Go Electric

Choosing electricity as a fuel for buildings, vehicles and tools can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants that are harmful to both people and the planet.  Learn more about electric options for landscaping tools and home heating below. Learn more about electric vehicles on the "Shift your ride" page

  1. electric landscaping tools

Gas-powered lawn and garden equipment can contribute significantly to local and regional air pollution, with negative impacts for both people and our environment. There are many kinds of zero-emission lawn and garden equipment available. The type you need depends on the size and kind of lawn and garden you have, as well as how much time you want to spend working on your lawn. For small grass areas, a manual reel or corded electric mower can be sufficient. For larger yards, more powerful battery powered mowers are available. Similar choices exist in all categories of lawn and garden equipment, including string trimmers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws and leaf blowers.  

Consumer Reports and Popular Mechanics have reviews of many types of zero-emission lawn and garden equipment. The California Air Resources Board also provides information on electric equipment. Visit their website for more information about zero emission cordless and corded leaf blowers, mowers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers and string trimmers. 

Lawn tools with a two-stroke engine can spew 20 to nearly 300 times the emissions of a car. 

Consider this: Running a commercial gas-powered leaf blower for just an hour produces about as much pollution as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry 1,100 miles, according to the California Air Resources Board.
Emissions impacts of landscaping tools compared to cars

Source: Simon Mui/Natural Resources Defense Council.

Did you know?

  • Converting to electric equipment can eliminate the emissions from lawn and garden equipment and improve both local and regional air quality. This would reduce the occurrence of asthma, cardiovascular disease and premature death caused by air pollution. 
  • Electric options tend to have better safety features and don’t require storing gasoline nearby, eliminating a potential fire hazard.
  • An electric push mower or weed whacker is about as loud as a hair dryer. Keeping the noise down is good for operators of this equipment, and for nearby neighbors and wildlife.
  • There are many options available for electric lawn and garden equipment. You can also look for landscapers and lawn maintenance companies that use all electric equipment.

City Pilot with Zero Emission Tools

The City's operations and maintenance crews currently have on hand approximately 30 pieces of small, gas-powered equipment used for vegetation management, including leaf blowers, edge trimmers, and chainsaws. As part of the 2018 greenhouse gas emissions inventory, the City recorded close to 6,500 gallons of fuel consumption per year for the use of these types of equipment, which is responsible for about 3% of the City's overall emissions. 

In January 2022, COBI ordered zero emission, electric landscaping tools, such as leaf blowers and chainsaws, for a pilot test in COBI operations, with the goal of transitioning from gas-powered tools over the course of the next 12-18 months. As of January 2023, the tools are still awaiting arrival due to supply chain issues.

  1. electric heat pumps