Looking Ahead: What Recent CA Legislation Will Mean for Gas vs. Battery Powered OPE

Looking Ahead: What Recent CA Legislation Will Mean for Gas vs. Battery Powered OPE

California’s new deadline is 2024 for state regulators to ban the sale of new gas-powered equipment using small off-road engines (SORE).

In early October of 2021, Gavin Newsom, California’s governor pushed up the deadline for state regulators to ban the sale of new gas-powered equipment using small off-road engines (SORE), which includes all lawn and landscape equipment, pressure washers and generators. The new deadline is 2024 (rather than 2026).

 

This new law will further impact growth of OPE battery powered equipment in California first, and surely other states who follow.  Battery OPE growth is a trend we’ve been tracking for years, as it continues to be led by DIYers.

 

At the end of 2020, the Outdoor Power Equipment Association (OPEA) and our team combined forces to uncover DIYer and Pro Landscaper preferences for battery versus gas powered outdoor power equipment.

 

Here’s more about what we found.

 

There are several perceived benefits of Battery OPE vs Gas on both an unaided and aided basis.  While most of these benefits have remained constant, a few are gaining popularity such as ease of use and reduced noise levels.  

 

Female and Light DIYers are also citing more benefits being cordless and environmentally friendly.  We continue to see different consumer segments react more strongly to various benefits.  However, when it comes to a direct comparison, Gas often rates higher than Battery when DIYers are asked which delivers across various factors.

 

With all the consumer and legislative movement lately pushing towards battery powered options, keep these stats in mind:


  • Among those who had recently purchased gas-powered or corded OPEs, less than one in five seriously considered going battery-powered.
  • Seventy-six percent (76%) of homeowners have concerns about the length of an OPE’s battery charge, while half are worried about the equipment’s overall power.
  • Over half of homeowners say they’d opt for battery over gas if all specs, performance and price factors were identical.

 

While landscapers are slower to adopt battery technology, more and more are increasing their fleet with battery OPE due to specific benefits of battery like reduced sound and no emissions. 

 

Manufacturers have also focused on product development to address challenges of runtime and power. 

 

Historically, landscaping professionals have been more inclined to purchase and maintain their gas powered equipment. Those who don’t use any battery OPE said they don’t use it because they doubt the equipment’s longevity and because recharging means downtime on the job.

 

Landscapers’ top concerns with battery-powered OPE are run-time (64% of landscapers) and power (63%). 

 

Further, landscapers doing less than $750K in annual revenue are two-to-three times more concerned about battery life and power than larger firms.

 

Homeowner and Landscaper Gas vs Battery OPE Usage and Perception, Download

 

With these customer perceptions in mind, and the likelihood that similar laws and deadlines being moved forward will be replicated in states beyond California in coming years, a strong presence in battery is critical for manufacturers that wish to compete in OPE.  

 

  • How will you differentiate in an increasingly competitive market? 
  • What do your customers demand? 
  • Which products and features are most critical?

 

Custom market research can get you answers. Start a project.