California University Switches to Electric Mowers

Cal State Los Angeles changes grounds crews over to electric lawn equipment.

As reported by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, college campuses, school grounds and even Little League ballfields are being targeted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in a cover-all-bases approach to achieving clean air in California.

Cal State Los Angeles has responded in an accommodating way, changing over to electric equipment.

Evergreene Lawn Care has begun mowing the ballfields of the Torrance American Baseball sports complex with battery-operated equipment, according to the American Green Zone Alliance. Likewise, the city of South Pasadena’s 10-acre Garfield Park is maintained by TruGreen Landcare, a company that uses emission-free, all-electric equipment.

Cal State L.A. President William Covino said, “When I am walking around campus, trying to ensure a good learning environment, the last thing we want is fumes and noise.”

Richard Valenzuela, lead ground worker at Cal State L.A., said it took some convincing for him and his workers to switch to battery-operated weed-whackers, mowers and edgers. He said the electric machines have cut down on vibrations that made his hands numb hours later. He also no longer comes home smelling of gasoline, he said.

When a dead palm tree needed removing, he picked up the battery-operated chain saw with a skeptical eye. It is smaller and makes less noise. “I cut the palm tree down and it worked really well. I was amazed at how much power it had,” Valenzuela said.