Electric Cars

Electric Car Terminology

Electric Car Terminology

The electric vehicle (EV) landscape can be hard to navigate, with numerous acronyms and tech terminology evolving daily. Here we offer a glossary of terms to help you feel equipped to understand and join the conversation on an exciting topic that won’t be going away anytime soon.

AEV (All-Electric Vehicle): Also called BEV (Battery-Electric Vehicle). A vehicle that runs on an electric motor only, using on-board batteries that you can plug in and recharge.

AER (All-Electric Range): The distance an EV is able to go solely using electricity.

BEV (Battery-Electric Vehicle): Also called AEV (All-Electric Vehicle). A vehicle that runs on an electric motor only, using on-board batteries that you can plug in and recharge.

BMS (Battery Management System): Any electronic system that manages a rechargeable battery by monitoring and reporting on its state.

DC charging: See “Level 3 Charging.”

E-REV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle): An AEV/BEV that has a range extender (usually a small internal combustion engine) to increase range.

EV (Electric Vehicle): A broad category used to describe all vehicles that are powered by an electric motor.

EVB (Electric Vehicle Battery): A battery used to power an AEV/BEV.

EVD (Electric Vehicle Driver): Anyone who drives an EV.

EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment): Also known as EV charging station or EV charging dock. A device that allows electricity to flow safely by enabling two-way communication between the charging station and the vehicle. Simplifies the charging process by adjusting the onboard charger to ensure it doesn’t exceed charger power limits.

GHG (Green House Gas): A gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. Examples include carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

Hybrid (conventional): A vehicle with an electric motor and a full-sized internal combustion engine that uses regenerative braking to charge the motor.

ICE (Internal Combustion Engine): A traditional engine powered by fossil fuels.

ICEV (Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle): Any vehicle powered by an ICE.

kW (kilowatt): A unit of electric power.

kWh (kilowatt-hour):  A measurement of the amount of energy you would use by running a 1,000-watt appliance for one hour (e.g. a microwave).

Level 1 Charging: Charging at 120 volts, the equivalent of a common household outlet. Takes 17-25 hours to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery.

Level 2 Charging: Charging at 208-240 volts, using an installed outlet. Takes 4-5 hours to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery.

Level 3 Charging: Also known as DC charging. Charging at 480 volts with a direct-current (DC) plug. Takes 30 minutes to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery.

MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent): MPGe is determined by seeing how far a vehicle can travel on 33.7kWh of energy, the equivalent energy in one gallon of gas. Used for comparing fuel efficiency of EVs and ICEVs.

MPkWh (miles per kilowatt-hour): The estimated miles an EV can go on one kilowatt-hour of battery. A more relevant measurement for EV owners as they plan their driving and charging.

NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle): A BEV that has a top speed of 25mph and can be plugged into a standard outlet.

Off-Peak Charging: Charging your EV during the less busy times of day for a lower cost.

PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle): A mixture of AEV and ICEV, plug-in hybrids have both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. As the name suggests, they can be plugged in to recharge their onboard batteries.

Range Anxiety: The worry that an EV will run out of battery power before you arrive at your destination.

Regenerative braking: A method of braking used by conventional hybrids in which energy from the braking of the vehicle is stored and used.