Mayor Greg Fischer unveiled eleven new propane powered mowers that have replaced worn out gasoline mowers. The propane mowers will run cleaner, cheaper and quieter than gasoline mowers.
That will help achieve goals set in the mayor’s Sustain Louisville plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. Propane-powered mowers put out approximately 20 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline mowers. They also put out about 45 percent fewer carbon monoxide emissions, as well as fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to summertime ozone.
Five city departments responsible for mowing will receive the new propane mowers. That includes the Louisville Zoo, the Vacant Lots Division of Codes & Regulations, Metro Parks, Public Works, and the Metro Facilities Division. These departments manage grass growth on all city owned property as well as vacant and abandoned private properties.
The propane mowers, at $9,500 each, cost less than 3 percent more than gasoline mowers but will cost about 25 percent less to run based on March 2018 per gallon fuel prices of $2.39 for gasoline and $1.76 for propane. They were purchased and will be maintained by the Metro Fleet Division.
“The new mowers will quickly pay for themselves in terms of reduced fuel cost,” Mayor Fischer said. “And they’re not just better for the bottom line. They’re also better for our environment.”
Because the propane mowers run so much cleaner, city crews will be able to mow even on Air Quality Alert days, when people are asked not to use their gasoline mowers. Since city crews follow the same restriction, they have had to stop mowing multiple times per season during the air alerts. Now they’ll be able to keep cutting without unduly adding to the pollution problem.
Metro Fleet bought 11 propane mowers this year. That still leaves 68 gasoline-powered mowers in the city fleet. Plans call for buying more propane mowers in the future to replace gasoline mowers as they wear out.
“That will allow us to continue to make improvements in sustainability while also keeping our city looking good,” Mayor Fischer said.