Makers of powered outdoor equipment (all-terrain vehicles, snowblowers, etc.) are looking at alternative energy, but the equiptment is not economical to produce and it’s not clear that consumers are willing to pay more for greener equipment or change their fueling habits, USAToday reports.
What is clear is that the industry is under pressure to cut emissions. In April, the EPA proposed new rules that would require 35 percent cuts in hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide for lawn mowers, personal watercraft and other equipment powered by small engines. For gasoline engines, that could mean fitting them with catalytic converters like those in cars.
Prices for greener machines could be a hard hurdle to overcome.
Dixie Chopper has only sold about 200 of its propane mowers, which are mostly intended for commercial or government use. They start at $11,900, about $1,000 more than for the gasoline-powered version.
Toro’s new diesel-to-biodiesel conversion kits range from about $30 to $500.