OPEI recharges battery/electric products


The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is revamping its regulatory, standards and market reporting and statistics efforts to meet the needs of the corded electric and battery product segments.

In recent months, OPEI has welcomed several new battery/electric companies to its membership, including iRobot, Positec, Stanley Black & Decker and Sunrise Global Marketing. Additionally, John Cunningham, president of the Consumer Products Group at Black & Decker, joined the 2013-2014 OPEI board of directors.

To help the industry have a voice in regulatory and standards development, OPEI also formed an electric products committee, currently led by representatives from Black & Decker and Techtronic Industries, N.A.

The committee is tasked with coordinating with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on standards for battery/electric products for international markets, as well as regional adoptions for the North American market.  Its members are given an opportunity to participate, review and give input in the development of product standards.

The first order of business is the development of the first ever OPEI/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for an electric robotic mower. Fourteen member company representatives are reviewing IEC standards for electric robotic mowers and identifying modifications for the North American market. Projects are underway to develop standards for battery/electric chainsaws, lawn hedge trimmers and lawn trimmers.

“The formation of our electric products committee not only addresses the unique needs of battery/electric products, but it also allows us to harmonize requirements between fuel powered, corded and battery products on a global basis,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI.

Current reports for OPEI members include monthly shipment data for battery/electric blowers and walk-behind rotary mowers. Future reporting is planned to include battery/electric snow throwers, chainsaws, string trimmers and hedge trimmers.

“We’re proud that OPEI has become the go-to place for reliable, timely statistical information and shipment data for our industry,” Kiser said. “Our commitment to reporting will only grow in 2014 as we add more battery/electric products, and as we strike out on a joint effort with our European partners to collect meaningful global data.”

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