Dec 2, 2016
General Transmissions introduces the first variable-speed drives for battery-driven, consumer-grade walk-behind lawnmowers. The new drives, due to be introduced by several major-brand lawnmower makers in 2017 models, give users full, on-the-go control over the ground speed of duly-equipped self-propelled mowers.
The Element V Electric drives, as General Transmissions labels them, enable lawnmower operators to fully control their walking pace without first having to shift gears when mowing the lawn with an electric lawnmower. Homeowners can adjust speeds using a simple hand-controlled handlebar lever – without having to fuss with a shift mechanism. Adding the adjustable speed control puts battery-powered lawn mowers on par with their top-of-the-line gasoline-powered competition, says Wouter Barendrecht, chief executive officer of General Transmissions – the world’s leading maker of transmissions and transaxles for the lawn care industry.
Today’s battery-powered lawnmowers can operate for an hour or longer on a charge, Barendrecht notes – long enough to handle yard duties for most American homes. Element V drives provide a significant boost in operating efficiency. They use a separate motor to drive the transmissions, splitting power distribution duties between two different motors. The Element V drive operates the transmission, while another motor powers blade speed. Both motors operate independently of each other, maximizing the efficiency of the two different operations.
The new drives come in two different power configurations. The ME 312 model is a 250-watt drive, and the ME 512 model is a 500-watt drive. Features common to both drives include dual automatic clutch, 470 RPM output speed capacity, and can be used in rear wheel or front wheel drive configurations. The ME-312 sets up for lighter weight – up to 70 pounds – mowers powered by 36-volt batteries. The heavier-duty ME 512 will be found on machines weighing as much as 150 pounds, connected to a 36-volt, 56-volt or 72-volt power pack, depending on the model specifications.
“These Element V electric drives are virtually indestructible, maintenance-free, exhaustively tested and engineered to bring a new level of operating performance and user-delight to the battery-powered lawnmower market,” says Barendrecht.