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8 Things You Should Know About Electric Cars

•, By John Voelcker
 Here they are, boiled down for easy consumption: eight things you need to know about electric cars.

1. Electric cars cost more to buy than gasoline cars of the same size.

The least expensive plug-in electric car on the market, the 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, costs twice as much as the entry-level gasoline ForTwo.

A 2013 Nissan Leaf electric car starts at $28,800 (before incentives), while a similarly-sized Sentra starts at $15,990.

2. Electric cars cost a lot less per mile to operate.

If you pay $4 a gallon for gasoline, a 25-mpg gas car needs $16 in fuel every 100 miles. An electric car uses 75 cents to $6.50 in electricity to cover that same 100 miles, depending on your local rate per kilowatt-hour

3. Some plug-in cars have engines as well; some don't.

When people say "electric car," they often think of pure battery-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S.

But there's another category of cars that have both a plug to recharge a battery pack from the wall and an engine as well. Sometimes they're adapted from hybrids--that's the path taken by Ford, Honda, and Toyota—and other times they are dedicated vehicles, like the Chevrolet Volt.

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