Last week, NALP worked with the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) and Montgomery County Maryland DEP to share recommended practices in battery-powered landscape equipment operations.
83 participants, including vendors and private industry individuals, gathered at Montgomery County’s community college campus to learn about the realities of a transition from gas to electric.
“AGZA and NALP continue to be very aligned that we support this transition, but we support it if it’s in a responsible manner, meaning we don’t want timelines,” says Andrew Bray, VP of government relations for NALP. “This isn’t just a light switch.”
Dan Mabe, CEO and president of AGZA, went over some of the difficulties and challenges faced when transitioning to battery and how to overcome them.
After that, they held a Q&A and then went outside and met with vendors to test out equipment. Bray says that many from the industry who came to the event were skeptical of the transition but after testing the electric equipment out, it helped remove some of their skepticism.
Decision-makers in Montgomery County were also present, as well as Delgate Foley’s chief of staff who introduced the Maryland statewide leaf blower ban. Bray says he talked at length with these individuals who were impressed and are starting to understand some of the difficulties a transition to battery power poses.
“We want the industry to understand how to do this, and we want to help them make the transition,” Bray says. “But we also want to show policymakers we’re serious about this, but this is a lot harder than you think it is.”
NALP plans to replicate these workshops with AGZA in states like New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon.
“These events are important because we want to do two things,” Bray says. “We want to educate policymakers and decision-makers on why this transition can’t happen immediately. But also demonstrate to those policymakers that we as an industry are coming and supporting these things so that we can get there.”
The next battery-powered workshop being put on by AGZA, NALP, the New Jersey Green Industry Council (NJGIC), New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) and New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association (NJNLA) will take place on Sept. 14 in Chester, New Jersey. For $125, attendees will receive 15 interactive webinars on the fundamentals of electric-powered sustainable land care, classroom instruction on battery electric basics, infrastructure and more, and hands-on testing.