1. Cars

AFV ‘Alternative Fuel Vehicle’ is a vehicle that runs on substances other than the conventional petroleum gas and diesel.

BEV ‘Battery Electric Vehicle’ uses an electric motor and a motor controller instead of internal combustion engines (ICEs) for propulsion. They derive all power from battery packs and thus have no internal combustion engine, fuel cell, or fuel tank. 

EV ‘Electric Vehicle’ is a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors for propulsion.

FCV/FCEV 'Fuel Cell Vehicle' or 'Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle' is a type of electric vehicle that uses a fuel cell in combination with a battery or supercapacitor, to power its on-board electric motor.

Hybrid A type of electric vehicle that combines an internal combustion engine (ICE) propulsion system with an electric motor propulsion system in order to increase the efficiency of the engine. The ICE maintains the battery charge and they cannot be plugged into an electricity supply.

ICE ‘Internal Combustion Engine’ is an engine that burns fuels (typically fossil fuels) in a pressurised environment, turning chemical energy into mechanical energy. ‘ICE’ is often used to refer to any vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine.

PHEV  ‘Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle’ is a form of hybrid electric vehicle. Unlike a hybrid, where an ICE maintains the battery, a PHEV is able to plug in to an external power source to charge the battery.

2. Charing Infrastructure

Brick Charger/Granny Cable Usually a 3 pin plug on a mains cable with a charge controller block and a connector to the car for home charging.

EPC Our EVSE Protocol Controller (EPC) is the intelligent part of our charging stations. It is the communication unit that talks to the car and enables charging in accordance with IEC 61851.

EVSE ‘Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment’ encompasses all the components and apparatuses installed and used for supplying electrical energy and necessary communications to an electric vehicle.

Fast Charging faster than what is capable through a standard domestic supply by using dedicated and appropriate EVSE (see above). Rated at about 7kW – 22kW as opposed to 3kW, allowing charging time of about 3 – 4 hours depending on battery capacity. Rapid Charge is quicker still (see below).

Mode 1 A connection using standardised socket outlets - basic 12V and is rarely used. Standard charging.

Mode 2 A connection using standardised socket outlets with control pilot function - e.g. the brick that comes with your car. Slow charging.

Mode 3 A connection of the EV to the AC supply network (mains) utilizing dedicated EVSE where the control pilot function extends to control equipment in the EVSE and is permanently connected to the AC supply network. Fast charging.

Mode 4 A connection by use of a tethered cable and supplies the EV from the dedicated charging equipment is DC (typically 500V 125A) and has a control pilot (communication) function provided by the equipment. Rapid charging.

Rapid Rapid charging occurs only at dedicated locations and employs a 20-50kW current, allowing an 80% charge of a typical electric car in around 20-30 minutes. Some rapid chargers can top up the remaining 20% at a reduced rate in order to preserve the life of the battery. Regular rapid charging is not good for the long-term life of the battery, but does offer the chance to top up on the occasional longer journey.

Type 1 Sockets that are found on Nissan Leaf pre 2018 for example, from American/Japanese manufacturers.

Type 2 Sockets that are found on most EVs from European manufacturers.

V2G "Vehicle-to-Grid" - transferring electrical current from the battery of an electric car back into the National Grid while plugged in to the mains. V2G could help balance the grid in periods of high demand, alleviating the risk of power cuts.

3. Batteries

Lithium Ion The type of battery used in most EVs of today. The life of a lithium Ion battery is estimated to be 8-10 years, however when a battery is said to be at the end of its life it simply means there are at about 80% efficiency, so they are very much still usable. The price of these batteries is constantly falling due to advancing technology. 

Solid State A battery that uses both solid electrodes and solid electrolytes. This is a very exciting development in battery technology as they are smaller, higher-capacity and cheaper than current liquid-based lithium-ion batteries.

4. Technical

kWh "Kilowatt-hour" is a unit of energy equivalent to the energy transferred or expended in one hour by one kilowatt of power. Electric car battery size is measured in kilowatt-hours, so think of it as the electric car's equivalent of litres of fuel in a petrol tank. ‘kWh’ is a derived unit of energy equal to 3.6 megajoules.

Range The distance you can travel on pure electric power before the battery requires a recharge.

Regenerative Breaking An energy recovery system used in most electric vehicles that can help charge the battery while the car is slowing down and therefore extends range. Typically the electric motor acts as the generator, so power can flow both ways between it and the battery.

RPM "Revolutions Per Minute" - the number of times the shaft of an electric motor turns through 360 degrees in one minute.

Torque The twisting force that causes rotation. In the case of cars, torque rules and is the major factor in a car’s accelerative ability – with generous torque, the car’s throttle response is much sharper. Petrol and diesel engines deliver torque over a curve as RPM increases, meaning they have peak power at a given RPM. Electric motors, on the other hand, deliver maximum torque from zero revs, meaning acceleration from standstill can be phenomenal.

W2W "Well-to-Wheel" measures the CO2 emissions of a car, taking into account the production of the fuel or electricity. This is a fair analysis of the impact on the environment of electric vehicles, as they have zero emissions at point of use but clearly have an environmental impact earlier in the chain. However, for a fair comparison with an ICE vehicle, W2W must also be calculated in the drilling of the oil, refining and transportation, not just the tailpipe emissions. Taking this into account, an average electric vehicle will produce 80g/km of CO2 compared with 147-161g/km for an ICE.

5.Incentives

Homecharge Scheme A scheme that provides grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK.

OLEV ‘Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ is the government body which manages UK EV incentives.

Plug In Grant A grant, which offers 25% off a new electric car’s list price up to £5,000.

Workplace Charging Scheme A scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle chargepoints.

6. Power

AC  ‘Alternating current’ is an electric current where the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction.

Amp The SI unit for electric current.

DC "Direct Current" is an electric current where the flow of electric charge is in a constant direction.

1 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. Most domestic properties have single phase power.

3 Phase Three-phase electrical power systems have at least three conductors carrying alternating current voltages that are offset in time by one-third of the period. Most commercial properties have three phase power. In terms of the power created in an AC motor in EVs a three-phase current is used instead of single phase, as it generates a rotating magnetic field from zero RPM and is typically 150% more efficient in the same power range. In other words, high torque at zero revs is made possible by a three-phase system on an AC motor.

7. lingo

De-ICE The process of converting an ICE into an AFV.

ICEing A term to indicate that a EV charging bay is occupied by a non-EV.

Range Anxiety A term used to describe the fear of not getting far enough with one full charge of the battery. Trials show that anxiety recedes over time as drivers become more comfortable with their cars’ actual range capability.

SOC ‘State of Charge’ is the percentage of charge a car battery has.