Aug 30, 2017

General Transmissions unveils electric drives for battery-powered lawn mowers

By Outdoor Power Equipment

Until now, battery-powered walk-behind mowers stood their ground against their gas-powered counterparts in all but one critical way: they lacked full freedom of movement on the go. General Transmissions (GT) has corrected that oversight with its new line of Element V Electric variable-speed drives. Electric walk-behinds equipped with these new drives — available in 2 types, the ME 312 and ME 512 models — allow users to freely change speed on the go.

The ability to change speed on the fly — seamlessly and almost effortlessly — elevates battery-powered walk-behind mowers so equipped to equal stature with its traditional, gas-powered rivals. The ME 512 delivers up to 500 watts of wheel-spinning power, enough to power self-propelled mowers weighing as much as 130 pounds, and it operates on 36-, 56- and 72-volt batteries. The 250-watt ME 312 sources power from a 36-volt battery, and it can handle mowers weighing as much as 67 pounds. (Check out the GT electric drives in action on YouTube at

“Consumers can now easily maneuver a battery-powered walk-behind lawn mower equipped with either of our drives through any kind of terrain at their own pace,” said Wouter Barendrecht, chief executive officer of Houston-based General Transmissions Inc.

Call it a separation of powers: The engineering breakthrough behind the Element V Electric drive innovation involves dividing work duties between 2 separate motors: 1 for the blade speed and 1 for the drive system. The Element V motor powers the transmission — which provides drive speed to the wheels — while a separate motor controls blade speed. The dual-motor system maximizes efficiency, which in turn can extend the life of the lithium batteries that power the walk-behind mowers.

Many of today’s battery-powered lawn mowers can operate for an hour or longer on a charge, Barendrecht notes — more than enough cutting time for homeowners with yards of 1 acre or less. GT’s Electric V drives are also maintenance free and designed for long use.

“With the introduction of the Element V drives, we can now say positively that battery-powered walk-behind lawn mowers can do virtually everything that their gas-powered cousins can do — and do so in a quieter, more environmentally friendly fashion and with little to no ongoing maintenance costs,” said Barendrecht.
The new Electric V drives are standard equipment on select battery-powered walk-behind mowers on sale now throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about the drives and General Transmissions’ commitment to helping drive the outdoor power equipment market forward with innovative and consumer-friendly technology, go online to

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