OPEI’s Involvement with Battery Operated and Electric Outdoor Power Equipment

OPEI_logoThough outdoor power equipment might not be subject to the same tests and stringent standards as automobiles and commercial vehicles, the industry is still subject to a combination of private standards bodies and public regulation that govern everything from engine power to battery technology and beyond. Chief among the private organizations overseeing the industry is the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, which regularly conducts its own research into issues like gasoline blends, battery technology, equipment power, manufacturer integrity, and more.

In recent years, the OPEI has been taking a particularly hands-on approach to the development and regulation of battery technology in today’s most cutting-edge power equipment products. The company is also concerned with market research and statistical tracking of consumer trends and preferences in terms of outdoor equipment. Recently, OPEI expanded its reach into battery-powered electric products and partnered with several new companies to further its interest in this fast-growing area of both residential and commercial power equipment sales.

Major Moves By OPEI Will See Closer Monitoring of Battery Technology and Adoption

Though OPEI has always had at least some interest in battery-powered power equipment sales, and statistical regarding consumer preference for products powered by battery technology, it has only recently begun to see widespread, mainstream adoption of such products. As a result, the organization realized that it simply needed to be more inclusive of battery manufacturers, and more proactive in gathering marketing data about these products. To that end, the organization recently released a press release full of announcements concerning several new initiatives. These can be broken down into several key components:

- New Membership in OPEI

In order to further its commitment to safe and high-quality batteries in today’s cutting-edge power equipment options, OPEI has welcomed several new industry members to its lineup. These new members include industry leaders like iRobot, Stanley Black and Decker, Positech, and Sunrise Global Marketing.

- New Leadership in Battery-Operated Equipment Standards

As an added bonus, the OPE announced that its partnership with Stanley Black and Decker would result in the company’s Consumer Products Group president, John Cunningham, taking on a leadership role. He’ll help oversee the safe development, tracking, and marketing of battery-operated outdoor power equipment options in the months and years ahead.

- Creation and Enforcement of Industry Standards

The OPEI will work with both international trade bodies and regional groups in the United States to determine a set of universal, proactive standards for battery-operated equipment. This includes looking at things like the total voltage of the battery, the architecture it uses to deliver power, and its overall range between charges. The OPEI’s primary goals in this endeavor are to ensure both safety and quality across the board.

- Formation of the OPEI Electric Products Committee

The Electric Products Committee will engage in both market study and product research, with the primary goal of developing a universally OPEI / ANSI standard for a safe and useful robotic lawn mower in the years ahead. Considering these mowers’ dependence on battery architecture, this is a significant development.

- Expanded Market Analysis and Statistics

To get a better idea of why people are buying battery-operated outdoor power equipment products and why they increasingly prefer battery power to electric or gasoline alternatives, OPEI will commit to more intensive study of market statistics. This will allow the organization to create a more consumer-oriented set of standards designed for far better safety and performance overall.

What Does All This Mean for the Average Consumer?

A development as large as the one recently announced by the OPEI is likely to have sweeping changes in the way consumers compare, buy, and use power equipment options that are inclusive of battery technology. Until now, most of the regulations required of these equipment options have been derived from existing federal regulations covering power equipment and batteries separately. There has been no real standard on how to safely pair these batteries with the likes of robot lawn mowers, weed cutters, and a plethora of other popular devices.

Going forward, consumers will likely notice that battery power is more uniform across all of their new devices. Further, shopping for these battery-powered equipment options will be easier because companies will eventually use the same terminology, measurements, and general marketing material. As regulations become adopted both regionally in the United States and universally around the world, power equipment will become more predictable and more easily imported or exported. This will reduce manufacturing costs and likely lower prices on battery-powered options for consumers in the long-term.

Ralph Helm, Inc. Has Today’s Most Innovative, Battery-Powered Products Available

While the broader power equipment industry works to develop standards and work in conjunction with the newly expanded role of the OPEI, battery-powered options are already for sale and quite popular among consumers. For the most popular battery-powered models and brands in each category, consumers should visit RalphHelmInc.com and peruse the company’s full lineup of lithium-powered options.

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