Electric Vehicle Glossary
- AC – Alternating Current – A charge of electricity that periodically changes direction. It is the source of power that comes from the grid.
- ACES – Autonomous, Connected, Electrification, and Shared – Refers to innovation and disruption in the automotive industry.
- AER – All-Electric Range – The range any EV is able to reach solely using electricity.
- AEV – All-Electric Vehicle – see “BEV.”
- AFV – Alternative Fuel Vehicle – A vehicle powered by any fuel other than gasoline or diesel.
- BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle –A vehicle that uses energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. The batteries are charged when the vehicle is plugged into an external electricity source. Also known as an all-electric vehicle.
- BMS – Battery Management System – An electronic system within the vehicle that manages and protects the battery.
- CCS – Combined Charging System – A standard, fast charging system (50 kW and up); often used with the SAE J1772.
- CHAdeMO – A standard, fast charging system (50 kW and up), most often used by Japanese vehicle manufacturers.
- Connector – A device attached to a cable from an EVSE that connects to an EV allowing it to charge.
- DC – Direct Current – A charge of electricity that flows in one direction and is the type of power that comes from a battery.
- DCFC – DC Fast Charging – This is the fastest (high-powered) way to charge EVs. This method charges a battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes, then slows in order to not overheat the battery. Due to this rapid rate, DCFC chargers are typically used for public charging stations. However, the rate can be triple the cost of at-home charging – even more costly than gasoline in some cases. The best use would be to get just enough charge to make it to your final destination.
- EREV – Extended-Range Electric Vehicles – Vehicles that have the ability to run on a small internal combustion engines (called a range extender) if the battery gets low. Most range extenders power a generator that transfers electricity to the batteries and motor. An EREV will create CO2 when its small range extender motor is operating, but not when the EREV is using its electric power.
- EV – Electric Vehicle – A catchall term that includes all vehicles that are fully powered by electricity or an electric motor.
- EVSE – Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment – Infrastructure that supplies power to EVs.
- FCEV – Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle – A vehicle that uses compressed hydrogen gas for fuel. When hydrogen is combined with air in the vehicle’s fuel cell, electricity is created and used to power the vehicle’s electric motor.
- FHEV – Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle – A vehicle that combines a conventional internal combustion engine system with an electric propulsion system.
- HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle – A vehicle that uses a dual system of electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The main types are FHEV, MHEV, and PHEV.
- ICE – Internal Combustion Engine – A vehicle powered by gasoline, diesel, biofuels, or natural gas.
- kW – Kilowatt – A measure of how much energy needs to be provided continuously for the EV to run; equivalent to 1,000 watts. EV charging levels are based on kW rating; the higher the kW, the faster it will charge an EV.
- kWh – Kilowatt-Hour – The amount of electricity an EV uses in one hour. EV battery size is measured in kWh.
- Level 1 (Slow) Charging – EVs can charge using the SAE J1772 connector with a standard household outlet. It is the least expensive, but most time-consuming method of charging.
- Level 2 (Fast) Charging – This is a dedicated EV outlet that can be used with the SAE J1772 connector. This is the most common charging system for residential use and can be found at commercial facilities.
- Level 3 (Rapid) Charging – Also called DCFC, Level 3 charges a battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes, then slows to Level 2 in order to not overheat the battery. Due to this rapid rate, Level 3 chargers are typically used for public charging stations. It can be triple the cost of at-home charging – even more costly than gasoline in some cases. The best use would be to get just enough charge to make it to your final destination. Both CHAdeMO and SAE CCS connectors can be used.
- LIB – Lithium-ion Battery – Also known as a Li-ion, it is a common rechargeable battery. This is the current standard in electric vehicle batteries, offering good energy density, power, and fast charging ability. The life of a lithium-ion battery is estimated to be the same as the life of the vehicle.
- MHEV – Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle – This vehicle has an internal combustion engine equipped with an electric machine that turns off the engine whenever the car is coasting, braking, or stopped, yet restart quickly.
- Molten salt battery – A type of battery that uses molten salts as an electrolyte.
- MPGe – Miles per Gallon Equivalent – This is used to compare the fuel efficiency of EVs and ICE vehicles. It is determined by measuring how far an EV can travel on 33.7kWh, which is the energy equivalent to one gallon of gas.
- NEV – Neighborhood Electric Vehicle – This is a BEV that can be recharged using a standard outlet and is limited to streets with lower speed limits, typically around 45mph.
- Off-peak charging – Charging your EV during the less busy times of day for a lower cost.
- PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle – This vehicle has a battery-powered electric motor that can function independently with enough range for a daily commute. It also has a conventional gas engine to extend the vehicle’s range.
- Range – The distance an EV can travel on pure electric power before the battery requires a recharge.
- Range anxiety – Worry that an EV will run out of battery power before the destination is reached.
- Regenerative braking – A braking method used in EVs that transfers energy from the braking function to the battery for stored energy.
- SAE J1772 – This is the most common connector used for Level 1 and 2 charging. All EVs in the U.S. and Canada can charge using this plug. Tesla EVs come with an SAE J1772 adapter for Level 2 charging.
- Tesla Supercharger – A super-fast charging system that can provide up to 120 kW directly to the Tesla’s battery.
- TOU – Utility Rate – The difference in utility rates based on high- and low-peak use hours.
- V2G – Vehicle-to-grid – A system that allows EVs to communicate with the power grid to manage the flow of electricity in either direction.
- VRLA Battery – Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid Battery – A rechargeable lead-acid battery.