Association brings in new battery and electric companies to membership.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, announced it is ramping up 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, and John Cunningham, president of the Consumer Products Group at Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. recently 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 Stanley Black & Decker and Techtronic Industries, N.A.
The OPEI Electric Products 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. The committee members are given an opportunity to participate, review and give input in the development of product standards.
The first order of business has been the development of the first ever OPEI/ANSI standard for an electric robotic mower. Fourteen member company representatives are currently reviewing IEC standards for electric robotic mowers and identifying modifications for the North American market. Projects are underway to develop standards for battery/electric chain saws, lawn hedge trimmers and lawn trimmers.
As sales and demand for battery/electric driven outdoor power equipment increases, OPEI is expanding its market statistics collection to capture and track the growth of this product segment.
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, chain saws, string trimmers, and hedge trimmers.