Petrol Power vs Battery Power
For many years, petrol-powered outdoor tools have reigned as the top choice of garden equipment. Battery-powered tools have long been regarded in the trade, government and consumer spaces as not being up to the task. A common misconception is that they can’t match the power and operation provided by petrol tools.
However, the advancements in batteries, including Lithium and EGO’s 56V ARC Lithium have revolutionised the cordless battery tool sector. Battery power also brings with it various health and safety benefits that are leading many users to leave petrol tools in the past. Moreover, climate change is at the forefront of many people’s thoughts, and so trade professionals and local governments should look to improve their green credentials where possible.
Are the benefits enough to make the switch to battery? We examine both power sources to fully examine current options for trade professionals.
Why users choose petrol powered tools.
Petrol powered equipment has been a reliable source for trade gardeners working on public and private gardens. Trade professionals buy the petrol they need and fill the tools when and where they need to use them and know they will get uninterrupted usage to complete big and small jobs.
Even if the engine runs out of fuel, users can top up their brush cutter, leaf blower and hedge trimmers as they go to ensure jobs are complete. A rechargeable battery requires time to charge before continued use, which leads to many professionals sticking with a petrol tool.
The power provided ensures even the biggest of lawns gets a full cutting while chainsaws have enough to cut through even the thickest of branches.
It’s no wonder that 89% of UK council tools are petrol-powered, using 600,000 litres of fuel every year.
Benefits of battery-powered garden equipment.
Power and reliability keep petrol tools in trade professionals’ inventories, but as the world changes, there’s a greater need to make greener choices with everything we do.
It’s well known that petrol engines cause considerable damage to the environment. In fact, four times more Nitric Oxide (NOx) is emitted by a petrol brush cutter than a small car.
Meanwhile, battery-powered tools produce zero emissions while they work. All the power is stored in rechargeable batteries, you can even switch to a green energy tariff to complete your zero emissions target.
Did you know, 11x more carbon monoxide is emitted by a petrol leaf blower when compared to a Ford Fiesta? If you’re wondering how much your petrol tool usage stacks up in terms of the emissions you produce, try our Emissions Calculator to find out.
No fuels costs
While you’re eliminating emissions from everyday tasks, trade users can also save a huge amount of money by eliminating the need to buy petrol. The cost of fuel continues to rise, and it’s also expected that fossil fuels will be phased out anywhere between 2025-2050, so adopting battery garden equipment now when you’re ready for new tools will future proof any gardening business. There might be a higher upfront cost in year one with battery-powered equipment but by year two, you are firmly saving money without the need to buy fuel or have extensive servicing done.
The latest Lithium batteries are incredibly efficient and bring longer battery life and fast charging times. Thanks to the acceleration of electricity in the car industry, we can also see that recycling of batteries is becoming more efficient. The power required for every job is there at a touch of a button. Batteries do require regular charging but rapid chargers and charging kits are readily available – you can also buy multiple batteries which you can swap in and out to reduce downtime. Backpack Batteries are a great solution and a fully charged unit can provide 8 hours of work, depending on the tool and job at hand.
Greatly reduce noise levels
Noise pollution is a huge problem with petrol operated tools. While trade professionals and arborists use ear defenders, noise pollution can still be felt by homeowners, neighbours, and passers-by at the point of work. Conversely, a battery-powered tool falls well into European Noise Regulations and can be used around hospitals, schools, and visitor attractions with little disturbance.
While battery tools are quieter, it’s still recommended that you wear ear defenders while handling the equipment.
Vibration is minimised
With the decreased levels, battery equipment also minimises vibrations. A petrol engine vibrates throughout its use, leading to many users struggling with hand-arm vibration over time – a numbness and muscle weakness that can lead to conditions including Vibration White Finger (VWF) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Financially, not addressing vibration issues can be huge. In the UK, personal injury claims range from £2,600 to £34,000 depending on the severity of the injury. In 2017, Wrexham County Borough Council was fined £150,000 for failing to address HAV in the workplace.
Battery tools operate under the daily 2.5m/s² A(8) Exposure Action Value (EAV) limit, protecting frequent users from harm.
Lower maintenance costs
Petrol engines require a great level of maintenance to ensure they continue running for a long time. The cost of fuel also continues to rise, and it can cost upwards of €11,294 over five years to keep tools going. Battery tools don’t require a huge amount of maintenance, aside from charging the batteries and paying for electricity. So, after the initial outlay of buying tools and batteries, you can save around €5,068 in your lifetime from 170 days of work each year.
Health and safety organisations are examining more closely accidents caused by petrol-powered tools. Any equipment that is noisy, creates noxious emissions and vibrates at a level that can cause long-term muscular and vascular damage not only affect your health but also presents employers with big challenges and costs.
There’s also the need to have petrol stored on-site, carried, and then used to fill tools. Fuel can potentially leak not only on-site but also during use at a job that customers may not be happy about. Battery-powered tools remove these safety issues.
Battery technology offers greater versatility for trade users as, like with EGO Power+, one battery will often fit a range of tools: from mowers to trimmers. Simply swap the battery from one tool to the other, press the “On” button and off you go.
Which Garden Tools are Cordless?
Challenge 2025 was launched by EGO Power+ to highlight the many reasons why there is a need to switch from petrol to battery power. EGO is constantly innovating, providing users with the latest cutting-edge battery powered equipment including:
All EGO battery tools use the Power+ Arc Lithium batteries, with various power levels, from 2.5Ah up to 12Ah available, and various charging kits to keep you fully powered up for every job.
Make The Switch to Battery Power Today
In summary, battery power has now caught up to match the power requirements that many professional gardeners require to get the job done. With the dangers ever-present from two-stroke petrol engines, there’s no excuse now to make the change to battery garden tools.
Take up the challenge and download The Report today and back our campaign to switch to greener garden tools today.