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City of Kingston unveils two new electric Zambonis

The City of Kingston’s two brand new electric-powered Zambonis sit atop an ice pad at the INVISTA Centre, where they are currently in operation, on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. Photo by Daniel Tastard Homer.

The City of Kingston has received its first two electric ice resurfacers — more commonly referred to by their brand name, Zamboni — that will be used at the INVISTA Centre, the City’s new recreation facility that houses four ice-pads and a fitness centre. Each of these new battery-operated machines will eliminate approximately 17 to 19 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are known contributors to climate change, according to the City of Kingston.

The City has an ongoing plan to replace its entire fleet of 12 propane-powered ice resurfacing machines with quiet, zero-emission battery-electric ones as part of Council’s strategic priority to demonstrate leadership on climate action, according to a release from the City of Kingston.

These new machines were purchased from Zamboni Ltd. (Model 450: Lithium-Ion) and will be equipped with the Zamboni Connect System, the City said. According to the release, the Lithium-Ion batteries will allow for quick charging between ice resurfacings.

Brent Fowler, Director of Corporate Asset Management and Fleet for the City of Kingston, speaks at the unveiling of the City’s two new electric ice resurfacers. Photo by Daniel Tastard Homer.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be partnering with Zamboni Limited to offer the first two zero-emission ice resurfacing machines at our community arenas. This initiative addresses City Council’s commitment to incrementally electrify the City’s fleet of vehicles including arena equipment. These units will generate lower operating and maintenance costs while providing an overall enriched operator experience,” said Brent Fowler, Director of Corporate Asset Management & Fleet for the City.

 “It’s approximately… $5,000 per year [in savings, per unit] on the energy side (fuel), and $2,000 per year [in savings, per unit] on the maintenance. So, that’s $7,000 a year [per unit] of reduced operating costs,” Fowler said.

In addition to reducing GHG emissions, the new electric Zambonis are also expected to help the City:

  • Reduce related fuel costs by approximately 80 per cent.
  • Reduce maintenance costs by up to 35 per cent.
  • Reduce the emissions-load on the INVISTA Centre’s HVAC system.
  • Generate improved analytics through the Zamboni-Connect on-board communications system. This system provides real-time information regarding charging events, battery charge, maintenance/diagnostic alerts, machine performance and other operating-related metrics.
  • Perform safe and simple blade installations using the Blade Changing Assistant feature.
Mayor Bryan Paterson speaks to the media at the unveiling of the City of Kingston’s two new electric Zambonis. Photo by Daniel Tastard Homer.

“It’s like the beginning of hockey season, you know, we’re always thinking about the ice!” Paterson said, addressing the media at the unveiling. “And so, to have our very first two electric Zambonis up and running, in operation, it’s awesome. I hear that they’re running really well, everything’s going great with that. And I think it’s a great picture, again, of our City’s commitment to electrification, we’re talking about being a leader in climate action, and so, that means not only our first two electric buses that are on the road, and our first two electric Zambonis.”

“And I think we’re going to see more of this, we’re going to see more announcements in the months and years ahead, as we continue this transition into electrification,” he continued.

According to the release, a third electric ice resurfacer will be delivered in Q4 of 2022 for use at the Springer Market Square rink.

“Thank you, to our colleagues in our Asset Management & Fleet Services Department, for working with Zamboni to supply the City with these new zero-emission units. Our team is extremely excited that these electric ice resurfacers will join our fleet at the INVISTA Centre and Springer Market Square this winter season,” said Lacricia Turner, the City’s Director of Recreation & Leisure Services.

Paterson concluded, echoing Turner’s sentiments and thanking the teams that not only helped the City secure the new electric ice resurfacers, but also those who work with and maintain them.

“So, I think it’s great, I wish I could take them out for a ride today, but I don’t think I have the license for the Zamboni,” he quipped.

Demonstrating leadership on Climate Change is one of Council’s strategic priorities for its 2019-22 term.

With files from Daniel Tastard Homer.

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