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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an '03 Altima which is, of course, gas powered. I don't really understand a lot about how electric vehicles operate. :nerd I thought you had to plug them into charging stations, but I was told on another thread this isn't the case. So how does charging work? If I don't have to put gas in it, what do I have to do to keep it running?
 

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It is magic. :)

Seriously, a Hybrid has a petrol/gas engine which powers a generator which drives the electric drive motor(s) and also charges its battery. No need to plug it in. Cool, eh?
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100% electric vehicles such as the Teslas run on batteries only. They have no other onboard power source so they must be plugged in to recharge.

There are many versions of hybrids which can be powered by batteries and/or gasoline engines.

Some are propelled only by electric motors with the gas engine used only to recharge the batteries. Many of those have a plug-in option to recharge the batteries thereby reducing the need to run the gas engine.

Some hybrids like my Accord are always propelled by the gas engine with additional power supplied by the electric motor/generator. They all have both stronger acceleration and get better fuel mileage than their brand siblings that use the same gas engine by itself. Typically they have no plug-in option.

One thing all of the above have in common is regenerative braking in which a generator helps brake the vehicle, recharging the batteries in the process.
 
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He may be asking about the RAV4 EV, which is a true electric vehicle with a Tesla power train, not a hybrid. In the case of the EV, you would plug it in at your house and charge it overnight. Charging with a 120 volt cord is very slow, a 240 volt connection is much faster, but a dedicated charging station in your garage is the way to go.
 

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I thought you had to plug them into charging stations (EV), but I was told on another thread this isn't the case (hybrid).
He may be asking about the RAV4 EV, which is a true electric vehicle with a Tesla power train, not a hybrid. In the case of the EV, you would plug it in at your house and charge it overnight. Charging with a 120 volt cord is very slow, a 240 volt connection is much faster, but a dedicated charging station in your garage is the way to go.
Yep, just trying to explain the two types he referred to in one sentence in his statement above.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the replies, everyone. I was actually talking about all-electric vehicles but I'm glad to know more about hybrid models, too. All of this is new to me as I have only had gas-only cars up to this point. I keep hearing about how the electric cars 'get better gas mileage' than non-electric. After reading some of the replies here, I'm guessing that's actually referring to hybrid electric cars as an all-electric wouldn't actually use gas at all, right?

Gah, I feel so out of the loop these days!
 
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