Husqvarna Automower Review Part 8 – A Tesla for Your Garden

After several months with the Automower it’s time to look back and take stock. But first here are a couple of things we’ve not covered yet.

Running Costs & Battery Replacement

The manual quotes the Husqvarna 430X Automower power consumption at 30 W during cutting and also quotes a ‘mean energy consumption at maximum use’ of 20 kWh/month in a 3,200 m2 working area.

husqvarna-automower-power-wattsTo check this I measuring the power use while the mower was charging and got 97 Watts – lets call it 100. Worst case scenario running 24/7 the mower will be charging 8 hours a day. So 0.8 kWh per day or around 25 kWh per month. A little higher that the manual says, but not far away. The Base Station also produces a voltage for the boundary and guide wires so lets say the worst case scenario might be around 30 kWh per month.

In an 8 month cutting season (March to October) the electricity for the Automower should cost (30 x £0.1343) x 8 – Approx £32.00 per year.  If you have a house with a Solar PV array then the daylight cutting should essentially be free.

By comparison we used 2 to 3 fills of our 5 gallon petrol can each cutting season with the ride-on, which would currently cost around £50 to £75.

We asked Husqvarna how long the battery should last and how much it costs to replace the special 18 V/5.2 Ah Li-ion cells and they told us…

The average battery life in years is 3, with the replacement cost for a 430X being £178

While there’s this costs plus the replacement blades to consider in the calculations, it’s probably more than offset by the servicing and other consumables you’ll need for your fossil powered mower and all its ICE inefficiencies.

Will I Sell the Ride-on?

Even though I’ve hardly used it all summer I’ll probably hang on to my ride-on for now, but I’d say I could absolutely sell it. I’d still need a small walk-behind mower to do the roadside verge and a couple of other spots once a month or so though.

Things I’ve learnt

The only 2 issues I have with the Automower remain the risk of theft and the fact that I feel app control should be included as standard across the range.

Also while most of these models are aimed at taking care of large lawns, I recon lots more people with regular sized gardens would love to take advantage of Husqvarna’s tech. Busy single parents that have no time, the disabled and the elderly etc could all benefit.

Google Maps - Measure the Area of your Garden

If you are considering buying an automower you can get a useful approximation of your gardens area using the ruler tool to draw a box around your lawn on Google My Maps.

If we were building again I’d definitely be planning our garden a little better with the Automower in mind, making sure there were routes that the machine could easily follow to all areas. If you are a self-builder I’d highly recommend you do this, even if you don’t actually seed your lawn or buy the mower for a few years.

I would also strongly recommend you use your local dealer to install the machine. The advantages of their knowledge and experience will be well worth it.

Husqvarna Automower 430x

The Verdict

Having bought two of their ride-ons already Husqvarna was a brand I trusted before this whole experiment started. However the only other robots I’ve owned up to now were a couple of vacuum cleaners that were less than impressive, so I honestly wondered if this machine could live up to its promise. So often these days technology can be a let down, the real experience rarely lives up to the marketing hype and buyers remorse quickly sets in.

But the Automower does not fall into that category.

Husqvarna Automower - Finished Lawn

I can’t comment on any other make of robot mower, but the Husqvarna is a genuinely extraordinary machine which gives you that one thing you cannot buy –  time.

Even more impressive is that fact that the robot actually does a better job than you can. Our garden has never looked better and what was once a moss-riden grassy area is now a lush looking neatly cropped lawn.

Top Tech AwardThe Automower is like having a Tesla for you garden. And it’s not just one of those dumb electric mowers you’ve got to walk behind and steer, it’s got Autopilot. While the North Irish summer has been a bit of a let down again this year, it’s truly been a summer of love with our Automower.

All this means the Husqvarna Automower deservedly becomes just the 6th product to receive the Automated Home Top Tech Award in our 20 years on the web.

A huge thank you to Husqvarna for the opportunity to take part in the Automower Challenge and to our dealer Moore Horticulture for all their help and expertise. Here’s our final video…

Make sure to check out all 8 parts in this video review series…

Part 1 – The Robots are Coming

Part 2 – The 1st Cut is the Deepest

Part 3 – Perfect Timing

Part 4 – Connect Control

Part 5 – Rain or Shine

Part 6 – Stolen?

Part 7 – I Messed Up

Part 8 – A Tesla for your Garden

www.automowerchallenge.co.uk  :  husqvarna.com

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3 Comments on "Husqvarna Automower Review Part 8 – A Tesla for Your Garden"

  1. how about capital costs & life expectancy – two ride-ons in the time since the house was built sounds like life expectancy is short / total costs high ?? How much would a gardener who visits as necessary cost by comparison ?

  2. Hi @Chris – Our dealer tells us he has been installing machines for 8+ years and those original ones are still going.

    A lot of these issues are subjective. For example our Ride-on No1 wasn’t changed because it was dead, rather just upgraded to a newer one.

    I’ve never used a professional gardener so can’t comment on the costs, its going to vary a lot too, won’t be the same here as in London for example so you’d need to look at that yourself.

    As I said in Part 2 thought the Automower is approx half the price of our current ride-on. While I’d still require a small petrol mower if I want to continue cutting the road side verge, many people won’t need that.

    In most cases like ours I’d say the Automower would do a better job for less money, especially if you value your own time.

  3. My parents have the Husqvarna automower (given to them as a present, lucky people) and I’m very impressed. It keeps their garden immaculately trimmed now the cutting height has been lowered. It’s better than I had expected when helping to set it up, and as it’s running most of the time on most days (depending on when it thinks it should cut) the grass always looks trim (as opposed to looking trim twice a month).

    Their garden is a little too small for a ride-on (IMHO) but a little too big to be a chore for petrol mowing, so the robo mower is perfect for them.

    Oh, it’s also mesmerising to watch (a bit like the Neato robot vacuums which work around the furniture!)

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