The best coal plants are almost 33% efficient, just like nukes. (The heat rates listed at the link for 2005 through 2015 are all "the amount of heat required to generate one kWh of electricity", which is about 3412 Btu. The best year average coal plant was almost 10,350. 3412 Btu for 10,350 is 32.97% efficient).
So, that means (if you're estimate of up to 72% efficient for electric cars) that from coal to road-motion, the best you can expect is about 23.7% of the energy in the coal making your car move.
Now, certainly there are some pretty huge differences in the energy efficiency of gasoline engines. If we try to do an apples-to-apples comparison, the same chart shows the worst year for petroleum electric plants was 11,000. 3412 gotten from 11,000 is 31%. That's more than 7% more efficient than the net efficiency of the coal-to-electricity car.
A good, unbiased article on recycling batteries is here.