8 September 2023

Electric mowers charged up to weed out Canberra's overgrown areas

| Claire Fenwicke
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City Services mowing team member with electric mower

City Services team member Andrew Greene is ready to get on with the job with one of the new electric ride-on lawnmowers. Photo: ACT Government.

Spring has officially sprung in Canberra with an electric alternative joining the ranks of the Territory’s mowing team.

Four electric ride-on mowers have been added to the fleet as part of the ACT Government’s continued transition to net zero emissions.

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said this followed the successful trial of one mower last season.

“[These mowers] will join the existing fleet to mow over 5000 hectares of grass each mowing cycle,” he said.

“We’re hoping this will improve our mowing ability across the Territory, and we’ll be seeing more and more of these being put in place over the coming years.”

Positives of the new fleet include being lighter and thus less likely to become bogged, tubeless tyres, no grease points or belts leading to fewer maintenance hours, and a quieter mow for riders and the community.

Charge time is about six hours, resulting in eight hours of mowing time.

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Six mowing cycles will operate across the season in the suburbs, and four around the Territory’s major roadways. The season generally runs from September to March.

City presentation branch manager Daniel Iglesias said the mowing team was excited to get charged up and on the grass.

“Having a transition from the fossil fuels to the electric fleet is not only well-received by the staff, but it also makes good sense,” he said.

“Those machines represent the latest technology, they’re really well built … and the staff like to be part of that transition that all of Canberra is moving towards.”

While an El Nino season hasn’t officially been declared, the warmer weather combined with the raised moisture profile in the soil means the grass is expected to grow rapidly now things are warming up.

The mowing team spent more than 35,000 hours on machines clipping Canberra’s grass last season.

“The team will have their work cut out for them yet again,” Mr Steel said.

The electric mowers will only be used for small to medium areas of need, with the technology expected to make it possible to purchase mowers more suitable for larger areas.

The effectiveness of the mowers will be monitored over the next three seasons.

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An expanded rapid response mowing team will also be on hand to quickly tackle any overgrown areas of concern to Canberrans.

The government committed $2.1 million in the recent budget to add 10 team members and eight mowers to the squad. Community members can find Canberra’s mowing map online to keep up to date about when their suburb will be mown.

You can also report streets for the rapid response team to address on the Fix My Street portal.

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tubeless tyres – a benefit on ground where punctures are a possibility?

what koolaid is the minister drinking?

Can we really trust the ACT labor government to undertake value for money procurements considering their checkered history?

Net zero is a scam.

GrumpyGrandpa3:03 pm 10 Sep 23

With a run time of eight hours, before a six hour recharge, and the intended use – small to medium areas, to me, they seem a bit limited. From the picture, they don’t look significantly larger than what you might use to mow your back yard. My brother had a ride-on mower that looked bigger.

It’d be interesting to know the cost of these mowers. You would have to think that bang for buck may have been sacrificed for the sake of promoting the Governments electric agenda.

Only someone who has never mown a lawn would claim there are diesel fumes involved…

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