Freedonia Analyst Comments on California’s New Law Banning Sale of Gas-Powered Lawn & Garden Equipment By 2024

On October 9th, California Governor Gavin Newsome signed into law Assembly Bill 1346, which will phase out sales of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment such as leaf blowers and lawn mowers in the coming years. The law says that this phase out will occur as early as 2024 or as soon as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) determines the change is feasible.

Proponents of the law note that it is the logical extension the state’s move toward zero-emission cars and vehicles and this change will have a significant environmental effect. Author of Assembly Bill 1346, Assemblyman Marc Berman, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying, “It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog-forming and climate-changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates.”

Freedonia Group analyst Dan Debelius says, “Many consumers have been able to make the transition to battery-powered or corded electric lawn and garden equipment. Ownership of corded or battery powered versions is approaching or even surpassing that of gas-powered versions among smaller equipment types such as leaf blowers, trimmers, and chainsaws where noise reduction and lightweight are priority features.”

Furthermore, Debelius notes, “Still, this is a significant move for the industry, particularly as it relates to landscaping firms which still face some challenges in completing this transition.”

Critics of the bill, including National Association of Landscape Professionals, contend that this bill will place a burden on landscapers as a result of the higher cost of zero emission equipment and decreased efficiency. Also per the LA Times, Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations for NALP, says, “These companies are going to have to completely retrofit their entire workshops to be able to handle this massive change in voltage so they’re going to be charged every day.”

Debelius adds, “Great strides have been made in battery-powered technology – both with torque and longevity – in recent years that will help make this transition easier. Some professional companies have already begun the transition to electric equipment, partly due to changes in local noise ordinances and consumer interest in sustainable practices and quieter equipment. However, as the NALP contends, it will take time and significant investment, as well as continued further technological advances, to get professionals statewide in compliance with the new law.”

Additional analysis of the power lawn and garden equipment industry can be found in the following Freedonia reports: Power Lawn & Garden Equipment and Global Power Lawn & Garden Equipment. For more information on these and other adjacent industries studies, please see www.freedoniagroup.com.