The Hank Hills of the world won't be impressed, but Husqvarna revealed a concept riding lawn mower that runs on electricity. The Panthera Leo's lithium phosphate battery can power the mower's five motors for 2 hours of cutting time before it needs a recharge from any AC outlet. Along with the quiet operation afforded by the electric motors, Husqvarna fits it with sound-absorbing cutting decks to minimize the noise from the blades cutting grass.
Similar to a three-head rotary razor, the Panthera Leo uses three cutting decks suspended independently, so it can cut evenly over bumpy terrain. Each cutting deck has its own motor, while two other motors drive the front wheels. As a further nod to its green theme, this riding mower is built from recycled materials.
The mower's futuristic look comes from the steering wheel and controls, mounted on an arm that attaches to the base of the unit, giving the driver easy visibility all the way around. Paddles on the steering wheel aren't for an F1 style gearbox, instead controlling the cutting decks. An LCD keeps the driver informed about the mower's speed, cutting height, and sensor input about objects around the mower.
Husqvarna says the Panthera Leo could be put into production in five years, so Hank Hill won't feel any pressure to give up his Mason 1500 just yet.