Tool companies usually make power tools or outdoor power equipment (OPE); Makita does both and is using a new accessory to make these tools more accessible to average users.
The accessory is an adapter (BCV01) that allows their 36-volt tools to be powered by a pair of their 18-volt batteries. These tools could be powered by the company's 36-volt batteries but few contractors are on that platform and most would prefer to use the 18-volt batteries they already have.
Makita is currently pushing two tools for use with the adaptor in the US, a combination rotary hammer (HRH01ZX2) and the chainsaw (HCU02ZX2) shown in the video below. But in other parts of the world they already sell a number of types of 36-volt OPE, including brush cutters, line trimmers, hedge shears, lawn mowers, blowers, and the like. They even make a battery powered bike. It's hard to believe that at least some of this equipment won't eventually make it into the US market.
The video below was posted by my friend Jay from Coptool. I like it because it provides a sense of how credible battery-powered chainsaws can be. No, battery-powered motors are not likely to replace 2-cycle gas engines anytime soon – but for the right kind and volume of work they have something to offer. They start every time and can be stored indefinitely with no concern that the fuel will go bad. Battery-powered OPE is very popular in Europe, where gasoline is expensive and most lawns are small. For more on higher voltage chainsaws see this story by Michael Springer.