Your guide to all the most popular electric vehicle terms.
Means Electric Vehicle, as opposed to one powered by petrol or diesel.
Stands for Battery Electric Vehicle, same as EV really.
Internal Combustion Engine and not in-car entertainment
Plug-in Hybrid car which typically gives you a smaller battery, that can do up to 50 miles on battery alone.
Mild Hybrid EV. This is not really an electric vehicle at all, but one that has a small electric motor that assists the engine. But you may save about 10% on fuel compared to a regular pure petrol car.
This is a Range Extender or a small internal combustion engine used as a generator to recharge EV batteries. This converts fuel to electric which is fed to the electric motors. Most commonly used in the earlier editions on the BMW i3
Volts, Amps and Watts
Volts are how fast the river flows, amps are how much the water is flowing and Watts are how easily it will carry you downstream. Most EV battery capacities are measured in kWh.
Used to measure power from petrol and diesel engines. A kilowatt is 1,000 Watts and is used as a measure to power in an EV. A kilowatt is equal to around 1.34bhp (brake horse power)
Stands for kilowatt hours, mostly used as an indicator to tell you how big your EV battery is in your car
AC and DC
AC – Alternating Current, DC – Direct Current. DC is faster and this will be seen at the faster charging stations which have the cables attached to the chargers. AC will be for charging at home up to around 11kWh from a home wallbox.
Slow, fast and rapid charging
Slow or level 1 charging is you use a regular wall socket at home and charge with the charger that came with the car. Sometimes called a ‘granny charger’. This typically charges at around 2.3kWh and will give your car about 10 miles per hour. Useful if away from home or visting friends etc.
Fast or level 2 chargers are the wall mounted AC or home chargers which typically charge at 7.4kW on a single phase supply. If you have a 3 phase supply you could get 11kW.
Rapid or level 3 are the rapid chargers and are situated at specific places like motorway services. These will always be paid for chargers and may go up to 150kW or more.
This is the fast charging standard that Japan invented.
This is the charger type you will most likely see in the UK and Europe, works in most cars.
This is miles per kWh and is a used measure of how many miles you are getting per kWh. So it’s easy to work out how many miles you can get for a set price of kWh electricity. The higher the better.
Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure – a way to test new cars to see how much fuel or energy they use and how far they can get on one charge. Usually these quoted figures are higher than what you will get in reality.
Regenerative Braking. Using this technology allows you to put power back into the electric motor/battery when coasting. Full Regen is possible with one-pedal driving. This is when the car will slow down quickly to a stop when removing your foot from the accelarator pedal. So no need to use the brake pedal.
Fear of not having enough power to complete your journey or reach a charging station.
The 12v in your petrol car is typically a lead-acid battery but the main EV batteries are lithium-ion.
This technology holds more energy than an equivalent Li-ion battery or the same amount of power but in a smaller area. They are also faster to charge.
Ultra Low Emissions Zone is to ease pollution. You will get charged if entering this zone with a certain type of petrol or diesel car. EV’s are exempt from the charge.