After months of discreet previews and sneak peeks, EGO has finally pulled back the curtain on their brand new 42-inch Z6 Zero Turn Riding Mower ZT4204L, and it is glorious. EGO is keeping their ZT on the same 56V ARC Lithium platform as the rest of their lineup. The mower comes kitted with four 10Ah batteries but can hold up to six. The anticipated higher capacity batteries provide the potential for up to 3360 watt-hours.
For their first ZT, EGO went with a 42-inch deck that uses a pair of 21-inch blades. Its four independent brushless motors give it the gas equivalent of a 22 HP gas engine, and a top transport speed of 8 MPH. Cutting speeds range from 3-7 MPH and in three drive modes: Control, Standard, and Sport.
That’s only what you see on the surface of this powerful electric zero-turn—its stout feature set includes Bluetooth-enabled controls, an adjustable hydraulic seat, and 32 LED lights covering the front, side, and rear of the mower. The Z6 is a model that shakes up what you can expect from a battery-powered zero-turn, at a $5000 price point that is pleasantly unexpected.
Editor’s Note: Read our full review here!
Let’s start with a tour around the mower. As you can see, it maintains a fairly traditional ZT profile with independently-controlled 18-inch drive wheels on the back and 11-inch 360° caster wheels on the front to help you make those tight turns using the lap bars.
Looking at the front, you can see the LEDs. These are always on when the mower is powered up but hit the light button on the control panel, and you’ll activate even more to help you mow in low or even no light. There’s another set of LEDs on the rear that blink when you’re in Reverse to get the attention of anyone who might walk across your path.
Moving around to the driver’s right, you’ll find the manual deck height adjustment bar. It adjusts the 42-inch steel deck between 1.5 and 4.5 inches with 10 levels.
Further around and up is the LCD control panel. We’ll come back to that in a second because there’s a lot going on there.
Behind the seat, you’ll find the battery bank. The kit includes four 10Ah 56V ArcLithium batteries, but it holds up to six packs. The great thing is that this mower runs on the exact same 56V batteries you use for EGO’s other lawn care tools—making this ZT compatible with all of them. If you want to swap in other packs, just keep in mind that you need at least 15Ah worth of batteries to mow.
Moving to the left of the driver is our charging port. We think onboard charging is a big deal for convenience. You don’t ever have to remove the batteries if you don’t need to. The charger itself is pretty substantial, but it has keyholes on the back to hang it on a wall and gives you a generous 15-foot reach.
As far as actual charging goes, it’s an impressive system. We ran the four batteries down to 6% when the mower kicked into limp mode. From there, it took 1 hour, 53 minutes to get back to 100% charge.
The EGO Z6 gives you a handy storage area with a magnetic closure and interior USB charging. It’s big enough to store your phone, wallet, and keys if you like. Next to that is a welcome cup holder with two sizes that hold a water bottle, malt beverage, or even an oversized mug from your local corner store. Moving forward and looking down, EGO includes a handy deck wash connection for your hose.
At the center of it all, EGO placed a pretty comfortable seat with moveable armrests. Clint was able to find a good setting for his considerably lighter frame but did bottom it out in bumpier areas. A few turns to tighten it up and he was good to go. On the other hand, my 6-foot, 2-inch, 200-pound build needed to increase the tension and set the seat back some, but I was also able to find a good fit with room to spare.
To turn the mower on, make sure you have the key inserted first. A press of the power button shows you your charge status. Press and hold it to bring the Z6 to life and push the parking brake on the left side with your foot to release it.
You have separate controls for drive speed on the left and blade speed on the right—which takes some getting used to. Each has four levels to choose from and, if you hold the button at the top drive speed, you can kick into a 5th mode that turns off the blades and lets you travel at your highest speed—roughly 8 MPH. The mowing speeds run between 3 and 7 MPH. Also, if you want to change speeds or modes, you can’t do it on the fly. You’ll need to stop and put the lap bars in the park position first.
The bottom two blade speeds are good for light cutting in dry conditions and the top two speeds are better for thicker, wetter grass. Similar to the drive speed, there’s a turbo mode for the blades if you press and hold the button after getting to the top speed. It’s great for particularly tough patches, but we didn’t find it necessary for any of our cutting.
Across the bottom of the control screen, you’ll see three drive modes. These define the aggressiveness of the acceleration and turning.
Control mode is great if you’re new to zero turn mowers or need to be careful around landscape obstacles. Standard mode feels very much like most residential zero turns we’ve used while Sport mode gets you into the quickest accelerations and turns. We were even able to spin the tires slightly in Sport mode. We recommend sticking with the Standard mode unless you’re an advanced ZT veteran or need to outrun that summer thunderstorm.
There’s plenty of other information on the control panel, including connecting to your mower with Bluetooth and calibrating for left or right drift. Check out your manual for more details on what’s in there.
Looking forward from the driver’s seat, an LED indicator sits between your feet to let you keep an eye on your charge levels without taking your eyes off of what’s in front of you. It’s brilliant and we LOVE it!
Like many ZTs, the long wheelbase of the mower becomes noticeable when you’re mowing around objects. It’s certainly capable of tight zero-radius turns, but getting the cutting deck to hug smaller trees, buried tank covers, and other obstacles is a challenge.
All that’s great, but how well does it actually cut?
EGO claims the Z6 has the power of a 22 HP gas engine. With that in mind, we weren’t testing to see if it’s good for a battery-powered ZT as much as we were comparing it to the feel of cutting with a gas zero turn.
We did our testing in January which is still mowing season in central Florida. Cutting a combination of Bahai and St. Augustine grasses, the cut quality was excellent—taking our test yard from 5 inches down to 3-1/2 inches. At least that’s what we presume the height was considering the adjustments seem to take place in 1/3-inch increments.
There was also plenty of power behind the blades. We could cut at the lower two speeds, but the lift and side ejection were much better at high speed. That’s where the mower cuts most like a quality gas model. That’s also the setting that should give you the best mulching if you add the optional plug.
We had about an acre of yard to cut and the runtime was more than enough to cover that. We ran our runtime test in Standard mode with both the drive and blade speeds set at level 4. We were able to mow for right at an hour after borrowing some of our neighbor’s lawn.
With the same settings and similar lawn conditions, you should be able to easily cover 1-1/2 acres. 2 acres isn’t an unreasonable assumption for properties where you’re making long runs between turns. Filling out the battery capacity with two more 10Ah packs, EGO claims you can cut up to 3 acres.
As we roll into the Spring and Summer seasons when the grass grows fast and thick, we expect our runtime will drop a bit with the heavier workload, but we should still be able to get it done on the kitted batteries without a problem.
In our opinion, the design team clearly did their homework, and EGO’s first shot at a battery-powered zero turn is a home run.
Priced at $4999 with four 10Ah batteries, the overall value is excellent compared to other lithium-ion options at the same price point. And, yes, we do intend to compare this mower against other models as soon as they become available—so subscribe to our channel and get the alert when that video publishes. If you have any questions or feedback for us, feel free to leave them in the comments below and as always, thanks for watching!