About This QuizVrrrrrmmmmm! Vrrrrmmmmm! Electric vehicles have seemed like the wave of the future for decades now...so why aren't we all driving them? Test your knowledge of plug-in cars with this quiz.
What's the toughest part of building an electric car?
The battery. Most of the other stuff is pretty much the same as any car, but batteries are big, heavy and expensive.
There's no gasoline engine in an electric car, so what runs that thing?
an internal combustion engine
An electric motor. It's powered by batteries that are charged with, you know, electricity.
an electric motor
The $109,000 Tesla Roadster is a real, live electric car. How do you charge it?
by adding gas
at the power plant
You can plug it into any old outlet. At home, you'll want to use a higher-voltage outlet. "You" being people who can afford one. (Future electric cars should cost less.)
at any outlet
at a special Tesla electricity station
True or False: Electric cars emit no tailpipe pollutants.
True. This moves emissions away from the street (where you and I breathe them) to the power plant, which most people would argue is an improvement. Most electricity in the U.S. still comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal.
Which of these is a probelm electric car makers are trying to solve?
Electric cars aren't noisy enough.
They aren't noisy enough. This is a serious danger for blind pedestrians, so electric car makers need to figure out what sounds to put on their cars.
They don't produce enough sulfer dioxide.
They don't cost enough.
True or False: Electric cars are harder to heat than gas cars.
True. Gas-powered cars burn gas, releasing plenty of heat that can be used to warm up the car. Electric cars need heaters.
Which of these is a real electric car?
Nissan Leaf, although, I think all of those would be excellent names for cars. I'd love to drive a Toyota Puppy. Some Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) were supposed to appear in the U.S. in 2010.
We've been talking mostly about electric cars here, but which one of these is also, technically, an electric vehicle?
A Washington, D.C. subway train.
A nuclear submarine.
All of these vehicles run on electric motors. In the case of the nuclear submarine and the Coast Guard ship (and a lot of other ships), that electricity just happens to be generated on board, rather than at a far-off power plant.
The U.S. COast Guard Cutter Healy.
They all are.