Best Electric Zero Turn Mowers 2021 | Review & Guide

Using the most efficient mowing equipment is essential when performing residential and commercial landscaping. If you’re thinking about getting a new electric zero-turn mower, this in-depth guide points out the pros and cons of this mower technology and pinpoint the best zero-turn mowers on the market today.

I have an extensive history of testing out several types of gas and electric zero-turn mowers and I love the concept of a cleaner, quieter, zero carbon emission mower that performs as well as a gas-powered machine. 

This in-depth guide and reviews everything you need to know about finding the right lawn care equipment suitable for your home and shares my insight into what I consider to be the best electric zero turn mowers.

What Are Electric Zero Turn Mowers?

Electric zero-turn mowers are lawn maintenance equipment designed for mowing grass swiftly and efficiently. When users sit down and drive the mower, they control it using its levers, unlike other riding lawn mowers with wheels.

Unlike lawn tractors, they offer more speed and maneuverability options, making them an essential tool for mowing grass in places difficult to reach with other equipment, with the ability to turn 360 degrees on their own footprint.

Garden Tractor
Garden Tractor
Cub Cadet ZT1 42 1
Zero Turn Mower
Riding mower
Riding Mower

Gas Vs. Electric

Different zero-turn mower models and manufacturers use different types of power sources to drive their machines. Depending on your preferences, you might find one power source more convenient than the other. There is a large selection of brands and models on the market and the best zero-turn mowers have historically been gasoline. But technology marches on and battery-powered machines are getting better every year.

Gas Powered

To state the obvious…gas-powered zero-turn mowers use gasoline to drive the engine, which is typically a 2 or 4 stroke engine. Yes, you’ve guessed it…that also means engine maintenance and services will be required with these machines.

As a general rule gas-powered zero-turn mowers tend to be heavier due to the engine and fuel tank and usually more expensive on a like-for-like basis. In addition, they will generate more noise, fumes, and consequently smell.

They require regular gas refills to operate uninterrupted, although in saying that higher fuel tank capacities allow users to spend more time mowing their grass, which suits commercial use.

Electric Battery Powered

Electric-powered zero-turn mowers use powerful rechargeable sealed deep-cycle AGM/FLA lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion battery cells to drive their motor. Gone are the days when gasoline machines outpower lithium batteries, technology has come a long way.

This greener alternative has become more accessible to homeowners and performs as effectively as residential gas models.

Electric Zero Turn Mower Benefits

There are several advantages to using an electric zero-turn mower when tending your lawn.

First, they don’t have gas engines and won’t exhaust emissions due to their rechargeable electric battery; they make excellent options for people interested in using more environmentally-friendly equipment, battery-powered zero-turn mowers have zero carbon emissions.

As a low-maintenance engine-free option, they don’t need a lot of maintenance, no oil changes, no new fuel filter, spark plugs or drive belts… allowing you to spend less time tinkering and more time to focus on the mowing job at hand.

I’ll just clarify it again as it sounds so good…cleaner, greener quieter, no fume smells, no oil change, no engine maintenance, zero carbon emissions. Am I dreaming…nope, it’s for real.

Buying a Battery Powered Zero Turn Mower

Before buying a battery-powered zero-turn mower, there are several factors worth taking into account. The majority of which revolve affect the overall functionality of the machine and how it makes your lawn mowing experience more efficient for you. 

If you have a large-sized yard, you’ll need the right mower for the job. So let’s run through the criteria features and considerations of a battery-powered zero-turn mower. 

Motor Power & Batteries

One of the most essential factors you should consider when selecting this type of zero-turn mower is its motor power and battery run-time. The performance of your mower depends on how it uses its power over time.

Motor Power

The best electric zero-turn mowers incorporate brushless motors into their design. These motors require less maintenance than brushed motors, they come in smaller lightweight sizes and operate well at any speed setting.

Maximum Speed

The more you push its steering levers forward, the faster the mower will go. The maximum speed for gas and electric zero-turn mowers is around 7-8mph (miles per hour) for most models, reaching about twice the speed of most lawn tractors or riding mowers.

Battery Power, Charging

The size and weight of your mower determine how much power it uses and how long it lasts before draining. Electric zero-turn mowers can be charged through a standard 120V power outlet. The charge time varies by model.

It’s debatable whether lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries are best as they have pros and cons.

  • Lithium-ion has a higher upfront cost price but will generally last the lifetime of the mower.
  • They also have the advantage of not losing any stored power whilst standing.
  • Lithium batteries can regularly have 85% of their stored power discharged in a single use without diminishing the battery’s storage capacity.
lithium battery 100ah 12v

Sealed lead-acid batteries are low cost but will need replacing more often, plus they lose charge while standing in storage if the mower and battery are not in use. This isn’t a huge issue if you simply recharge it at the beginning of the season.

Battery Run Time

You can measure battery power length by amp-hours; most electric zero-turn mowers range between 75 Ah to 100 Ah. A mower that draws 75 amp of power will run for 60 minutes when powered with a 75 Ah battery. So you will get more power over more time with a higher Ah battery.

As a general rule most 75 Ah batteries will run for approximately 2 acres and a 100 Ah battery will get you through 3 acres. But it depends on the weight of the machine, the conditions, and how efficiently you drive it.

Most control panels display a battery run time indicator that tracks how many hours you use the mower. This feature is essential for people interested in keeping track of their progress before charging their battery again and measuring when it needs a replacement.

Cutting Deck

The cutting deck of your battery-powered zero-turn mower is where you can find its blades. The configuration of the cutting deck, the number of blades, and their layout may vary between machines.

Deck Width & Height

The deck’s width determines how much space it uses when cutting grass. Wider decks have larger cutting swaths, but smaller decks have their advantages in tighter spaces. Model range anywhere between

The deck height determines the grass-cutting length, which is controlled by an adjustable lever offering the option to cut the grass between 1-6 inches in height.

Stamped Vs. Fabricated Deck

Electric zero-turn mowers come in two cutting deck varieties: stamped or fabricated.

Stamped decks have a single piece of steel acting as the mower blade outer shell; the metal used for this deck is thinner than fabricated deck materials, typically 1/16th inch. Manufacturing a stamped deck is cheaper than fabricate/welded decks, and they are ideal for use on open flat ground where there are no ricks or obstacles.

Fabricated decks use several pieces of steel welded together using thicker material, usually around 1/8th inch steel, giving a much stronger deck. These are for commercial use or where you are likely to give the deck a bit of a beating.

fabricated deck
Fabricated Deck
stamped deck
Stamped Deck

Transmission

Transmission refers to how the mower transmits power from its engine into its wheels to maintain its speed. It also helps you manage how much torque the mower uses to overcome undulation or yard obstacles.

You have the option of an automatic transmission, which is belt-driven or hydrostatic transmission a technology that uses fluid and consequently proves a smoother ride.

Steering

These mowers use two steering levers to maneuver across lawns. When you want to turn in a specific direction, you push one lever forward and the other towards you. And the mower spins. Pushing them forward moves it forward while pulling it back you move the mower backward.

Comfort & Controls

When selecting a battery-powered zero-turn mower, it would be best to select one that accommodates comfort and safety while driving it.

If you want to mow for an extended period, finding a machine that’s ergonomic and won’t leave you sore is something you should have high on the list of priorities. Now to be fair… all of the machines on my list offer great comfort, otherwise, I would be crazy right.

Seat

I recommend finding a mower with an adjustable seat to move you further or closer to the steering levers to make it suit your height and work comfortably. Padded seating, armrests, and a high backrest can also add extra comfort during your mowing session.

Display & Controls

Some models usually incorporate a control panel to help you activate your device’s blades and switch between default or slow-speed modes etc. The display can also show the remaining battery levels and your mowing run time.

Nothing too much to worry about. Premium models may have digital display panels others analog.

Tires

The back tires support the weight of the mower and its engine. The front tires usually have a smooth texture to minimize surface friction when you make those sharp spinning turns. Selecting tires with deep treads is a sensible option suitable for working on rougher terrain or wet grass.

Safety Features

Due to their large size, electric zero-turn mowers can potentially be dangerous to operate when driven by an inexperienced user. To reduce the chances of injury, they come equipped with several safety features.

  • Many models have an emergency brake to halt the machine when your machine experiences technical difficulties or when something unexpectedly gets in your way. 
  • Others incorporate an auto-shutdown feature that turns the mower off when you leave the seat to prevent it from going out of control without you. 
  • LED headlights are another asset to consider when you need to finish mowing by nightfall and avoid obstacles.
  • If it has a safety belt, I recommend using it to avoid falling off the mower.

Best Electric Zero Turn Mowers Reviews

Having the best equipment on hand is a top priority when completing the job when it comes to lawn maintenance. So here’s a rundown on some of the best electric zero-turn mowers on the market.

The criteria I used for selecting the choices in this lineup include how many acres they can mow per charging session, their cutting deck widths, and other additional features that enhance their performance.


Ryobi 48V Battery Electric Zero Turn Mower 42 in.

Best Bagging, Side Discharge, and Mulching Capabilities

ryobi 48V zero turn mower

Features:

  • Cutting Deck: 42 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped
  • Battery (V): 48V
  • Run Time: 2.5 acres (1.5 to 2.5 hours)
  • Battery Power: 75 Ah
  • Speed: 7 mph
  • Warranty: 3 Years

This Ryobi 48V zero-turn mower is a low-maintenance mower suitable for yards measuring between half an acre to two acres. Its four brushless motors provide excellent power, torque, and performance. After setting it to its maximum speed of 7 mph, my lawn looked fresher than ever after 90 minutes. 

Although I mowed my lawn quickly, the 48V battery depleted faster than I anticipated, making me feel a bit uncertain if this mower was about to run out of power or not. However, its 12-gauge steel deck can endure most conditions and has exceptional handling in hard-to-reach spots.

Its safety interlock system is another highlight I enjoyed due to its blade shutdown function that activates when I leave my seat before removing the key. The cutting height ranges between 1-4.5 inches which is not the widest range, but these machines are mainly for domestic use, so 4.5 inches is plenty. In fact, a 4.5-inch lawn sounds like it needs cutting!

This electric zero-turn mower is an excellent option for people looking for a model that performs typical lawn mowing functions. If you’re indecisive on what to do with your grass clippings, this model lets you side discharge, mulch, and bag your unneeded grass shavings.

Check the latest price for the Ryobi 48V Zero-Turn Mower at Home Depot where finance options are available allowing you to spread the cost over 3 years. 

Pros      

  • Cuts up to 2.5 acres per charge
  • Control panel with a battery level indicator, unit hour meter, and USB charging station
  • Side discharge, mulching, and bagging functions
  • Four high powered brushless motors
  • Safety interlock system

Cons

  • The battery might have trouble charging
  • Tire traction quality varies

Ryobi 48V Battery Electric Zero Turn Mower 54 in.

Best 50+ Inch Cutting Deck

ryobi 48V zero turn mower 1

Features:

  • Cutting Deck: 54 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped
  • Battery (V): 48V
  • Run Time: Up to 3.5 acres (2.5 to 3 hours)
  • Battery Power: 115 Ah
  • Speed: 7 mph
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Next, we have Ryobi’s 48V 54-Inch Battery Zero-Turn Mower, an excellent alternative for homeowners with larger yards. Although it uses the same battery as the 42-inch model, the 115 Ah lets me cut more grass after a single charge. It uses five brushless motors and three sleek blades to power through tough grass with a maximum cutting height of 4.5 inches.

After testing out this model, one notable improvement I noticed is the inclusion of padded armrests, allowing me to relax a bit while taking a few minutes off from mowing. Its built-in cup holders and USB charging port also let me access my water bottle and phone during my breaks.

The advanced control panel gave me access to more settings than Ryobi’s smaller model. In addition, the slow speed and slow blade options helped me prolong its battery’s run time when finishing my mowing session.

I felt exceptionally impressed with the mulching and side discharge function that allowed me to work with several grass conditions and keep my lawn healthy. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t offer bagging, which might be a downside for people who prefer tossing their clippings away.

If you prefer a more comfortable ride while maintaining your lawn, this Ryobi mower might be the right choice for you. Check out Ryobi 50″ Zero-Turn Mower price to experience its comfort firsthand.

Pros      

  • The blades automatically shut off when the battery charge level reaches the red zone
  • Armrests for ergonomic enhancement
  • Five brushless motors with excellent torque and power
  • Low-speed cut button for prolonging battery run time
  • 12-position manual deck adjustment

Cons

  • Doesn’t have bagging capabilities

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42 In. 56-V Electric Drive Zero Turn Mower

Best Option for Continuous Power

Cub Cadet ZT1 42

Features:

  • Cutting Deck: 42 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped
  • Battery (V): 56V
  • Run Time: Up to one hour
  • Battery Power: 60 Ah
  • Speed: 7 mph
  • Warranty: 3 Years

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is another high-quality mower best suited for residential mowing. It incorporates dual automatic electric transmissions to give it continuous power while mowing your lawn at two acres per charge. Its lithium-ion battery delivers the best output even as it begins to drain empty.

Its maximum cutting height is 4 inches which may be a limiting factor for some people, but in truth who needs 5-inch grass, that just sounds like grass that needs cutting to me.

While operating it at 6 mph and 7 mph, I found the Cub Cadet Ultima’s handling easy to control. However, when I used its lowest speed settings, I found it difficult to maneuver around obstacles or park in between other vehicles. 

Although I enjoy the amount of power the Cub Cadet’s battery possesses, I hoped it would last a little longer; the run time lasts about one hour before charging it again for four. I think it’s passable as an electric zero-turn mower if you prefer using its higher speed settings to complete your yard work.

You can find the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 online here.

Pros      

  • Four-hour charging time
  • Dual automatic electric transmissions
  • Continuous power in brushless, eco-friendly motor
  • High back seat for enhanced comfort
  • Side-discharge, bagging and mulching capabilities

Cons

  • The battery run time could run a bit longer
  • Lower speed operation has difficult handling

EGO POWER+ Z6 Zero Turn Mower 42 inch Deck

Fastest Charging Time

ego power z6 zero turn mower

Features:

  • Cutting Deck: 42 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped
  • Battery (V): 56V
  • Run Time: 2 acres (1 to 2 hours)
  • Battery Power: 60 Ah
  • Speed: 7 mph, 8 mph in travel mode
  • Warranty: 5 Years

The EGO POWER+ Z6 is another option I consider one of the best electric zero-turn mowers due to its versatility. Unlike the other options on my list, it uses four 10 Ah batteries to operate on a full charge; it holds up to six batteries, making its total battery power 60 Ah.

What makes this mower stand out from the rest is its swift charging time. Charging completely in about two hours, the EGO POWER+ Z6 qualifies as one of the fastest charging zero-turn mowers on the market. This shorter charging time suits my busy lifestyle better than other models I used. 

Its three drive modes allow you to control the intensity of your mower’s acceleration and turning. I preferred using the standard mode to maneuver out of the three choices: control, standard, and sport. 

Despite having six-speed settings and three driving modes, you can’t switch between them while using the mower. I spent a few seconds switching it from 3 mph to 6 mph and from control mode to turning mode. If you don’t mind this short delay, try out the EGO POWER+ Z6.

Pros      

  • Holds up to six batteries
  • Charges batteries in two hours
  • Rear LED lights blink when backing up
  • Three custom driving modes
  • Hydraulic seat adjustment

Cons

  • You can’t change speeds or modes while in motion
  • Maneuvering around obstacles might be challenging

GreenWorks Commercial Z RZ48R 48″ Deck

rz48r new

Features:

  • Cutting Deck: 48 Inches
  • Deck Type: Fabricated
  • Battery (V): 82V
  • Run Time:  2.25 acres (1 hour)
  • Battery Power: 60 Ah
  • Speed: 7 mph
  • Warranty: 2 Years

GreenWorks Commercial’s Z RZ48R is another model I recommend for its large, 48-inch cutting deck. Its three 1.5 kilowatt brushless blade mowers run at a constant 13,582 rpm, giving it excellent and reliable cutting power. 

Out of all the options on this list, I qualify this mower as one with the strongest cutting deck. Constructed with 10-gauge steel, the RZ48R ensures durability even after continuous use. Running on an 82V battery with 60 Ah, this mower let me mow over two acres in an hour. 

When adjusting the deck’s 16 height settings, the mower allows you to cut grass between 1.5 to 4.5 inches. However, I prefer setting the cutting height to three inches to give my yard a perfectly balanced look.

With its commercial-style build, this mower’s ETO technology allows you to add attachments to help operators multi-task when completing their lawn maintenance routines. 

Check the latest GreenWorks Commercial prices here.

Pros      

  • Seven-hour charging time
  • Electric Take Off enables powered and non-powered attachments
  • 16 cutting height settings
  • 10-gauge fabricated steel deck

Cons

  • Its 48-inch deck might not suit tighter areas
  • Battery run time might be too short for larger properties

Battery Powered Zero Turn Mower Maintenance 

To ensure the best performance for your battery-powered zero-turn mower, I recommend charging its battery as it runs low during your mowing session. By using the correct outlet voltage, you can prevent damaging the battery from incompatibility.

When charging the battery, don’t leave it in areas with extreme heat or cold. Temperatures below freezing drain the battery quickly; charging batteries placed in intense heat or near open flames can damage them or explode. If the battery dies, replace it as soon as possible.

After a lengthy mowing session, I recommend cleaning the mower’s cutting deck to remove moisture-holding grass, dirt, and debris trapped inside it that can corrode and damage its metal blades.

Sharpening the mower blades keeps them in top condition and cuts grass in a single session. This process also keeps the blades from becoming uneven and damaging the mower. 

Electric lawn maintenance tools and rain don’t mix well, so it would be wise to keep this zero-turn mower stored in a secure and dry location when it’s not in use.

Used Electric Zero Turn Mowers

When maintaining a used electric zero-turn mower, it would be wise to consult the mower’s instructions for proper maintenance. If you see damaged or broken parts, fix or replace them before starting the mower.

When you turn it on and see a message on its LED screen, such as “low battery” or “cutting deck overload,” follow the prompt to keep the used machine operational.

Best Electric Zero Turn Mower Conclussion

So, there you have my rundown of the best electric zero-turn mowers based on my user experience. Hopefully, it gave you a little more insight into how they function. 

When selecting one of these mowers, bear in mind the needs and size of your yard. 

The top pick I recommend Ryobi 48V Battery Electric Zero Turn Mower 42 in. due to its ergonomic steering and seat design, slow driving and blade speed for battery conservation, and its ability to mow up to 2.5 acres per charge at a reasonable price. These features are ideal for any yard space.

Electric Zero-Turn Mower FAQ’s