Electric vehicles and charging does not have to be a mystery. We've created this EV Dictionary for industry terms and simple explanations of them.

A
AC (Alternating Current)
An electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals.
Amp (Ampere) (A)
Unit of electric current in the International System of Units (SI), used by both scientists and technologists.
B
BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)
One hundred percent battery-powered Electric Vehicle.
C
CCS (Combined Charging System) (J1772)
The Combined Charging System (CCS) is a standard for charging electric vehicles, which uses the Combo 1 and Combo 2 connectors to provide power at up to 360 kilowatts. These two connectors are extensions of the IEC 62196 Type 1 and Type 2 connectors, with two additional direct current (DC) contacts to allow high-power DC fast charging. Examples of vehicles that use CCS/Combo are BMW, Daimler, Stellantis, Ford, Jaguar, General Motors, Groupe PSA, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, MG, Polestar, Renault, Tata Motors and Volkswagen Group.
CHAdeMO
CHAdeMO is the trade name of a fast-charging method for battery electric vehicles delivering up to 62.5 kW by 500 V, 125 A direct current via a special electrical connector. A revised CHAdeMO 2.0 specification allows for up to 400 kW by 1000 V, 400A direct current. Examples of vehicles that use CHAdeMO are Mitsubishi and Nissan.
CHARGING
Refilling an electric car’s battery with electricity.
CHARGING POINT
Location where electric vehicles can be plugged in and charged, whether at home, work or in a publicly accessible location.
CHARGING STATION
An element of infrastructure that safely supplies electric energy for the recharging of electric vehicles, also known as an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment).
CONNECTOR
A device attached to the cable from the EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) that connects to an electric vehicle allowing it to charge.
D
DC (Direct Current)
An electric current of constant direction.
DCFC (DC FAST CHARGE)
The fastest (high powered) way to charge electric vehicles quickly with an electrical output ranging from 25kW – 360kW.This will fully charge an average electric car in 10 to 40 minutes.
E
EREV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle)
Although the electric motor of an EV drives the wheels, EREVs have an auxiliary power unit, usually an internal combustion engine, that acts as a generator to recharge the battery when it runs out. Examples of an EREV are the Chevrolet Volt.
EV (Electric Vehicle)
Any vehicle that uses electric motors, either in full or in part, as propulsion. These include BEVs, HEVs, and PHEVs.
EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment)
A safety protocol that enables two-way communication between a charging station and electric vehicle. Basically, it controls the safe current flow between the charger and your electric vehicle.
F
FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle)
A vehicle that uses a fuel cell, usually hydrogen-based, to generate electricity that runs an on-board motor.
G
H
HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
A vehicle that integrates a small battery and an electric motor to enhance the efficiency of the engine. The battery’s charge is maintained by the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) engine. Hybrid electric vehicles offer greater fuel economy than a traditional ICE but can only travel very short distances on electric power only. An example of HEV is Toyota Prius.
I
ICE or ICEV (Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle)
A vehicle that is powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE). ICEV uses fuel which combusts inside a combustion chamber with the help of an oxidizer (typically oxygen from the air). This means that to get power, ICEVs burn fuel.
INCENTIVES
Monetary encouragement usually offered by governments, manufactures, and utilities to buyers to choose an electric vehicle or electric vehicle supply equipment. Incentives for EV and EVSEs can include grants towards the purchase price, free parking, tax credits, refilling, rebates, and more.
J
K
Kilowatt
A measure of 1,000 watts of electrical power.
KWH (Kilowatt-Hour)
A measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for 1 hour.
L
LEVEL 1 CHARGING (Slow or Trickle Charge)
Level 1 charging equipment provides charging through a 120 volt (V), alternating-current (AC) plug and requires a dedicated circuit. Level 1 charging refers to the use of a standard household outlet.
LEVEL 2 CHARGING
Level 2 charging equipment provides charging through a 240 volt (V), alternating-current (AC) plug and requires a dedicated circuit. Level 2 chargers come in a variety of amperages typically ranging from 16 amps to 80 amps. Level 2 chargers range from 7.2kW up to 22kW and typically require installation by a licensed electrician.
LEVEL 3 CHARGING (DC FAST CHARGING)
Level 3 charging equipment provides charging by 480 volt (V), direct-current (DC) hardwire requiring a dedicated circuit. Level 3 chargers come in a variety of amperages typically ranging from 60-150 amps. Level 3 chargers range from 24kW up to 360kW and require installation by an licensed electrician.
LITHIUM-ION BATTERY
A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.
M
N
O
P
PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a hybrid electric vehicle whose battery pack can be recharged by plugging a charging cable into an external electric power source, in addition to internally by its on-board internal combustion engine-powered generator. An example of a PHEV is the Jeep Wrangler 4xe
PURE ELECTRIC
A vehicle powered solely by electric motors using onboard batteries.
Q
R
RANGE (ELECTRIC RANGE)
The distance you can travel on electric power before the battery requires a recharge.
RANGE ANXIETY
The feeling of worry on the part of a person driving an electric vehicle that the battery will run out of power before a specific destination is reached.
RATE (EV CHARGING RATE)
A rate based upon the amount of electricity used by a customer to charge their electric vehicle.
REGENERATIVE BRAKING
An energy recovery mechanism that slows down a moving vehicle or object by converting its kinetic energy into a form that can be either used immediately or stored until needed.
S
SAE-J1772
SAE J1772, also known as a J plug, is a North American standard for electrical connectors for electric vehicles maintained by the SAE International and has the formal title "SAE Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J1772
T
TESLA SUPERCHARGER
A Tesla Supercharger is a 480v (V) direct current fast-charging technology built by American vehicle manufacturer Tesla, Inc. for their electric cars.
TORQUE (INSTANT TORQUE)
Electric motors deliver maximum twisting force or torque from standstill to top acceleration.
U
UTILITY
An organization supplying the community with electricity, gas, water, or sewerage.
V
VOLT
The unit of electromotive force, the difference of potential that would drive one ampere of current against one ohm resistance.
W
X
Y
Z
ZEV
A vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power. Zero Emissions Vehicles include hydrogen fuel cell and fully electric vehicles.