Gasoline cars have a huge inherent advantage over electric cars, in that they carry only 1 part of their fuel (gas) onboard, and the other 15 parts of the fuel is air. You only need to refuel the "1 part," which occurs quickly.
Rechargeable batteries run an electrical current in the reverse direction, to reverse the chemical reaction.
Electric Jaws, the Singletons electric dragster / land speed racer, has lead acid batteries. The pictures below show the recharging equipment:
You could say this Zivan charger is the brains behind the charging operation. It makes sure the batteries get enough voltage to charge quickly, but not so much they get damaged. A good charger will taper down the charge towards the end. The charger is temporarily put on a board for charging -- this way the race car does not have to carry the extra weight of the charger during a run. Many street legal electric vehicles carry their charger, so they can grab some electricity whereever they stop. Unfortunately, this charger was forgotten and left on the car later in the day, and had salt thrown into it. Fortunately, it survived the experience after some cleaning with camera-cleaning compressed air.
Here is the gasoline generator used for charging -- wall plugs are scarce on the Salt! The sign shows "Race to the Future," an alternate fuels land speed racing car show.
I'm not totally sure what this is, but my guess is it is a timer to limit how long the batteries are charged.
The EV-1 was a fanatstic electric car made by General Motors. Who Killed the Electric Car? is a great movie about the rise and fall of the EV-1 and other electric cars. It is not preachy and I really enjoyed it.