EV Terminology



Whether you are familiar with EVs and Hybrids, or totally new to these vehicles, we know that there is a lot of terminology and many acronyms that surround these vehicles, and it can all be a bit confusing. We have put together a list of the most commonly used ones below, along with handy explanations of the terms you may encounter around these cars.

EV Dictionary 

Alternative Fuel Vehicle: This is any car that runs on any power other than petrol or diesel. This could be electric, liquid petroleum gas, hybrid, or even hydrogen.
Battery Electric Vehicle: This is any vehicle which is powered by a battery and an electric motor, if it also has an engine, then it is known as a hybrid (see EV and Hybrid below).
Clean Air Zone: areas where restrictions are in place for the most polluting vehicles (see also ULEZ below)
Combined Charging System: A vehicle charging system that combines different types of connectors, the standard Type 2 connector with two DC pins.
E-REV (often called a REEV)
Extended Range Electric Vehicle: These are Electric Vehicles which also have a petrol- or diesel-powered generator on board which charges the battery, for greater range.
Electric Vehicle: also known as a BEV, this is a vehicle that is powered by a battery and an electric motor.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle: These are EVs, which use hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity.
Home Charging
To plug your EV or Hybrid vehicle into a charger while it is parked at your house.
Hybrid vehicles are also commonly known as Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. These care vehicles with are powered by a battery powered electric motor which can be charged by a plug as well as an internal combustion (petrol or diesel) engine.
Internal Combustion Engine: This means a conventional petrol or diesel engine.
This is a measurement of energy and can be used to describe the power of an electric motor or charging speed.
Kilowatt Hour kWh
This is a how charging speeds are measured; it means the amount of energy transferred in an hour.
Mild Hybrid
These are hybrids where the electric motor only assists the petrol or diesel engine, they cannot move on the electric motor alone.
Office for Zero Emission Vehicles: This is part of the Department for Transport, and it deals with the UK’s move to electric vehicles.
Radio frequency Identification Cards: These are a type of card that is used to pay for some public chargers when you are out and about.
Single Phase Power
This means the electricity that comes from a standard UK 3-pin power socket, like the ones on your electrical devices at home.
Smart Charging / Smart Charger
Unlike a standard EV charger, a smart charger can regulate when and how your car is charged, either to use cheaper electricity tariffs, or to fit in with your schedule.
Three Phase Power
This is the power supply found at commercial or industrial sites, and it allows for faster charging.
Ultra Low Emission Vehicle: This any vehicle that produces less than 75g of CO2 per Km driven and is often used to describe hybrid vehicles.
Ultra-Low Emission Zone: like a CAZ (see above) these are restricted areas where EVs can normally drive for free, but where polluting cars face a charge.
Vehicle to Grid: This is when an EV can be used to feed its electricity back into the national grid, normally via a special home charger.
World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure: This is the way that manufacturers must measure a vehicles performance, either fuel consumption, emissions, or range.