What's new for 2022
BY SCOTT BARBER
EACH YEAR, Landscape Trades dedicates an issue to showcase new equipment and products for landscape and horticulture professionals. It’s one of my favourites to work on because it’s exciting to learn about the latest innovations, technological advancements and upgrades hitting the market.
Every time we survey readers to learn what they enjoy most about the magazine, new products top the list. It’s no surprise. Great equipment and products can save time and money on the jobsite. They can also drive sales.
Flip through pages 6-31 and you’ll see a whole lot of new mowers, blowers, trimmers, chain saws, pavers, stones, excavators, trucks, loaders, mulchers, loppers, dumpers, and just about everything else you need to do what you do best.
There is a lot to get excited about, but one trend stands out above the rest: Battery power has entered the pickup truck and mid-size equipment space.
Both Ford and GM are set to launch their first electric pickup trucks this year, with the F-150 Lightning coming in mid-2022 and the Hummer EV pickup slated for the fall. Rivian is poised to be the first company to launch an all-electric pickup truck in Canada, with its R1T scheduled to roll out in July. Chevrolet will join the group in 2023 with the Silverado EV.
On the equipment side, Bobcat recently unveiled its first all-electric compact track loader, the T7X. Yanmar announced an electric mini excavator prototype, Merlo has a pair of electric telehandler models and Greenworks offers a battery powered UTV. John Deere also just fianlized an agreement to purchase Kreisel Electric, an Austrian battery technology provider.
These pickup trucks and mid-sized machines join the many mowers, blowers, trimers, chainsaws and tools that make up an ever growing, and improving battery powered equipment segment.
Will all our trucks and machines go electric? There are certainly some big benefits. In Canada, our electricity is mostly clean. Clean Energy Canada estimates our grid is 83 per cent emissions free, so moving away from fossil fuels can make a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Add in the fuel cost savings, as well as the decrease in fumes, noise and vibrations, and the case for battery power is compelling.
On the other hand, it remains to be seen if the latest advancements in battery technology will address the areas where electric equipment has fallen short in the past.
Will the trucks and machines provide enough power to do the job? How long will their charge last? How will the upfront costs compare to traditional options?
By the end of 2022, we should have some clearer answers.
Scott Barber is the publisher of Landscape Trades. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-478-3171.