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EV Jargon

The world of Electric Vehicles is full of jargon and acronyms that can seem a little daunting at first. Below we'll try to explain some of the basic terms and slang that are commonly used.

Alternating Current is an electric current which periodically reverses direction.

Battery Electric Vehicle. A vehicle that is purely powered by an onboard battery.

The house brick sized protection and control device found in an EVSE or Granny Cable. This allows the cable to provide Mode 2 charging from a domestic 3-pin socket.

The Combined Charging System is a DC rapid charging method The plug is a combination of an AC connector with a DC option so the connector is also called a Combo Coupler and the variant with Type 2 is abbreviated as Combo2. The CharIN consortium that controls the CCS standard. CCS is preferred by mainly European and US manufacturers.

CHAdeMO is trade name of a DC rapid charging method preferred by Japanese manufactures.

Charge Point
A location where Electric Vehicles can be plugged in and charged. These can be at home, at work or in publicly accessible locations. Can be abbreviated to CP.

See Charge Point.

Direct Current is an electric current which flows in one direction only.

Extended Range Electric Vehicle. Also written as ER-EV.

Electric Vehicle. Any vehicle powered  either solely or partially by electricity.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. This describes the equipment used to charge an Electric Vehicle such as special charging cable or charging post or wall mounted box.

Fast Charge
Charging at a higher current than a domestic supply (about 7kW to 22kW rather than up to 3kW). This will fully charge an average electric car in three to four hours. Rapid charging is quicker still.

Fuel Cell Vehicle. An Electric Vehicle that generates it's own power using hydrogen as a fuel. See also HFCV.

Guess-O-Meter. The display on an electric vehicle estimating the vehicles remaining range.

Granny Cable
The EVSE cable with a domestic plug on the end used to charge an Electric Vehicle from a domestic socket. The term means a cable you could use to charge at your Granny's house as she probably doesn't have a dedicated EV charge point installed.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle. An Electric Vehicle that generates it's own power using hydrogen as a fuel. See also FCV.

A vehicle with a combined power-train of a conventional petrol or diesel engine and a battery and electric motor whose battery is charged only from the engine. See PHEV for the plug-in variety.

A driving style used to obtain the greatest range possible from an Electric Vehicle.

Internal Combustion Engine or a vehicle powered by one.

A person who deliberately blocks access to an Electric Vehicle charging point with an ICE vehicle. Don't be an ICE-hole...

A term used when an ICE vehicle parks in or blocks an Electric Vehicle charging point.

IEC 62196
An Electric Vehicle charging standard which includes charging modes and connection configurations (Type 2/Mennekes), and requirements for specific implementations (including safety requirements) of both electric vehicle (EV)and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in a charging system. It specifies mechanisms such that, first, power is not supplied unless a vehicle is connected and, second, the vehicle is immobilised while still connected, for example.

A charging standard of plugs and sockets preferred by Japanese manufactures and found on cars such as the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi Outlander. Also called Type 1 and is single phase only.

Kilowatt. The Watt is named for Scottish scientist James Watt and is a measurement of power. 1000 Watts = 1 Kilowatt.

Kilowatt Hour. If the energy is being transmitted or used at a constant rate (power) over a period of time, the total energy in kilowatt-hours is the power in kilowatts multiplied by the time in hours. The kilowatt-hour is commonly used as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

Lithium Ion. A type of battery found in many electronic devices such as mobile phones and commonly used in modern Electric Vehicles.

Manx Utilities
The Manx Utilities Authority or MUA is a Statutory Board of the Isle of Man Government created in April 2014 following the merger of the Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority and the Manx Electricity Authority. They are the sole electricity supplier on the Isle of Man.

The Mennekes connector, also known as Type 2 or IEC 62196, is a common charging connector used on many European Electric Vehicles and also Tesla's in Europe. The connector allows for single or three-phase power.

Mode 1
Slow charging from a domestic electrical socket.

Mode 2
Slow charging from a domestic socket but using a dedicated cable with a protection device. See Brick, EVSE and Granny Cable.

Mode 3
Slow or fast charging using a dedicated multi-pin socket designed for use with Electric Vehicles. It incorporates control and protection functions (e.g., SAE J1772 and IEC 62196)

Mode 4

Rapid charging using some special charger technology such as CHAdeMO or CCS.

See Manx Utilities.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. A vehicle with a combined power-train of a conventional petrol or diesel engine and a battery and electric motor whose battery can be charged either by the engine or by plugging in to an Electric Vehicle charge point or EVSE.

Range Anxiety
The anxious feeling that your Electric Vehicle might not have enough charge to get to your destination or next charge point,

Rapid Charge(r)
A type of charger capable of charging and Electric vehicle's battery at a very high rate and very quickly. Times of 20-30 minutes are often quoted for an 80% charge. Power outputs typically range between 22kW and 50kW. Tesla Superchargers can output up to 120kW and new standards are being rolled out that can see outputs of 150kW or even up to 350kW.

Regenerative Braking. The system used in an Electric Vehicle that allows it to recover energy. Kinetic energy is used from braking and going downhill to recharge the vehicle battery.

Range Extender. A petrol or diesel engine (ICE) used to generate electricity to recharge an Electric Vehicle's battery. A REx engine does not directly drive the wheels and acts as a generator only. Can be found in vehicles such as the BMW i3 REx.

Radio Frequency Identification. A contactless system to identify someone from an electronic tag often found in credit cards, membership cards, access cards or key-fobs.

Single Phase
Single-phase electric power is the distribution of alternating current electric power using a system in which all the voltages of the supply vary in unison. Normal for a domestic supply.

State of Charge. The remaining battery capacity of en Electric Vehicle shown as a percentage,

Rapid charger facility for Tesla cars. These can only be used by Tesla Vehicles.

Three Phase
Three-phase electric power systems have at least three conductors carrying alternating current voltages that are offset in time by one-third of the period.

Type 1
Single-phase vehicle coupler reflecting the SAE J1772 plug specifications. Preferred by Japanese manufactures and found on cars such as the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi Outlander.

Type 2
Single and three-phase vehicle coupler also known as Mennekes and preferred by European manufacturers and often found on public charging points. Used on vehicles such as the Renault Zoe or VW e-Golf.

Type 3
Single and three-phase vehicle coupler equipped with safety shutters, reflecting the EV Plug Alliance proposal.

Type 4
Rapid charge coupler for special systems such as CHAdeMO.

Unit of electrical potential.

This list is constantly changing as new terms come into use, so please check back and please post any suggested additions in the comments below or send us a message on, @EVIOM77 or on Facebook.

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