Electric Vehicle Lingo

BEV (Battery-Electric Vehicle)

Vehicles powered solely by electricity stored in onboard batteries.

CCS (Combined Charging System)

The prevalent DC rapid-charging connector adopted by many automakers in the U.S.


An alternative DC rapid-charging connection, currently exclusive in the U.S. to vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander

PHEV. EV Charger vs. EVSE

While "charger" refers to an EV's internal device converting AC to DC for battery charging, the term is often incorrectly used to denote a charging station or cord. However, the industry's correct term for these devices is EVSE (Electric-Vehicle Supply Equipment). These tools facilitate the EV's connection to electrical power.

ICE (Internal-Combustion Engine)

Commonly recognized engines that run on fuel. If an ICE vehicle occupies an EV charging spot, this is humorously termed as being "ICE'd". E.g., "A gas-guzzling truck ICE'd my charging spot, so I couldn't charge my Tesla."

J1772 Connector

The standardized plug for Level 1 and 2 EV charging, used by all non-Tesla EVs in the U.S.

kW vs. kWh

While "kW" (Kilowatt) denotes power output in EV terms, "kWh" (Kilowatt-hour) measures energy. To illustrate, one gallon of gasoline contains around 33.7 kWh of energy.

Charging Levels:

Level 1: 120-volt AC charging delivering about 1 kilowatt of power, which translates to nearly five miles of range per hour.

Level 2: Found at homes and commercial locations, this 240-volt AC charging typically delivers between 6 and 19 kilowatts. An EV can be fully charged overnight with this, though the onboard charger can sometimes limit the charging speed.

Level 3: Direct-current high-power rapid charging that can deliver between 50 to 350 kilowatts, replenishing 100 miles or more in just about an hour.

MPGe (Miles Per Gallon Equivalent)

A metric for evaluating the efficiency of EVs and hybrids in relation to the familiar mpg measure of gasoline vehicles.

PHEV (Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

A vehicle type harnessing both gasoline and electric power, equipped with a battery that can be charged by connecting to an external source.

Regenerative Braking

A system where electric motors help slow down a vehicle, converting the kinetic energy back to electric energy for storage in the battery.

SOC (State of Charge)

An indicator of the existing energy level in a battery, represented as a percentage of its full capacity.