Because there are not enough TLA (three-letter acronyms).
Alternating Current. A type of electrical current, most commonly found coming from a power grid, the direction of which is reversed at regular intervals or cycles. In Canada, USA, and other countries, the standard is 120 reversals or 60 cycles per second (60 Hz). Europe and much of the world runs on 50Hz AC.
Most common used current for charging EVs at home. Generally slower Charge Rate. AC must be converted to DC before it can be stored in the EVs battery. This process is wasteful and slows battery charging. See ‘DC’.
Air Conditioning. Keeps you cool in summer heat. A downside is that it uses a lot of power from the battery in an electric vehicle, so it will have a negative impact on the range.
Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle. A vehicle that runs on fuel other than traditional gasoline or diesel. See also ‘PHEV’, ‘EV’, ‘BEV’, ‘FCEVS’, ‘HEVs’.
» Ampere or Amp
A unit of electrical current or rate of flow of electrons. One volt across one ohm of resistance causes a current flow of one ampere.
Ampere-hour. A measure of the flow of current (in amperes) over one hour; used to measure battery capacity.
Two or more electrochemical cells enclosed in a container and electrically interconnected in an appropriate series and/or parallel arrangement to provide the required operating voltage and current levels. The term also applies to a single cell if it constitutes the entire electrochemical storage system.
» Battery Capacity
The amount of power a battery can hold. Like any rechargeable batter, this reduces over time. See Residual Charge.
» Battery Cells
The individual parts of a battery which combine to make the whole battery pack.
» Battery Lease
A monthly lease to use the battery in an electric vehicle. This makes the car cheaper to buy and generally comes with a battery guarantee. An option typically found in some European countries.
Battery Electric Vehicle. A vehicle that is power solely from a battery, which is recharged by plugging it in.
» Category 1
A term used by the UK Government for a car with CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km that can travel at least 70 miles without emitting any emissions, making it eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant. See ‘BEV’.
» Category 2
A term used by the UK Government for a car with CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km that can travel at least 10 miles without emitting any emissions at all. See ‘PHEV’.
Combined Charging System. A standard EU fast charging connector that combines two DC pins arranged below the Type 2 connector. Fast becoming the most common form of electric car connector or ‘charging plug’ to get power in your battery quickly. See ‘Connector Type’, ‘ChDeMo’.
» Charging Capacity
The amount of electricity which can be added into a battery.
» Charging Point or Charging Station
A location to recharge the battery in your EV.
» Charging Rate
The speed at which a battery will accept electricity while being charged.
A large, round four pin charging plug, which is only used for rapid charging points and normally found on EVs manufactured by Mitsubishi and Nissan. ChDeMo has the advantage of being able to power the gri, but has less power than CCS and requires two separate sockets. See ‘Vehicle to Grid (V2G)’ and ‘CCS’.
» Connector Type
Electric vehicles are charged via a cable, which uses connectors. There are several types of connectors. See ‘CCS’, ‘ChDeMo’.
» Cost per kWh
Cost per kilowatt hour. Similar to the price we pay for a litre of gasoline. To work out the charging costs of operating an electric vehicle. See ‘kWh’, ‘kW’.
Carbon Dioxide. A gas produced when burning fuels. CO2 causes global warming. In some countries, the amount of CO2 a car produces is measured and taxed.
Continuously Variable Transmission. A type of automatic gearbox which is common on hybrid and ICE vehicles.
Direct Current. A type of electricity flow. In EV applications, it is generally a faster type used for charging electric vehicles. Rapid chargers speed it up by providing a DC flow directly from the charging unit.
The term used to describe batteries slowly losing their capacity to store DC, over time. How often they are charged (Charge Cycle) and how hot or cold they get can impact the rate they degrade.
» Destination Charging
The common term for charging your electric car away from home.
A bicycle with an electric motor.
A setting on a car to use energy more efficiently, usually by cutting the performance and power.
» Electric Highway
A well connected route of regular charging points found along the highway and motorway networks.
» EPA Fuel Economy
Often referred to as simply EPA. The Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimates are based on U.S. government standardized tests meant to reflect “typical” driving conditions and driver behaviour. They are not realistic and almost always over estimate what drivers can expect in the real world. Your Mileage Will Vary.
This allows you to slow the car down and accelerate using a single pedal so the car can get extra energy from regenerative braking.
Extended Range Electric Vehicle. A vehicle normally powered by a battery, that also has a petrol or diesel generator which is used to extend its battery range when needed.
Electric vehicle. This is a vehicle that is powered in part or fully by electricity and can be plugged in a charging point.
» EV Car Guide. Hello.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. FCEV use compressed hydrogen as a fuel and only emit water vapour from the exhaust.
» Formula E (FE)
Formula E is an international racing championship that uses electric as fuel.
Greenhouse Gas. Emissions (mostly CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Sometimes shortened to Hybrid. A fossil-fuel Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle that also has a small battery and electric motor. The battery cannot be plugged in and charged up. Due to their small batteries, some HEVs are able to travel short distances at low speeds on electricity alone. Others cannot. Hybrids are usually more efficient and emit less CO2 than their non-hybrid equivalents. These should not be confused with a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). See Self-charging Hybrid.
» Home Charging Point
An electrical unit, often fitted to the outside the residence or inside the garage, to charge a vehicles with a battery.
Internal Combustion Engine. A traditional fossil fuel (gasoline, petrol, diesel or LPG) engine.
» ICE Blocked
When an EV charge point has been rendered inoperable by having an ICE car parked in the space.
When an EV charge point has been rendered inoperable by having an ICE car parked in the space.
Not to be confused with a delicious cake topping. When an owner of a ICE car parks in an electric vehicle charging station. AKA inconsiderate idiot.
» Inconsiderate Idiot
See ‘ICEed’, ‘ICEing’ and ‘ICE blocked’.
Fitted to most electric cars to convert the Alternating Current coming from the power grid to the DC power needed by the battery. Larger inverters are fitted to rapid charging points to make them charge a car faster.
Also known as the ‘J plug’. This is a type of charging connector mainly used in North America and Japan.
Kilowatt. A measure of 1,000 watts of power.
Kilowatt Hour. A unit for measuring the amount of kilowatts used in an hour.
» Lead Acid
A traditional type of battery which is still used in cars to run the 12 volt electrics. Seldom found in EVs today.
Lithium Ion. A type of battery used in most electric vehicles, phones, laptops. Not to be confused with a deep-chested cat.
» MHEV or Mild Hybrid
Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle. A ICE car that may be equipped with an electric system that includes an extra battery to assist with extended stop/start and coasting functions, as well as running some gadgets to give slightly better fuel economy.
Miles Per Gallon. A fossil fuel economy measure for ICE vehicles.
The New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is a driving cycle designed to assess the emission levels of car engines and fuel economy in passenger cars. It is also referred to as MVEG cycle (Motor Vehicle Emissions Group).
Nickel Cadmium, a type of battery used in older EVs and electronics.
Nitrogen Oxide. An extremely nasty gas produced by ICE vehicles. NOx gases react to form smog and acid rain as well as being central to the formation of fine particles (PM) and ground level ozone, both of which are associated with adverse health effects.
Proton Exchange Membrane. The basic building block of a fuel cell.
» PHEV or Plug-in Hybrid
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. An ICE vehicle that also has a battery that can be plugged in to give electric range. When the battery is depleted it uses the ICE and is no longer be emission free.
» Preheat or Precool
Heating or cooling the interior of an electric vehicle while it is plugged into the power grid rather than using the battery power when underway. Has the effect of increasing the range as batter power is saved.
» Pure EV
A vehicle that gets its power solely from a battery which is charged by plugging it in.
Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle. A designation created by the California Air Resources Board in 1998. Displayed on some cars and light trucks that meet more stringent tailpipe emissions and emit no evaporative emissions. Not Zero-Emmisions.
The distance a vehicle will travel without needing to stop for fuel or a charge.
» Range Anxiety
The worry that you will run out of battery power before reaching your destination or a charger.
» Rapid Charging
A charging speed of 43 kW and above which will typically charge an EV in under an hour. Rapid charging generates heat which adds wear to the battery.
» Regenerative Braking
A system that harnesses energy generated to slow a vehicle. This energy is recycled back to the batteries, where it’s used to recharge. In traditional vehicles, this energy is turned into heat and dissapated into the atmosphere.
» Residual Charge
The amount of the original capacity remaining in the battery of a vehicle. See ‘Battery Capacity’.
» Second Use Battery
Power packs from electric cars which are being used for other purposes. Examples include electricity storage in homes and power grids.
» Self-Charging Hybrid
This is a marketing term used by Lexus, Toyota, Kia, and perhaps others. It is nothing more than a Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Hybrids combines a petrol or diesel engine (ICE) with a small electric motor and small battery. The fossil fuel is required to charge up the small battery and is not emission free. Magic is not real. There’s no such thing as a self-charging hybrid.
» Slow Charging
A charging speed which usually charges up an all electric vehicle in 6-12 hours and a plug-in hybrid in 2-4 hours. It’s slow, but generates less heat and is gentler on batteries.
» Smart Charging
A system controlled by your energy provider that automatically charges your EV less when electricity is expensive and increases the charging when it’s cheap or free. Cheap electricity often corresponds to times when there’s plenty of renewable energy or demand is less and the power grid operator needs somewhere to put the surplus electricity.
State of Charge. The percentage of power in a battery.
» Solid State Battery
A newer type of battery which promises more capacity, faster charging, and longer life.
To use primary energy resources at the same rate at which the Earth replenishes them.
Total Cost of Ownership. Takes into account fuel/charging, tax, servicing, depreciation.
» Three Pin
A type of plug. Granny Charger.
» Trickle Charging
The term used for slowest type of charging. Used to maintain a state of charge.
» Turtle Mode
A ‘limping’ mode for electric cars when they have only a few kW of power remaining. It is used to get the electric vehicle to a place of safety.
» Type 1
A five pin charging plug that also features a clip and is typically found on older EVs.
» Type 2
A seven pin charging plug with one flat edge, which was originally favoured by European EV brands and is becoming the most popular on all cars.
Ultra Low Emission Zone. An area in a city, more often in Europe, which only allows electric or zero emission vehicles to enter.
Ultra Fast Charging. This is the name for charging speeds of 150 Kw and above, which make it possible to recharge an electric car very quickly, in a similar time to filling up a conventional car with fossil fuel.
Vehicle to Grid. This uses your electric car battery to release power back for use in your home or you can sell it back into the power grid during times of high demand.
Vehicle to Home. As with Vehicle to Grid, but the car can only be used to power your home rather than feed power back into the wider grid.
A measure of the power of electricity. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the car.
The Worldwide Harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure. An European efficiency testing program meant to provide a more realistic version of a cars range or fuel efficiency. (See EPA for U.S. based testing).
You Only Live Once. As does the planet. Take care of one another and enjoy the ride.
Zero Emission Vehicle. A vehicle that does not produce tailpipe emissions, including CO2.
» Zero Emission
An engine, motor, process, or other energy source that emits no waste products that pollute the environment or damage the climate.