When Consumer Reports first put the Ego LM2101 electric lawn mower through its paces at our test facility in early 2016, we quickly noted that it wasn't simply the latest iteration of an underpowered electric mower. Unlike previous electrics we'd evaluated, the Ego's motor generated a confidence-inspiring whir as the blade churned with a ferocity previously reserved for the best gas push mowers.

The results spoke for themselves. The Ego, $500, quickly shot to the top of our electric mower ratings and landed in a virtual tie with our top-rated gas push mower, the Cub Cadet SC100, $250, matching it on cutting performance in all three modes. Being electric, the Ego started instantly, and unlike most gas mowers, it can be collapsed and stored vertically in a cramped garage. 

In this year's tests other electric mowers weren't far behind. Compare that with several years ago, when the best performance you could expect from an electric mower was the now-discontinued Black+Decker SPCM1936, a self-propelled, 36-volt mower that barely inched its way to a very good overall score in Consumer Reports' lawn mower tests.

In our latest tests, electric offerings from other brands improved by leaps and bounds, and two newly tested models in particular offer performance that's on par with many gas models. The Troy-Bilt TB510, $500, is unusual in that it has a steel cutting deck—most electrics are plastic—which helps it feel more substantial and familiar, and less like a toy mower, which some of the lighter electrics do. It cut well in all three modes and can hold two batteries at once, so if you run out of juice midcut, it'll draw power from the second battery.

The Echo CLM-58V4AH, $400, also cut well and is thoughtfully designed—its cutting deck is doughnut-shaped, which helps the mower keep grass clippings circulating around the blade longer. That makes for finer clippings if you mulch. This model doesn't cut in side discharge, but for $100 less than the Ego you may not miss it. 

That's not to say electric mowers are for everyone. They're still about twice as expensive as comparable gas mowers and are limited by battery runtime. But in a few short years, they've gone from being an expensive, niche novelty, to a viable option for most yards. And we only expect to see more next year.  

Need a New Mower?

If you haven’t bought a lawn mower in a few years, take a little time to check out our mower and tractor buying guide. Then browse our mower ratings of dozens of walk-behind and riding mowers.