In the past, electric mowers have been little more than low-end walk-behinds used for tiny lawns. Cub Cadet’s changed all that with the RZT S Zero. Introduced nearly 5 years ago, this full-size residential ZTR has proven to be a serious competitor to traditions gas-powered mowers. Since then, Cub Cadet has listened to feedback, updating this model to deliver the performance buyers expect with the convenience of battery power. Today, there are plenty of reasons to consider this mower outside of being green.
When you remove the engine from a mower, all you’re left with is the sound of moving blades. When Consumer Reports tested the Zero, they likened the sound to standing next to a washing machine. This makes it easier on the operator and anyone else nearby. Better still, if you want to mow late in the evening or early in the morning, you can be sure that you won’t be disturbing your neighbors.
It Still Has Cub Cadet Cut Quality
For the most part, the deck is just like the ones you’ll find on any RZT mower. 12 gauge steel is stamped into shape to make the 42-inch deck shell. This gives the blades maximum vacuum to delivering the high-quality finish Cub Cadet is known for. The company’s Smart Jet washing system is included so the underside can be cleaned out by simply attaching a garden hose. The deck height system also works the same as other ZTRs with 8 height positions ranging from 1.5 to 4 inches.
The difference comes from the drive system. Instead of using a set of belts running from a PTO, the spindles are driven directly by their own electric motors. These motors have a normal mode that can handle most mowing conditions and a high power “blade boost” mode to cut through thick, wet grass and thoroughly slice up clippings to make high-quality mulch.
It’s Easy to Handle, Even on Slopes
This mower has a four-wheel steering system that works in much the same way as the Synchro Steer system found in some of Cub Cadet’s commercial ZTRs. Each drive wheel is powered by its own motor, while the casters are turned by their own servo motors. Instead of using lap bars, the mower reads inputs from a steering wheel and a set of pedals to change the drive wheel speed and caster angle. Turn the wheel all the way in either direction, and it will spin in place like a regular ZTR. Cruise control is included to keep a steady mowing speed without having to use fine control of the forward pedal. Top speed for this model is 6 mph.
With batteries sitting well below where the engine would be in a normal ZTR, the S Zero has a low center of gravity that lets it mow safely on slopes up to 15 degrees.
It Has Enough Power for Most Mowing Jobs
Four 48 volt, 92 Ah batteries provide enough power for 60 minutes of cutting time with no fade in Blade Boost mode, while staying in normal mode can be extended mowing times to as long as 90 minutes per charge. Running out of power? A warning will turn on if the battery is low, and the deck will shut off so you can drive back to a charging point. It takes between 10 and 16 hours to fully recharge the batteries using the included quick charger.
It’s Easy to Take Care Of
There are still blades to sharpen, wheels to air up and points to grease, but a lot of the maintenance has been eliminated. There are no belts to replace or oil to change, and since there isn’t a hydrostatic drive, there are no hydraulic hoses that can spring a leak. Instead of draining the fuel system, you can just recharge the battery before putting the mower into storage. Both the drive and servo motors are brushless, so they’re virtually maintenance free.
It’s Cheap to Own
The entire mower is warrantied for three years or 120 hours of operation, but the batteries have an expected lifespan of around 6 years. While they’ll need to be replaced at least once during the life of the mower, the total cost of ownership should be lower than a traditional mower that needs gas and oil.
Find Parts for Any Cub Cadet, Past or Present
www.cubparts.com is a dealer for Cub Cadet and their manufacturing partners, letting us offer parts for everything from classic tractors to the latest equipment including this electric ZTR. Need help finding a part? Just select your model and serial number from the drop-down menus in our search engine, and it can show you factory parts diagrams and descriptions for every system on your equipment. We ship across the United States and Canada.