Clearing the Way for Electric Snow Blowers

Brian McCowan, Zondits staff, 1/21/2022.

The market for new snow blowers in the United States and Canada is projected to grow to $865 million in annual sales by the year 2026 according to market research firm Arizton. Clean power advocates would like to see a major share of the snow blower market transition from gasoline engine power to corded and cordless electric-powered machines. Although the four-stroke engines that typically power snow blowers run cleaner than their two-stroke counterparts found in chainsaws, and their emissions are cleaner now than they were a few years ago, they still produce more harmful emissions per hour than the average new automobile. 

Corded electric snow blowers have been around for decades but being restricted to an extension cord has limited them to clearing snow off walkways and parking areas near power outlets. Advancing battery technology has facilitated the introduction of a new generation of cordless, rechargeable electric snow blowers. Testers and purchasers of these new models are praising not only the environmental advantages but also the convenience and reduced noise levels. 

Zondits discovered various sources for tests and reviews of corded and cordless models: 

The online source Best of Machinery focuses on tools and equipment including outdoor power equipment. Their review of electric snow blowers available this winter covers a wide range of light- and heavy-duty machines. They also include a buying guide that reports: “You might be wondering, why purchase an electric snow blower over a gas-powered model? An electric snow blower is environmentally friendly. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that using a gas-powered model for one hour creates a pound of carbon monoxide emissions. The pollution is comparable to driving your car for 70 miles… Electric motors, especially those powered with a lithium-ion battery, have come a long way. They are now just as powerful as gas-powered models and can easily meet the average business or homeowner’s needs.”  

Sustainability website Treehugger covers a wide range of environmental topics and frequently tests products associated with clean energy. They recently reviewed several models of corded and cordless electric snow blowers, segmenting them into size and power categories. Of their overall top choice, the EGO POWER+ Peak Power 56-volt snow blower, their review states, “If you’re looking for a large blower for a reasonable price, this one has a 21-inch clearing width and 13-inch clearing height so you’ll be able to speed through storm clean ups. With its steel auger, it can handle dense snow and ice. It throws snow up to 40 feet too, so you can put snow where it’s out of the way. Two LED headlights make it easy to see what you’re doing in the early morning hours, and the folding handle allows for compact storage.” 

For heavy-duty usage, Treehugger recommends the Toro 60V Max Power Max 2-Stage model, “This powerhouse can clear a parking lot of up to 24 spaces on one charge of its two included batteries, so you won’t run out of power during big snow-clearing events.” 

Of course, YouTube has several video reviews and comparison tests of electric and gas-powered snow blowers. Some that Zondits found particularly informative include: 

  • A comparison test of a Toro gas-powered machine vs. an EGO rechargeable model. 
  • A thorough real-world test of Toro’s heavy-duty 60 Volt rechargeable snow blower. 
  • A video discussing the results of replacing a heavy-duty gas-powered snow blower with a similar-size rechargeable model.