Over the summer, two of Vernon, B.C.’s, four current Zambonis are expected to be converted from propane to electric battery power.
“I think it is a great opportunity and very exciting for the City of Vernon,” said Vernon’s manager of recreation operations Dustin Pridham.
The retrofit is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 17-19 tonnes per year and result in better air quality in arenas.
“Our current Zambonis are [from] 2008 and 2012 and the cost of maintaining the Zambonis is definitely increasing because of the internal combustion engines. We saw it as a good opportunity to repurpose our vehicles,” said Pridham.
The funding for the retrofit and charging infrastructure, which will cost $136,000, is expected to come from the city reserves and a grant application.
Because the city funding is coming from a reserve fund the upgrade is not expected to impact city tax rates.
The hope is that the retrofit will be completed before the next skating season and won’t impact arena operations.
In the longer term, the city is also pursuing purchasing a new electric Zamboni to use alongside the converted vehicles.
However, with supply chain issues that could take time.
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