Environment Transportation Five Facts on Electric Cars Quiz yourself on the basics of electric vehicles By Lori Weaver Lori Weaver Writer University of Wisconsin Lori Weaver is a freelance writer covering renewable fuel and green transport technologies, as well as food and feed issues in the agricultural sector. Learn about our editorial process Updated October 30, 2020 Witthaya Prasongsin/EyeEm/Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Transportation Automotive Active Aviation Public Transportation How much do you know about electric cars? Whether you're in the market for a new or used electric car or already own an electric car and just want more information about how your car operates; we'll expand on some of the simpler details about the vehicles of now and the future. Gas Tanks Go Empty - Batteries Go Dead This fact has resulted in much range anxiety among prospective electric car buyers and in fact, has also contributed to the popularity of hybrid cars. But just like other batteries, car batteries can be recharged. It is generally recommended that electric cars be plugged in overnight for a full charge, but charging stations are beginning to be put into place that would allow an electric car to become charged in as few as 20 minutes, though there is concern the "quick charge" doesn't last as long as an overnight charge. Hybrid Cars Are Two Car Types in One Owning an electric car doesn't mean you must own a second car unless you frequently need to travel long distances. Hybrid electric cars, because they can go unlimited distances by relying on an onboard gas combustion engine, can be an alternative if that's the case. The range of electric cars can vary and is affected by things like weight and driving habits. Electric Cars Tend to Be Smaller However, they are equally as safe as gas-powered cars of the same class. The reason many cars are small is due to the low energy density of batteries and the tie in between weight and range. Electric Cars Can Be Pricier While the price of an EV is set by market forces, and some have argued that electric cars should be priced lower than conventional because, on an equivalent production basis, they are cheaper to build with fewer parts. Electric cars can also be cheaper to maintain for the same reason, though they do require the purchase of a replacement battery about every 4 to 5 years. Electric Cars Have Multiple Benefits They provide a quieter ride with less air pollution. They are also less costly to operate, something to keep in mind if your favorite electric car falls slightly out of your budget range. Electric cars should be more reliable since they have fewer parts. And while the idea of an electric car may seem knew, in reality, they have been around for nearly 150 years.