The purpose of Zero Emissions Byron is to accelerate Byron Shire’s transition to net zero emissions. We create projects to educate and inspire – in renewable energy, better building, regenerative land use -- and at our EV Expo in September, our focus was on reducing carbon emissions in our transport sector…via Electric Vehicles.
We held our first EV Expo in 2019, and we tried every year since to hold it again. As luck would have it, now, there are heaps more EVs available than there were back then.
On display on the Jarrett Oval, we had a range of the latest available EVs , including the BYD Atto 3, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Jaguar I-Pace, the Polestar 2, Porsche Taycan, Volvo XC40 Pure Recharge, and several Tesla Ys like the one from Rainbow Power Company, or Coast Byron.
To prove EVs are not just for the rich, there’s always second-hand. The Good Car Company is famous for its community Bulk Buys. Their Bulk Buys allow you to buy a second-hand, imported EV for much less than new. They brought along a Peugeot E-Expert van, one of the first e-vans available in Australia.
Not every EV on display is brand new. In the centre of the oval, we had three classic VW Kombis – converted to electric. Southern Cross University had their 1970s VW Kombi on display as well as two converted by Alex Bosin, from EV Classic in the Byron Industrial Estate. Visitors were keen to hear about the process, and the cost.
There were more than 25 E-Bikes and E-Motor Bikes on display, from Beyond Byron, Fonzarelli (sold locally through Summerland Electric Moto) and Vallkree, attracting a keen crowd.
In the Moller Pavilion, there were a selection of stalls from our various sponsors. EV Direct was the Principal sponsor, who displayed their BYD ATTO 3 - one of the “least pricey” EVs on the market in Australia today.
The NSW Government’s Office of Energy and Climate Change was a major sponsor, and had a stand next to Byron Shire Council, whose staff, Julia Adams and Phil Ridler, provided a wealth of information and support. And of Club Car introduced visitors to their range of six Personal Transportation Vehicles (or deluxe golf carts), which can be found on far more places than just golf courses and luxury resorts.
Among our community sponsors was the Good Car Company. Like ZEB, they have a mission to get EVs out to as wide an audience as possible, via their community bulk buys. A Nissan Leaf for under $20K anyone?
Community sponsor Southern Cross University encourages STEM students by such fabulous programs as converting one of those 1970s Kombis to EV, while Fonzarelli bikes prove that not every EV has to have four wheels to look sensational and drive like a dream. Probably the cheapest EV option around!
Our final community sponsor, Light Touch Solar & Electrical have installed solar panels on probably half of the roofs in Byron Shire, and Jimi Gatland knows more than most about both EVs and solar panelling. His insights and knowledge at the Expo, and at all times, if so helpful.
The Driven, Australia’s most widely read online EV news info source, “lent” our EV Expo team their Associate Editor, Bridie Schmidt, to help us make this happen.
Inside the Moller Pavilion, a primary school art competition, attracted local primary school kids who displayed their images of the electric car they’d like to drive.
At the Scout Hall, we displayed a selection of short films that ZEB has created on low energy living, plus short EV films. Bangalow filmmaker Damon Gameau’s latest short film, REGENERATING AUSTRALIA, was also screened.
The Welcome to Country was presented by Arakwal member Rhonda King, followed by Byron Shire mayor, Michael Lyon, ZEB Chair Christobel Munson. Sarah Moran, Head of Engagement at the Electric Vehicle Council was our keynote speaker, while Luke Todd, from principal sponsor EV Direct, also spoke.
For many months behind the scenes, a wildly enthusiastic collection of ZEB Board members and supporters worked to make this show happen. Apart from Bridie, the head convenor and amazingly unflappable Dr Muriel Watt, kept this show on the road. Then we have to thank the indefatigable Sasha Mainsbridge, Katrina Shields, Jason Lasky, Kristen Monty – and other wonderful friends and allies.