Landscaping industry affected by California's new law banning ICE powered tools in 2024

From the debate on the transition to battery powered energy products and services.

1 Like

Didn’t know about this. I suppose on a cc-to-cc level the small motors (many being 2-strokes without emission controls) pollute more than many cars… but this bill seems like greenwashing of a government variety.

“Ohhh the landscapers leaf blowing bothers my Zoom calls”… cry me an irrigation canal. CA could at least stay true to form and hand out many more millions of dollars to supplement new equipment purchases.

The electric yard stuff (I’ve heard) is quite good now and will only get better. Another plus is that if you aren’t running gas in a dry area there’s a moderately lower risk of starting a fire.

(I’m just a homeowner with about $2K in Stihl gear, all of which would probably be obsoleted under this bill.)

The amount of emissions from ICE lawn & garden equipment is not insignificant.

And if landscapers go the way of the buggy whip, then capitalism works.

Laws will ban sales of new equipment, not grandfathered-in existing equipment. Makes a little more sense.

Yeah to your point perhaps the ultimate end goal is no lawns, only hardscaping, rock gardens, or pavement over everything. :man_shrugging:t2: Nothing that uses any scarce resources. It’s hard to not smirk when the main govt advocate is from NIMBY-central Menlo Park.

For sake of discussion, here are results from the study abstract.

Results: In 2011, approximately 26.7 million tons of pollutants were emitted by GLGE (VOC=461,800; CO=5,793,200; NOx=68,500, PM10=20,700; CO2=20,382,400), accounting for 24%−45% of all nonroad gasoline emissions.

Gasoline-powered landscape maintenance equipment (GLME; leaf blowers/vacuums, and trimmers, edgers, brush cutters) accounted for 43% of VOCs and around 50% of fine PM.

Two-stroke engines were responsible for the vast majority of fine PM from GLME.

“CARB (California Air Resources Board) says if you use it (GLME) for an hour, it emits as much smog-forming pollution as a 2016 Toyota Camry does driving for 1100 miles… there are almost three million more small engines in California than light-duty passenger cars (16.5 million vs. 13.7 million).”

That’s like driving from LA to Denver.

1 Like

Wow. No information to the contrary, but I still wanna call bs on that comparison.

1 Like

meanwhile each year is pretty much going to be the hottest year on record… either we change or the world will change us. Likely the second is already happening…

We are going to live through this, and your kids for sure will.

I don’t have any supporting evidence so take everything with a grain of salt.

However, it does possibly make sense when you consider the focus that has been put on vehicle emission standards vs smaller engines over the years.


I literally just bought an 80v slow blower and leaf blower last week. I’ve never used gas, but relying on a snow plow guy and corded electric blower sucks (blows?).

Convenience wins. emissions debatable.

That reasoning makes sense. All my tools have straight exhaust, no emission controls. They do sip gas but are never run anything but WFO. I think my next chainsaw will be a smallish electric model for trail work.

I just have an issue with the study factoids coming straight from the group (CARB) charged with creating and/or advocating for the law. Directionally I agree… but the statistics have to be cherry picked somewhat.

And how does gas powered lawn eq stack up to the other environmental issues that impact CA? 800 lbs gorilla, or trifling in the grander scheme?

Hard also to not see a racial aspect - what color are the people doing the work, running the small landscaping businesses, on the hook for new electric equipment, busting their humps while Menlo Park frets.


Having separate cans for gasoline or mixture, making sure all the carbs are clean despite the damn ethanol, air filters… electric definitely more convenient.

Emerging from the rabbit tunnels, it appears the CARB data is not wrong, but potentially incomplete, and maybe written to advance an agenda. (As are all statistics!) Carbon dioxide wasn’t measured, for which the autos would have a much higher value. The majority of cars emissions come from cold starts - the first few minutes when the catalytic converter is getting going - so drive that Camry from LA to Denver but do a cold re-start every hour and vastly different measurements would result.

The Edmunds study tested a 2011 Ford Raptor vs a 2-stroke Ryobi leaf blower, concluding it would be better to leaf-blow with the Raptor exhaust :rofl: …challenge accepted.

I’m going to shop for battery powered leaf blowers, mainly because I don’t like carrying and using my current (gas) one.

More to landscaping than hardscaping. While we haven’t eliminated all of the lawn, since we have moved in we have removed enough lawn and replaced with trees/shrubbery/perennials to cut mowing time from 75 minutes to 25 minutes. Pulling weeds out of the beds sucks, but it is done by hand, no emissions needed. I also believe it lowers our use of AC, but I have no real evidence other than I think so. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Is all pavement/hardscaping bad for heat reflection and urban warming? Not to mention water drainage and preventing run off issues?

Most cities I believe have a max. % of hardscaping for that purpose. We do here. We have zero lawn, but some planting beds, though luckily are grandfathered on the driveway coverage or we’d never get away with the amount of parking we currently have, which is almost impossible to find in the city these days.

Try mulch to prevent the weeds. Works wonders.

The industry doesn’t seem to care that going electric will in many cases double the price of the E-product over ICE product. This ‘cost’ cognitive dissonance has been growing over the last few years and contributes to the current price inflation malaise. What is the industry doing to create more lawns to mow? I don’t see this happening in this industry.

I’m going to try this. Keep all my attachments and put the ICE in deep storage.

1 Like

[quote=“designbreathing, post:16, topic:84475, full:true”]
What is the industry doing to create more lawns to mow? [/quote]

Again, why are you so concerned if the lawn mowing industry goes the way of the buggy whip? Do you own stock in Toro? Are you saying the lawn mowing industry is essential? Why?

People are going to mow their lawns. If they cant afford a new electric one, they will get a used gas one from another state or the black market. ( do we need more of those?)

And yes, if I pushed a mower for a living, which I have done in my youth, I would consider it an essential industry.


An uncut lawn creates a more diverse ecosystem. The alternative is pure ego, humans are better than nature?

I also paid for college as a landscaper. I mostly did landscaping and hardscaping, but one year I was mostly pushing a mower. I held the 1-day record of mowing 26 accounts in that day. Currently, I would much rather pay a landscaper to manage the weeds in the garden instead of mowing the lawn.