A Toyota Prius is many things, but a convenient lawn mower isn't one of them. Useless, right?
Luckily, it is now possible to buy a hybrid lawn mower, known as the Raven MPV-710.
In many ways, a hybrid mower makes sense. After all, if you're making an effort to be green, you might as well try and cut down on gasoline usage in all your vehicles--even the ones that never hit the streets.
Almost a cross between ATV and mower, the Raven MPV-710 appears to be one of the highest-tech options on the market.
The hybrid tag may put you in mind of a Toyota Prius, but in reality this thing is more like a Chevy Volt--its electric motor provides the drive, while the single-cylinder 420cc gasoline engine is used to generate the electricity it uses.
Because of the electric direct drive, Raven says it transfers more power to the wheels than most mowers on the market, and it's smoother too. Top speed is 17 mph, three times quicker than most mowers, and there's enough torque to pull up to 500 pounds. Though to actually get any mowing done you'll still have to slow down to 5 mph...
As with any hybrid, the MPV-710's efficiency benefits are also important. Used as a generator, the Raven's engine is more frugal than other mowers, so you'll get up to 12 hours of running on a 5-gallon fill.
Some hasty math suggests economy of around 40 mpg, though that's only if it can run for the full 12 hours at its top speed. Not that anyone uses these to make long trips anyway, so just be happy it can sip gas at a slower rate than its entirely-gasoline equivalents.
It can also be used as a generator, for users wishing to power electric tools.
The price for all this technology, after a bit of digging, is around the $3,000 mark. Which doesn't seem excessive to us, given the technology. But hey--someone out there knows more about ride-on lawn mowers than us. What do you think of the new green option?
[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]