Tool Box: A charge defeated by the sward

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The Independent Online
AUTOMOTIVE engineers are still trying to make the electrically powered car a viable proposition. A lawnmower driven by a battery that can be charged 350 times is equally desirable, in theory, for reasons that include low noise levels and no cables to worry about.

AL-KO's new Accu Tec 32W mower feels robust and has a three-year warranty. Fully charging its compact but heavy battery takes 28 hours; at best, this provides enough power to cut a lawn about two-thirds the size of a tennis court.

Stamina obviously depends

on such factors as cutting height and length of grass. On the lowest of the three settings, the motor lacked the power to cope with a lawn that had just been cut with our Honda petrol mower. When it was working properly, small clippings escaped through slots in the grass box.

What happens if circumstances combine to drain the battery while there is still grass to be cut? You either start the charging process again, or use a spare battery, which adds pounds 59.95 to the pounds 349.95 purchase price.

To judge from my experience with the Accu Tec 32W, the battery mower takes third place behind rivals that are powered by petrol and mains electricity.

AL-KO Britain Ltd, Number One Industrial Estate, Medomsley Road, Consett,

Co Durham DH8 6SZ (0207 590295).