MADISON, Wis. — When you turn on your typical riding mower, you typically get smoke and noise and vibration.
And that's ok with most people because a nice mower like a John Deere does what it's meant to do at an affordable price.
But for those who are tired of paying close to three dollars a gallon and want to do their part for the environment, the Ariens Amp is what you've been looking for.
"Yeah, it's exciting to have something like this new and something for people to get excited about," says Duane Nolden, owner of Middleton Power Center in Madison, Wis.
It's the first commercially produced electric riding lawnmower.
The Brillion-based company is hoping it will catch on with gas prices on the rise and awareness of green technology at a peak.
"No fuels, no maintenance on it. no fuel, no oil to keep it running. you just plug it in and charge it up," says Nolden.
The Ariens Amp will give you about 75 minutes worth of mowing time. But, what if you're out in the middle of your yard and you run out of juice? That won't happen because it senses when its running short on juice, and shuts off the blade so you know it's time to head back to the garage.
It's much quieter than it's gas counterparts, but unlike electric cars, don't expect silence.
"When you get the blades going, you can definitely hear that wind moving." Says Nolden.
The amazing thing about electrics is the size of the motor, which is tiny compared to its gas counterparts, but just as powerful.
"Electricity is instant so you get the torque out of that little motor that you don't get out of a gas engine." Says Nolden
The Amp costs almost twice as much as similar gas models, but over the life of the mower the money you save on gas should even it out.
And if OPEC decides to keep raising prices, anyone with an Ariens Amp in the garage will be happy they're riding along with a company that's Positively Wisconsin.