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In 2018 Gravely unveiled a prototype of a cutting-edge machine: the Pro-Turn EV, a fully electric commercial zero-turn mower. While hand-held electric landscaping tools and electric riding mowers may have been around for decades, they are not designed to handle the daily rigors of a commercial zero-turn mower. Until now.
Following two years of extensive design, testing and engineering, the Gravely Pro-Turn EV is ready to roll — and mow and mow and mow.
Although electric motors are efficient, quiet and more eco-friendly, putting them in a zero-turn presents a challenge — too much torque. Gravely engineers developed a solution that enable the same response in the Pro-Turn EV that users are used to with gas mowers.
“We know the customer wants a machine that has the same performance as a gas-powered machine, not a raging animal,” said Grant Wilson, Director, Product Management. “Our electrical engineering team designed proprietary electric drive motors that give the user the same smooth feel they’re used to in a traditional zero-turn.”
This proprietary technology also extends to the machine’s spindle motors, providing ample power to cleanly cut the toughest grass.
One of the most notable features of the Pro-Turn EV is its batteries. While other electric machines have heavy, hard-to-swap batteries that can weigh some 100 lbs, the Pro-Turn EV features four smaller batteries that provide the same amount of power but are easy to carry. These rechargeable lithium-ion batteries can be charged overnight by plugging into a standard 15- or 20-amp circuit outlet. Charge time can be further accelerated by using a speed charger (sold separately).
The batteries enable operators to cut up to 15.5 acres on a single charge. Additionally, operating time can be extended by simply “quick swapping” extra batteries that are stored in an offboard charger (also sold separately). So, for that extra bit of juice at the end of the day, operators can quickly swap two batteries, instead of all four. These batteries have a lifespan of 10 years, or 1,000 charges.
A heads-up display on the Pro-Turn EV provides operators with critical performance data, such as battery charge and total number of operating hours. The Pro-Turn EV is also self-diagnostic, alerting operators with error messages if there are issues with specific components.
Owners should see less time spent maintaining their machines with this new model. Electric motors often require less maintenance than combustion engines because they have fewer moving parts, which means there’s less that can go wrong.
The Pro-Turn EV saves money in other ways, too. Its energy-efficient lithium-ion batteries are more cost-effective over the machine’s lifetime than the cost of purchasing gasoline to power traditional commercial mowers.
“The power source might be different, but the Pro-Turn EV has the same Gravely DNA and performance that commercial landscapers have come to expect,” said Wilson. “This machine is truly a game changer.”