Carts and Tools founder Michael McGowen in his hoop house
One of the most asked questions about our tools is, “How long does the battery last?” At the risk of sounding vague, the answer to the battery life question is, “It depends.” Many of us have been conditioned by our use of gas powered tools to effectively waste energy.
Among the biggest problems with most gas powered tillers and cultivators is that they need to run at full speed to generate the torque necessary to provide any power to the tines. The first thing you notice with a Tillie is that you can precisely control the speed and that even at slow speeds the DC hub motor creates plenty of power to do the job properly.
So the first instinct when using Tillie is to go full throttle, which is not always the most efficient use of battery power. As farmers embrace our tools, they are communicating back to us how they use them and what they are getting out of them.
So, “How long is the battery life?”
The pictures are in Michael’s remaining hoop house. The one that survived our once-in-a-decade, 18 inch snow storm. It is a 20 foot by 50 foot hoop house, so that’s 1000 square feet of dirt. Michael tilled the entire space, shaped the beds, and planted butterhead lettuce, cutting greens, and carrots on one charge using the sealed lead acid battery pack.
We have a customer in Northern California who told us that he was able to weed over 1/2 a mile while cultivating between his row crops last Fall. If you have 200 foot rows, that means you can weed between 26 rows with the 20 Ah lithium battery pack.
So you can do a lot of work with a single battery pack. Keep in mind that our battery packs are easily exchangeable as well, so you could go all day.
“But who wants to till all day?”
Another problem with gas tillers is that they are just no fun to use.
They are noisy, they smell, and they work you nearly to death. Not so with our tools. They are quiet, odor free, and easy to use. Did we mention that they start every time? No starter rope, no spark plug, and no carburetor.
Last but not least: it costs between 10 and 15 cents to recharge and if you have solar, well…you figure it out.