Jargon busting

Electric vehicle jargon buster

Published on March 17th, 2022 | by Sophie West

When it comes to electric vehicles (EV) you have probably come across many terms you don’t understand or haven’t even heard of before. Here, you’ll find the common and less common phrases explained in plain and simple English.

If there are phrases that aren’t on our list then please get in touch with a member of the team on 01527 571605 who will be able to help you out.

Our jargon buster

  • A-C

    AFV – Alternative Fuel Vehicles
    Alternative Fuel Vehicles, a vehicle that runs on a fuel other than the traditional petrol or diesel.

    AC – Alternating Current
    Alternating Current tends to be home chargers and lower-powered chargers. This is where an electric charge changes direction periodically.

    BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle
    A car that is purely powered by a battery and no other fuel. You would charge a BEV by plugging it into a charger.

    BIK – Benefit in Kind
    A term used by the HMRC when considering company cars. The higher the BIK the more company car tax you’ll pay. Different cars are taxed at different rates, however, EVs tend to be a lot lower than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

    CCS – Combined Charging System
    Mostly used by European vehicle manufacturers.

    CHAdeMO – Charge de Move
    A form of popular charging capability by car manufacturers. It’s used for rapid charging. – this has mostly been phased out by CCS.

    Charging Point
    You use a charging point to charge your electric vehicle (EV). This can be a home charging point or a public charging point or post. The cost of charging your vehicle can vary depending on your home tariff or the provider of the charging point or post, so it’s always best to check.

  • D-F

    DC – Direct Current
    Direct Current is more for the high powered chargers such as public chargers, where the electric charge only flows in one direction.

    EV – Electric Vehicle
    A vehicle which is powered by an electric motor.

    EVHS – The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
    This is a government-funded scheme to support the rollout of home charging equipment for plug-in vehicles. This scheme will be finishing in April 2022.

  • G-I

    HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle
    A vehicle with a petrol or diesel engine plus an electric motor. The internal combustion engine (ICE) will charge the battery on the move and doesn’t need to be plugged in.

    ICE – Internal combustion engine
    Used when talking about traditional petrol or diesel cars.

  • J-L

    Kilowatt hour (kWh)
    The energy transferred in one hour by 1,000 watts of power. EV batteries are measured in kWh. As you use your EV, your car will consume a certain amount of kWh, similarly to how a traditional car will consume fuel at miles per gallon (MPG).

  • M-O

    MHEV – Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle
    It mainly features a small battery pack that works with a regular 12v battery found in all ICE vehicles. Unlike other hybrids, it can’t work on its own and is there just to assist the engine.

    NEDC – New European Driving Cycle test
    This is slowly being replaced by the WHTP. It assesses the emission levels of car engines and fuel economy in passenger cars.

    OLEV – The Office for Low Emission Vehicle
    A government department supporting the growth within the UK for low and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV)

  • P-R

    PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
    A vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) plus an electric motor. These vehicles need to be charged via a plug in order to benefit from the range given by the electric motor. The electric motor tends to give a short-range compared to fully electric vehicles.

    Public Charging Network
    The public charging network is similar to the network of petrol stations, except instead of petrol or diesel you can charge your car. Different locations will be run by different companies, so it will depend on who you’re registered with in order to use the charge point. Registration is usually free, however, it’s best to check

    Range per hour (RPH)
    The miles of range you get out of your EV by charging it for one hour.

    Regenerative Breaking
    Moving objects, such as a car, store up kinetic energy, and to stop you have to remove it. When you use the breaks in a traditional car they create friction, converting the car’s kinetic energy into heat, which wastes this kinetic energy. As an electric car has an electric motor you can convert this kinetic energy into useable power when braking, which in turn charges the battery a little.

  • S-U

    Three-phase power
    Power that flows through three conductors and therefore has a higher transfer capacity than a single-phase charge. A 22kW charger or above will be a three-phase, whereas a 7.4kW charger is a single-phase.

    Type 1 and 2 Cable
    These allow you to charge your car in a much shorter time and are mainly used in dedicated homecharge units and most public charging posts.

    ULEV – Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles
    A vehicle or can that emits 75/km CO2 or less.

    ULEZ – An Ultra Low Emission Zone
    An area, usually within cities, that places restrictions and charges on traditionally powered petrol and diesel vehicles entering the area. This is to help improve air quality, noise and traffic congestion.

  • V-Z

    WLTP – Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure
    The WLTP cycle replaces the New European Driving Cycle test (NEDC) and is developed using real-world driving data gathered from around the world and therefore represents everyday driving profiles.

    ZTEV – Zero Tailpipe Emissions Vehicle
    A vehicle that doesn’t emit any emissions from the exhaust into the atmosphere, therefore not causing any pollution during its day to day use.

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