Green Car Terminology

Dave Nichols
Sep 2022
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Navigate electric car terminology like a pro with this defined list of acronyms, technical language and special abbreviations. What’s a BMS or a GHG? Find out here in our GreenCars guide to EV Lingo and terminology.

Green Car Acronyms and Terminology

The electric vehicle, or EV, landscape can sometimes be hard to traverse, with numerous acronyms and new technology evolving every day. With that in mind, here’s an EV glossary of terms presented in alphabetical order to help you join in the GreenCars conversation with confidence:

AER (All-Electric Range): The distance an EV is able to go on a single charge.

BEV (Battery-Electric Vehicle): Also called AEV (All-Electric Vehicle). A vehicle that runs on an electric motor only, using on-board batteries that you can plug in and recharge. 

BMS (Battery Management System): Any electronic system that manages a rechargeable battery by monitoring and reporting on its state.

DC Fast Charging: See “Level 3 Charging.” Currently the fastest way to charge your electric car. DC charging takes about 30 minutes to charge an EV to 80%.

E-REV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle): This is an electric vehicle that has a range extender (usually a small internal combustion engine) to increase range. 

EV (Electric Vehicle): A broad category used to describe all vehicles that are powered by an electric motor. 

EVB (Electric Vehicle Battery): A battery used to power an AEV/BEV.

EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment): Also known as an EV charging station or EV charging dock. A device that allows electricity to flow safely by enabling two-way communication between the charging station and the vehicle. Simplifies the charging process by adjusting the onboard charger to ensure it doesn’t exceed charger power limits.

GHG (Green House Gas): A gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. Examples include carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons. Basically, stuff we don’t want to breathe.

Hybrid: A vehicle with an electric motor and a gasoline-powered engine that uses regenerative braking to help charge the motor.

ICE (Internal Combustion Engine): A traditional engine powered by fossil fuels.

ICEV (Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle): Any vehicle powered by an ICE.

kW (kilowatt): A unit of electric power.

kWh (kilowatt-hour):  A measurement of the amount of energy you would use by running a 1,000-watt appliance for one hour (e.g. a microwave). 

Level 1 Charging: Charging at 120 volts, the equivalent of a common household outlet. Takes 17-25 hours to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery. 

Level 2 Charging: Charging at 208-240 volts, using an installed outlet. Takes 4-5 hours to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery.

Level 3 Charging: Also known as DC Fast Charging and found at most Charging Stations. Level 3 charges at 480 volts with a direct-current (DC) plug. Takes just 30 minutes to charge an EV to 80 percent.

MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent): MPGe is determined by seeing how far a vehicle can travel on 33.7kWh of energy, the equivalent energy in one gallon of gas. Used for comparing fuel efficiency of EVs and gas-powered vehicles.

MPkWh (miles per kilowatt-hour): The estimated miles an EV can go on one kilowatt-hour of battery use. A more relevant measurement for EV owners as they plan their driving and charging.

Off-Peak Charging: Charging your EV during the less busy times of day for a lower cost.

One Pedal Driving: Many hybrid and all-electric vehicles offer One Pedal Driving Mode that amps up the regenerative braking so that when you take your foot off the accelerator, the car slows to a stop by itself without you having to touch the brake pedal.

PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle): These hybrids have both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. As the name suggests, they can be plugged in to recharge their onboard batteries so you can drive 25 to 30 miles on electricity alone. 

Range Anxiety: The worry that an EV will run out of battery power before you arrive at your destination or find a charging station. With electric cars that can run over 300 miles on a charge, range anxiety is quickly becoming a thing of the past. 

Regenerative Braking: A method of braking used by hybrid and electric cars in which energy from the braking of the vehicle is stored and used to recharge the battery pack.

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