Analyzing the battery debate

As a string-trimmer operator during high school and college, Zack Kline says he got tired of the trimmer’s noise, fumes and gas consumption. So, he sought an alternative. He’s been operating battery-powered equipment since 2011—using Stihl for about the past four years—and says it’s come a long way since then.

“In the beginning, the equipment was more residential and not really commercial grade,” Kline says. Now, he says, the equipment’s performance levels and battery life have gone up, while its prices have gone down.

Kline, now the owner of A.I.R. in Rockville, Md., offers organic lawn care, landscaping and snow and ice removal services to primarily residential clients. The company’s annual revenue is nearly $500,000 with three to five crews during the spring.