Honda To Stop Manufacturing All Gas Powered Lawn Mowers
Those red walk-behinds are going the way of the brontosaurus. What does that mean for your lawn care routine?
Honda announced in early October that it will no longer manufacture new gas-powered lawn mowers, signaling the end of an era in lawn care. As battery technology rapidly advances, electric-powered lawn care is trending up in a major way— and its gas-powered counterparts might be on their way out.
“The trend away from gas is very clear where I am,” says Jeff Cordulack, who runs the all-electric lawn care service Organic Ways and Means in Stamford, Connecticut. “I get phone calls every week from people who want to switch away from gas and toxins. Half the clients are nature-oriented, and the other half just can’t handle the noise of the ubiquitous gas blowers, especially with the working-from-home trend of late.”
Cordaluck’s clients are not the only ones concerned with lawn mower noise levels and environmental concerns. Those same factors are also some of the driving forces behind Honda’s decision to exit the U.S. gas-powered lawn mower market. The company officially plans to cease all production of gas models by the end of September 2023, selling off its remaining inventory through 2024.
Why is Honda Ditching Gas-Powered Lawn Mower Motors?
A Honda spokesperson told Family Handyman that the decision was “driven by market forces such as stricter environmental regulations, shifting customer preferences and our focus on growing profitable products in our portfolio.”
Is This Going to Affect Any Other Honda Products?
It doesn’t appear so. Honda has stated it “will continue to sell the remainder of its lawn and garden product line and industrial-type power products such as GX engines, generators, and water pumps, and continue to support its service and parts operations in the U.S. market.”
The company declined to comment on any other aspects of this decision, such as whether any remaining stock of gas-powered lawn mowers will be discounted or what their plans are for electric models.
What Will Happen to Honda’s Lawn Mower Manufacturing Plant?
Honda’s gas-powered lawn mowers are currently being produced at the Honda Power Equipment facility in Swepsonville, North Carolina. Next year that facility will instead begin making all-terrain vehicles, which are currently being produced at its plant in Timmonsville, South Carolina. The Timmonsville plant will shift to focus solely on Honda side-by-side production.
Will Other Manufacturers Stop Making Gas-Powered Lawn Mower Motors?
No other manufacturers have made official announcements, but it does appear that the market for gas-powered mowers is shrinking. In 2021, California announced that it would ban the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment by 2024. More than 100 municipalities have also banned gas-powered equipment, with many more cities considering similar legislation.
“There’s a lot of activity on this front from local people wanting to make changes in their towns,” says Cordulack. “I spend a lot of time on calls speaking with town committees about my company and my all-electric equipment.”
Are Gas-Powered Mowers Harmful?
Besides being audibly annoying, gas-powered mowers generate between 90 to 105 decibels, which can cause permanent hearing damage to humans, as well as disrupt wildlife communication and nesting birds. One hour of running a gas mower emits as much carbon dioxide as driving a car 300 miles, and together all of that adds up to 5% of our country’s air pollution. Garden and lawn equipment burn up around 3 billion gallons of gasoline annually in the U.S., roughly equivalent to the energy use of 3 million homes.