News Articles

Region lacks charging capabilities for electric cars

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Published: Monday, December 6, 2010

By Joe Napsha

Electric-powered cars will begin to arrive this month in showrooms across the nation, but not just yet in Western Pennsylvania.

Experts say many areas, including this region, lack infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles. Even so, car dealers say consumers are eager to take advantage of the technology that promises up to 99 miles per gallon before refueling.

. . .

"In the next five to 10 years, we will see a large percentage of vehicles that are either electric or hybrids," running on gas-powered and electric engines, predicted Jonathan Belak of Murrysville, president of Three Rivers Electric Vehicles Association. The group has about 40 members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Go to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review to read the whole article.

The owner of PA Electrics was also photographed next to his all electric Xebra for the article.


Energy festival reels in thousands to Kempton

Berks-Mont News
Published: Friday, September 24, 2010

By Jennifer Hetrick
Item Correspondent

This past weekend, one final set of summery days offered a warm welcome to the sixth annual Pennsylvania Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Festival at the Kempton Fairgrounds.

. . .

Visiting all the way from Murrysville, outside of Pittsburgh, Jonathan Belak of PA Electrics brought his electric-powered 2006 ZapCar known as the Xebra.

Manufactured in China, the model sits on two rear wheels and one front wheel.

A charge lasts for 20 miles and is meant for in-town and city use; it originally came as either a sedan or pickup.

Belak is the second owner of the vehicle, also holding the world record in electric drag racing from a Hagerstown, Maryland competition.

“Don’t expect to leave the parking lot for 15 minutes when you’re finished shopping at the grocery store,” Belak said, noting that the car’s unexpected shape, size and setup make it an attention grabber, with people often taking photographs of it from the sunroofs of their own cars while on the road.

. . .

Go to the Berk-Mont Newspapers to read the whole article.


EV Podcast - EVcast #377: World Record Holder Jonathan Belak

posted by Joseph Lado, EVcast Individual Supporter
Thursday, June 24th 2010 @ 10:13 PM

This week on the EVcast's EV Power Hour we talk to NEDRA world record holder Jonathan Belak. For those of you who think that you could never win a world record, think again. There are enough NEDRA categories and classes where, if you put your mind to it and a little bit of gumption, you just might come home with a NEDRA record. Check out the Power of DC's website for all of the activities and records set at this year's Power of DC. We also talk about what it is like to be an electric vehicle entrepreneur, Tom Hanks as EV inspiration and more.


National Electric Drag Racing Association

1/8 Mile Record Holders

Class and Voltage DivisionVehicle, Owner/DriverTime (sec)Speed (mph)Event, Track, Date
SP/H2006 Zap Xebra,72 volts
Owner/Driver: Jonathan Belak
17.70032.85Power of DC
Mason Dixon Raceway
June 6, 2010

Jon with trophy
Here is a picture of Jonathan accepting his trophy at the 2010 Power of DC for his record run during the event.

If you would like to see more pictures of the 2010 Power of DC event you can find them on Flickr.

There is also a YouTube video of the record breaking drag run of the Xebra. The video was filmed by Electric Car TV. The Xebra run is about 21 seconds into the clip. The time/mph listed on the video however, is not correct. The correct stats are listed above from the official NEDRA time slip.


Electric car's roadtrip has dual purpose

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Published: Saturday, July 18, 2009

By Jennifer Reeger

The sleek, white convertible that pulled into Export Friday afternoon looks every bit like a high-end sports car.

But open up the trunk of the two-seater, and you'll find a long lithium ion battery over the engine. Open the "gas tank" door on the side, and you'll find an electrical outlet.

The Tesla Motors Roadster, a $109,000 electric sports car in production, came to the borough yesterday as part of the Renew America Roadtrip.

. . .

Bonnie and Jonathan Belak of Murrysville, who own PA Electrics, jumped at the chance to have the Tesla Roadster stop in Export to show that electric vehicles aren't something years down the road.

"It's not a kit car. It's not something somebody built in their garage," Bonnie Belak said. "This is something that's built in a factory."

. . .

Go to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review to read the whole article.


The Advantages of Electric Vehicles

Electric propulsion would easily win out over engines for automobiles on any level playing field.

What advantages do EVs offer? EVs produce zero emissions at the point of use. An electric motor is 400% to 600% more efficient than an internal combustion engine. An EV, per mile, uses one-half the fossil-fuel resources an ICE consumes. An EV produces only 5% to 10% of the emissions of an ICE per mile traveled. All of the EV's emissions occur at a (oil- or coal-fueled) power plant, which runs 400% to 500% more efficiently than an ICE and scrubs its own exhaust. EVs can use electricity from anywhere including sustainable energy resources (wind and sun). EVs are simple, silent, and affordable to operate.

. . .

Visit the EcoMall to read the whole article.


Electric Vehicle History

Interesting timeline from 1834 to present day for electric vehicles - compiled by the Electric Auto Association (EAA)

Timeline - PDF file - Requires Acrobat Reader