London deploys first electric Zamboni as arenas transition entire fleet

The City of London announced the operation of the first electric Zamboni, which is now running at Bostwick Arena. Three more electric Zambonis will replace natural gas models at two additional arenas this fall.

The first electric ice resurfacing machine is operating at Bostwick Arena

The first electric Zamboni is now in operation at Bostick Arena in south London. (City of London)

The first electric Zamboni is now in operation to resurface the ice at Bostwick Arena in London, Ont.

The City of London says its fleet will transition to a fully electric one over the next four years and will replace the 13 natural gas models which currently maintain 18 rinks at arenas and the ice trail at Storybook Gardens.

"With these electric Zambonis, our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, produce cleaner air in recreation facilities and set the stage for future opportunities for renewable energy production," said Tim Wellhauser, Director of Fleet and Facilities at the City of London in a statement.

"This brings London one step closer to being one of the first cities in North America to produce close to zero emissions from its Zambonis."

A city worker plugs in a new electric Zamboni at Bostwick Arena. (City of London)

Three more electric Zambonis will be deployed at two additional arenas in the fall.

Electric Zambonis are expected to save the city money on operating and maintenance costs and last longer than natural gas powered models, which are currently in use.

"An electric Zamboni reduces 19 tonnes of emissions annually, so this transition creates a cleaner space for city staff and arena users while also reducing our environmental impact," said Jon-Paul McGonigle, Director of Recreation and Sport at the City of London in a statement. 

A Zamboni driver resurfaces the ice at Bostwick Area on a new electric model. (City of London)

In addition to the electric Zambonis, the city says they are also exploring other conservation opportunities, such as solar panels for arena roofs that could also serve to charge the Zambonis. The city said these efforts are in line with London's commitment to reduce their climate footprint following a declaration of a climate emergency in April 2019.