An electric car is an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using energy stored in rechargeable batteries. The first practical electric cars were produced in the 1880s. Electric cars were popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engines, electric starters in particular, and mass production of cheaper petrol (gasoline) and diesel vehicles led to a decline in the use of electric drive vehicles.
From 2008, a renaissance in electric vehicle manufacturing occurred due to advances in batteries, and the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve urban air quality. Charging an electric car can be done at a variety of charging stations, these charging stations can be installed in both houses and public areas.Several countries have established government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles, tax credits, subsidies, and other non-monetary incentives, and long term policies to promote the adoption of electric vehicles. Compared with internal combustion engine cars, electric cars are quieter, have no tailpipe emissions, and lower emissions in general.The Tesla Model 3 was the world's best selling EV from 2018 to 2019 and had a maximum electric range of 500 km (310 miles) according to the EPA. The Model 3 became the world's all-time best selling electric car by early 2020.As of December 2019, the global stock of pure electric passenger cars totaled 4.8 million units, representing two-thirds of all plug-in passenger cars in use. Over half (54%) of the world’s all-electric car fleet was in China in 2019. Despite the rapid growth experienced, the global stock of plug-in electric cars represented just about 1 out of every 250 vehicles (0.40%) on the world's roads by the end of 2018.The plug-in car market is shifting towards fully electric battery vehicles, as the global ratio between annual sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) rose from 56:44 in 2012, to 60:40 in 2015, and 74:26 in 2019.