Ryobi Zero Turn Mower – ZT480e
Has The Future Of Mowing Taken A Turn? The Ryobi Zero Turn Mower Makes A Strong Case For Affordable Electric Mowers
Ryobi has been making really great battery-powered mowers for the homeowner for a while now, but they’ve finally entered into the zero turn market. The Ryobi ZT480e has a great range and some solid features, but possibly, the most notable thing about the new Ryobi Zero Turn Mower revolves around its price tag.
- Model Number: RY48ZTR100
- Ryobi all-electric zero turn mower
- Lap bar steering
- Cuts up to 3 acres on a charge
- 4 high-powered brushless motors
- Quiet cutting, no gas, no fumes, no belts
- Charges through standard 120V outlet
- 4 Sealed Lead Acid/Absorbent Glass Matt 12V batteries wired in series to produce 48V
- 100 Ah
- 1.5″-4.5″ adjustable cutting height
- Includes towing hitch and assembly hardware
- MSRP: $4,099 at Home Depot
What’s The Big Deal?
It might be tough to pick just one or two things to highlight about the Ryobi Zero Turn Mower on account of there being quite a bit to talk about. So, starting at the beginning, this isn’t Ryobi’s first foray into all-electric riding mowers, but it is Ryobi’s first zero turn model. Like every other electric model on the market, this one will run quietly, with no fussing with gas, oil, fumes, belts, sparkplugs, or filters. The maintenance costs with electric models are minimal as well. Withits lap bar steering, it turns on a dime, and it has a 1.5″ to 4.5″ cutting height adjustment. All of this is notable in and of itself, though these points won’t be particularly unique to this model.
What is unique about the ZT480e is its price tag. Most of the electric zero-turn mowers we’ve seen have professional-grade price tags to go along with them. Ryobi has a rich tradition of making quality Prosumer-grade tools that retail for much less than the tools geared toward the strictly Pro market. In this case, the $4,099 price tag does fall about 15k-20k shy of these professional-grade mowers. We suspect that this model will still fall pretty firmly into the DIY/homeowner demographic of the market; with this sort of price differential, there have to be tradeoffs somewhere.
Where are those tradeoffs? For one thing, the Ryobi Zero Turn Mower uses 4 sealed, lead-acid 12V batteries, wired in series, to produce the 48V power. This is in contrast to the Lithium-Ion packs that Greenworks and Mean Green are currently using.
Don’t let this fact dissuade you, however. The ZT480e still cranks out 100 amp-hours worth of runtime. This translates to anywhere between 2-1/4 to 3 acres of mowing per charge.
Secondly, many of the higher priced Pro-grade mowers have bigger, 60″+ cutting decks. Here, we see that this mower is working with a 42″ deck that houses two cutting blades. Again, this is a tradeoff that would work for a residential mower but might be a bit undersized for commercial applications.
We also suspect that the quality of the components here, like the 12-gauge steel cutting deck, will be lighter-duty than a commercial-grade mower. For the homeowner who mows once a week, this won’t make much of a difference, but a commercial landscaper will likely need something a bit beefier.
While we’ll need to get our hands on one of these before we can recommend this product with any degree of certainty, the Ryobi Zero Tun Mower looks like the type of product that’s perfect for the homeowner that has a little bit of acreage. The runtimes look really good, Ryobi has a solid history of turning out tools with great initial quality, and this mower’s got a price that can’t be beat.
Ryobi Zero Turn Mower Specs
- Model Number: RY48ZTR100
- Drive Type: Zero Turn
- Drivetrain: Rear Wheel
- Power Type: Cordless Electric
- Deck Size/Cut Capacity: 42″
- Cutting Height: 1.5″ – 4.5″
- Cut Acres Per Charge: Up To 3
- Battery Capacity: 100Ah
- Max Speed: 7mph
- Weight: 597 lbs
- Includes: Battery Charger, Start Key, Mulch Plug, Tow Hitch, Assembly Hardware, Manual
- Warranty: 3-Year Limited/90-Day Commercial
- MSRP: $4,099