The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has strengthened its regulatory, standards, and market reporting and statistics efforts for corded electric and battery product segments.
Many battery/electric-powered equipment companies have become recent members of the association, with John Cunningham, president of the Consumer Products Group at Stanley Black & Decker Inc., joining the 2013-2014 OPEI Board of Directors.
OPEI has formed an Electric Products Committee that coordinates with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on standards for battery/electric products. They are being tasked with developing OPEI/ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards for an electric robotic mower. Standards for battery/electric chainsaws, hedgetrimmers and trimmers are in the works.
A development of standards creates a consistent protocol universally understood by manufacturers. It makes the development of new products simpler, with an agreed upon foundation to build off of. This helps simplify product development and speed up the time-to-market, encouraging advancement in the product segment.
Developing these approved standards will help equipment dealers and contractors to trust that battery/electric products are safe and reliable. It will also make it easier for dealers and contractors to compare unit features across the product segment.
The OPEI is also expanding its market statistics collection to track growth. Future reporting is planned to include shipment data for battery/electric snowthrowers, chainsaws, string trimmers and hedgetrimmers.