Question for all your Solaris cordless electric lawn mower owners: what is the manufactured or expiration date on your batteries?
Answer: you cannot tell. There is no manufactured date or expiration date on the batteries!
Therefore, without any such date, how can I as the consumer be sure that I am receiving an actual new pair of batteries and not ones which are one or two years old?
Neither can you, even when you purchase a brand new Solaris, Epic or Utopia lawn mower.
If you cannot tell when the batteries were manufactured or what their expiration date might be, how do you know for sure you are purchasing a new and fully usable product?
This is very disappointing.
Since nothing else could account for the reduced performance between the original pair of batteries and the replacement pair, and with less thick grass, the only conclusion I can come to is that I received an old or defective pair of replacement batteries.
I do not have a battery charge measuring device.
Yes, Linamar will not do anything.
This is very disappointing.
Apparently I am the first one to ever mention this lack of manufactured date or expiration date or such indication on the batteries.
Solaris Electric Lawn Mower Grass Clippings Excessively Long
Lastly, I use the mulching feature of the Solaris cordless electric lawn mower. Yes, I have noticed that the grass clippings were a little noticeable when the grass was allowed (yes, by me) to be a little excessive.
However, take a look at the picture below taken from when I tried for the first time the replacement pair of batteries earlier today:
Can you see the grass clippings on top of the cut grass in the lower portion of the picture left by the mower? And, as you can see the grass being cut is not excessively long.
This excessively long grass clippings will cause thatch to be created on top of the soil which is not good long term for the lawn.
So, in sum, my experience into year three of the Solaris cordless electric lawn mower is disappointing.
Suggested Articles For You:
- 2009 Solaris Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review – 6 (1)
- 2009 Solaris Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review – 3A (1)
- 2009 Solaris Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review – 5 (1)
- 2009 Solaris Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review – 4 (1)
- 2009 Solaris Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review – 1 (1)