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Electric Car & EV Acronyms

Electric Car & EV Acronyms Defined

For the beginner, driving an electric vehicles almost seems to require a degree in EV terminology and acronyms. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as complicated as it seems. Below we’ve defined some of the most commonly used acronyms in simple, human terms.

A – Ampere or Amp

The basic unit of electric current in the International System of Units.

AC – Alternating Current

An electric current which reverses direction periodically. Home electrical outlets use alternating current power.

AER – All-Electric Range

The driving range of a vehicle using only power from its battery. In the case of an EV, it means the total range per charge.

AFC – Alternative Fuel Vehicle

Any vehicle the isn’t powered by gasoline/petrol or diesel fuel. AFCs range from hydrogen, to battery to biofuel.

Ah or Amp hour – Ampere hour

The measurement of a steady current that can be delivered by a battery over an hour.

AT-PZEV – Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle

A vehicle that emits zero evaporative emissions from its fuel system, has a 15 year/150,000 mile warranty on emission-control components, meets SULEV tailpipe-emission standards and has additional advanced technology components.

BAHV – Battery-Assisted Hybrid Vehicle

Also known as a power-assist hybrid or a mild hybrid, BHAVs are vehicles with an internal combustion engine assisted by an electric motor. The electric motor is not used for propulsion and cannot be charged by external means.

BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle

Also called pure electric vehicle, only-electric vehicle or all-electric vehicle. A 100% electric battery powered vehicle.

BMS – Battery Management System

Electric cars powered by lithium-ion batteries have a BMS to monitor the rate of charge, balancing and temperature of each cell.

CCID – Charge Circuit Interrupting Device

A safety device which monitors current and disables utility power to the EV charger should a loss of isolation be detected.

CAC – Calculated Amp-hour Capacity

A measurement of battery health.

CAFE – Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards

Regulations implemented by the US government to improve the average fuel economy of cars sold in the US.

CARB – California Air Resources Board

The air quality police in the state of California. They maintain air quality standards, protect the public from exposure to toxins and help companies comply with regulations.

DC – Direct Current

The flow of an electric charge in one direction (like with a battery).

DCQC – Direct Current Quick Charger or DC Quick Charger

DC charging (Level 3) bypasses the on-board charger/conversions and provides DC power directly to the battery. This decreases charge time considerably (under an hour) from any type of AC charger (Level 1 or 2).

DOD – Depth of Discharge

An alternative method to measure a battery’s state of charge. Complements the state of charge, as one increases, the other decreases.

DTE – Distance to Empty

An indication of remaining range on the current battery charge.

EREV – Extended Range Electric Vehicle

An all-electric vehicle which possesses a small internal combustion engine (ICE) to generate additional power. By some definitions it is technically a series hybrid.

EV – Electric Vehicle

Any type of vehicle powered by electricity only, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, boats or airplanes.

EVB – Electric Vehicle Battery

Generally a secondary battery used to power the propulsion system of a battery electric vehicle (BEV).

EVD – Electric Vehicle Driver

Anyone who drives an EV.

EVITP – Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program

A non-profit EV industry collective which delivers structured training/certification for the installation of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) across residential, public and commercial markets.

EVSE – Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

This term essentially covers all components of EV chargers. Including wall outlet connectors, power supply cables, charge stands or wall mounts and vehicle connectors.

FCEV or FCV – Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

An electric vehicle that utilizes a fuel cell instead of (or in combination with) a battery to power its electric motor.

GOM – Guess-O-Meter

Same as distance to empty (DTE), an indication of remaining range on the current battery charge.

HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle

A vehicle that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric propulsion system. The primary function of the battery in an HEV is generally to increase gas mileage or performance. A system of regenerative braking charges the batteries as the brakes are applied. There are a variety of types that fall under this category, however a true HEV can not be charged from outside the vehicle or ‘plugged in’.

HFCV – Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

A zero emission vehicle which runs on compressed hydrogen, fed into fuel cells that produce electricity to power the electric motor.

HPC – High-Power Connector

Tesla specific, non-portable 240V EVSE.

HPWC – High-Power Wall Connector

Tesla specific, non-portable 240V EVSE.

ICE – Internal Combustion Engine

An engine that burns gasoline/petrol or diesel fuel.

J1772 or J plug – SAE Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J1772, SAE Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler

A North American standard which defines how charging stations connect, communicate with and charge a vehicle.

kW – Kilowatt

A unit of power equal to 1000 watts.

kWh – Kilowatt Hour

A unit of electrical energy equivalent to a single one kW device used continually for one hour. The total capacity of EV battery packs is usually measured in kWh.

LCV – Low Carbon Vehicle

A more ambiguous term, low carbon vehicles are those that emit fewer harmful substances into the atmosphere. Electric, hybrid and biofuel vehicles would all fall under this broad category.

Level 1 EVSE

Provides alternating current (AC) energy to the vehicle’s onboard charger. Uses a standard 120V outlet and will fully charge an EV in +/-18 hours.

Level 2 EVSE

Provides alternating current (AC) energy to the vehicle’s onboard charger. Uses a standard 240V outlet (often used for large home appliances) and will fully charge an EV much faster than Level 1 (closer to 2-3 hours).

Level 3 EVSE

Provides direct current (DC) energy directly to the vehicle’s battery (bypassing the onboard charger). Level 3 chargers are only found in public or corridor charging stations. They output a min of 24kW and a max of 160kW which can charge an EV to roughly 80% capacity in half an hour.

LiCoO2 – Lithium Cobalt Oxide battery

A rechargeable lithium battery chemistry that offers stable capacities and high-specific energy, but can have a relatively short life cycle, low thermal stability or smaller load capabilities

LiFePO4 – Lithium Iron Phosphate

A rechargeable lithium battery chemistry that has lower energy density (but greater power density) and are more chemically stable than lithium ion.

LiPo or LIP – Lithium Polymer battery

A rechargeable lithium-ion battery which uses a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte.

LSV – Low Speed Vehicle

A vehicle that is capable of traveling at a maximum speed of 25mph and only legal on certain roads. Also called neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV).

MHEV – Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Also known as a power-assist hybrid or a battery-assisted hybrid, MHEVs are vehicles with an internal combustion engine assisted by an electric motor. The electric motor is not used for propulsion.

MPGe or MPGge – Miles Per Gallon gasoline equivalent

An energy measurement introduced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, used for comparing the energy consumption of electric vehicles with the fuel economy of internal combustion vehicles.

MW – Megawatt

A unit of power equal to one million watts of power.

MWh – Megawatt-hour

A unit of electrical energy equivalent to one million watts of electrical power used continually for one hour.

NEDC – New European Driving Cycle

A driving cycle designed to assess the emission levels of car engines and fuel economy in passenger cars.

NEMA – National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association

The largest trade association of electrical equipment manufacturers in the US. They publish a variety of standards, application guides and technical papers.

NEV – Neighborhood Electric Vehicle

An electric vehicle that is capable of traveling at a maximum speed of 25mph and only legal on certain roads. Also called low speed vehicle (LSV).

NEV – New Energy Vehicle

Terminology used by the government in China which refers to plug-in electric vehicles eligible for public subsidies. This includes battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles.

NiCd or NiCad – Nickel Cadmium battery

A rechargeable battery which uses nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes.

NiMH – Nickel-Metal Hydride battery

A rechargeable battery which uses nickel oxide hydroxide and a hydrogen-absorbing alloy as electrodes. They can have 2-3 times the capacity of a NiCd of the same size.

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer

A car that was manufactured as an electric vehicle. As distinguished from internal combustion vehicles which have been converted to run on electricity.

Pb-Acid – Lead-Acid battery

The earliest type of rechargeable battery and has been in use for over 150 years. Less likely to be used in newer vehicles than lithium-ion batteries.

PEV – Plug-in Electric Vehicle

Any vehicle that can be recharged from an external source of electricity, including battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV). In China, PEVs are called new energy vehicles (NEV).

PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

A hybrid electric vehicle with a battery that can be recharged from an external source of electricity, in addition to its on-board engine and generator.

PZEV – Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle

A vehicle that emits zero evaporative emissions from its fuel system, has a 15-year/150,000-mile warranty on emission-control components and meets SULEV tailpipe-emission standards.

RBS – Regenerative Braking System

An energy recovery mechanism which uses kinetic energy from applying the breaks to recharge the battery.

RPH – Range Per Hour

The amount of miles/kilometers of range for an hour of charge.

RPM – Revolutions Per Minute

The number of times an electric motor shaft turns 360 degrees in one minute.

SC or SpC – Supercharger

Tesla specific, superchargers deliver energy rapidly, then gradually slow as the battery fills.

SOC – State of Charge

Often called the gas or fuel gauge function, state of charge is the level of charge in an electric battery relative to its capacity.

SOH – State of Health

A measurement reflecting the general condition of a battery, along with its ability to deliver the specified performance when compared to a new battery.

UMC – Universal Mobile Connector

Tesla specific, this is a universal cable (with 4 different adaptors) that auto-detects which adaptor is connected and sets the appropriate current limit.

V – Volt

The derived unit for electric potential, voltage and electromotive force.

V2G – Vehicle-To-Grid

Technology that allows energy stored in EVs to communicate with the power grid and manage the flow of electricity in either direction. Enabling EVs to supply the grid with power during times of peak demand.

VRLA battery – Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid battery

Also called sealed lead-acid (SLA) or maintenance free battery, they are a type of rechargeable lead-acid battery.

W – Watt

A unit of power used to quantify the rate of energy transfer. A watt is a derived unit of one joule per second.

W2W – Well-to-Wheel

Provides a roughly accurate comparison between EVs versus internal combustion vehicles and refers to the ‘all in cost’ to the environment or the CO2 emissions of a vehicle.

Wh – Watt-hour

A unit of electrical energy equivalent to a single one watt device used continually for one hour.

Wh/km – Watt-hours per kilometer

Unit of average energy consumption for electric vehicles where the Metric System is used.

Wh/mi – Watt-hours per mile

Unit of average energy consumption for electric vehicles where the Imperial System is used.

ZEV – Zero Emission Vehicle

A vehicle that emits no exhaust gas from the onboard source of power and includes battery electric vehicles (BEV), neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).

Congrats, You’ve Graduated

Admittedly this is a long list, but few of them are important enough to commit to memory. Understanding the charger basics is probably the most important part of owning an EV. Of course, you can always download our app and we make the charging process even simpler.

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