Electric Vehicle Glossary: The Complete List of Electric Car Terms

This is a list and definitions of all the terms related to. A complete electric vehicle glossary would be helpful to know the important words related to the electric vehicle.

This Electric Cars Glossary contains the key terms that everyone should know about electric cars.

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How to use Electric Vehicle Glossary?

It’s easy! All the terms are arranged in alphabetical order. A short definition of terms is also provided. Link to the articles related to the word is also provided so that you can read more about them.

Do you think I can add more terms to this list after reading it?

Please comment below any words that you think I missed on the list. I would include them.

Electric Vehicle Glossary


All-electric range (AER): Driving range of a vehicle in a driving cycle using only electric power from its battery pack. The total range per charge of Battery Electric Vehicle is its AER. All-Electric Range of PHEV is the range in charge depleting mode.

All Wheel Drive (AWD): An electric vehicle whose all wheels are powered from electric motors (either from a single motor or multiple motors)

Ampere (A): Ampere is the unit of electric current in an electric circuit. It’s the measure of the rate of electron flow in an electrical conductor. One Ampere of current represents one Coulomb of electrical charge moving past a specific point in one second.

Ampere-hour (Ah): Ampere hour is a unit of electric charge that has a dimension of electric current multiplied by time. One Ah is equal to 3600 Coulomb.

Atomic battery: Read Nuclear Battery


Battery electric vehicle (BEV): a vehicle that has only a battery as the power source. “Electric Vehicle” also refers to battery electric vehicles in general.

Battery management system (BMS): an electronic system that manages battery parameters such as state of charge, state of batter, maximum and minimum limits of energy, etc. It also controls energy flow to and fro battery.

Bidirectional Charger: an electric vehicle charger that can flow charge to a battery and from battery to grid, vehicle, and home.

Blended mode: a type of charge-depleting strategy in which the engine supplements the battery during medium and heavy loads.


CHAdeMO: CHAdeMO is a DC charging protocol for electric vehicles named after the association that developed the protocol. A maximum of 62.5kW power is delivered to the car battery at 500V, 125A DC.

Charge depleting mode: Mode of vehicle operation in which the vehicle uses energy only from the battery pack. Most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles operate in charge depleting mode at startup and switch to charge sustaining mode after the battery has reached its minimum state of charge (reference).

Charging station: An infrastructure that provides the facility to charge an electric vehicle (BEV and PHEV). Also called (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) EVSE

Combined charging system (CCS): The Combined Charging System is a standardized charging environment based on numerous standards which describe the necessary components for standardized, safe and reliable charging of electric vehicle ( wiki). CCS allows both AC and DC charging of the electric vehicle.


DC Fast Charging (DCFC): a charging technology for electric vehicle by use of direct current (DC). They can make an EV battery get charged much faster rate. Read Level 3 charging.

Depth of Discharge (DoD): DoD indicates the level of charge in a battery. It is the inverse of SoC (100% = empty; 0% = full).

Drive train: A group of components that deliver power to the driving wheel of the vehicle. Electric motors are not included in the drive train. So they are (power train — electric motor)

Driving cycle: driving cycle is the velocity vs time graph of a vehicle. Sometimes driving cycle incorporates road gradient details also. They are useful for energy analysis, design, parameter selection of electric vehicles.

Dynamic Electric Vehicle Charging (DEVC): Wireless charging of an electric vehicle when it’s being driven


Electric Vehicle (EV): a vehicle that uses electricity as a source of energy for propulsion. They are classified as Battery Electric Vehicle, Hybrid Electric Vehicle, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSC) : Read Charging Station


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV): An electric vehicle that use fuel cells to energize the vehicle. Electricity to drive the motor is directly generated by the chemical reaction of Hydrogen and Oxygen.

Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV): Read Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

Full Hybrid: Read Strong Hybrid



Home charging: charging of an electric vehicle from standard home installed socket

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): HEV is a vehicle that has one or more energy sources along with electricity. A combination of Gasoline and electricity combination is widely used in hybrid electric vehicles.


Incentives: Many governments offer incentives to encourage buyers to choose an electric car. It includes grants towards the purchase price, free parking, zero road tax, low company car tax and exemption from city emissions and congestion charges.

Inverter: An electronic circuit that changes Direct Current to Alternating Current


J Plug: Read SAE J1772


km/kWh: Unit that indicates how long electric car travel with unit energy consumption

kW: Watt is the SI unit of power which is equal to 1 Jule per second. It’s equivalent to the rate of energy consumption in an electric circuit where the potential difference is 1 Volt and Current is 1A. 1 kW (kiloWatt) is equal to 1000W.

kWh: kilo Watt hour (kWh) is the one unit of energy. Equipment of 1kW rating consumes 1kWh energy if it operates for 1 hour.

kWh/km: energy requires to travel a unit kilometer


Level 1 charging: Charging of EV from a typical wall-mounted standard residential power socket (120V). It’s very slow charging and commonly used overnight to charge an electric car battery.

Level 2 charging: Faster than Level 1 charging with increased current and voltage (240V) rating

Level 3 charging: DC fast charging is Level 3 charging (480V DC). Usually, it charges 80% battery in 30 minutes


Micro-hybrid: Micro-hybrids are strictly not a hybrid electric vehicle. They don’t have an electric power train. The fuel economy of micro-hybrids is a little bit high due to techniques such as regenerative braking, and start-stop features.

Mild hybrid: A Hybrid Electric Vehicle in which the motor and battery alone are not capable of drive the vehicle. Electric motor supports the internal combustion engine in the vehicle.


Nuclear Battery: A nuclear battery (atomic battery) is a device which uses the energy from the decay of radioactive isotope to generate electricity. An atomic battery does not use a chain reaction to generate electric energy.



Parallel hybrid: a vehicle power train configuration in which both the electric motor and IC engine can propel the vehicle independently and together. Power split between the IC engine and electric motor is possible in this configuration.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): a hybrid electric vehicle that can be plugged in and charged from a power socket.

Power train: the mechanism that transmits the drive from the engine of a vehicle to its axle. An electric power train is a combination battery, inverter, motor, and wheels. Power train except the electric motor is called drive train.

Propulsion motor: Read Traction Motors



Range Anxiety: What we feel when All-Electric Range is not enough for our comfort level

Regenerative braking: Braking in which the energy that would have lost as heat energy during braking is captured using traction motor (act as a generator) and stored in the battery.

Residential Charging: Read Home charging


SAE COMBO (CCS): The CCS plug is an enhanced version of the Type 2 plug, with two additional power contacts for the purposes of quick charging, and supports AC and DC charging power levels of up to 170 kW. In practice, the value is usually around 50 kW.

SAE J1772 ( IEC Type 1): also known as a J plug, is a North American standard for electrical connectors for electric vehicles maintained by SAE International and has the formal title “SAE Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J1772, SAE Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler”. It covers the general physical, electrical, communication protocol, and performance requirements for the electric vehicle conductive charge system and coupler.

Series hybrid: a hybrid electric vehicle configuration in which only electric motor can propel the vehicle and the IC engine runs a generator to generate electricity to power the motor.

Series/parallel hybrid: it’s a hybrid electric vehicle configuration that has advantages of both series and parallel hybrids.

Solar charging: an electric car charging from solar-based charging stations or panels integrated on the vehicle itself.

Solar Assisted Electric Vehicle: SAEV is a vehicle that partially uses solar energy for propulsion.

Solar-powered electric vehicle: Read Solar assisted electric vehicle

Stop/Start Technology: A technology in which vehicle engine goes off whenever the vehicle stops for more than a fixed time (a few seconds) and start instantly when the act pedal presses

State of Charge (SoC): State of Charge (SoC) is the level of charge of an electric battery relative to its capacity. The units of SoC are percentage points (0% = empty; 100% = full)

Strong hybrid: A full hybrid or strong hybrid electric vehicle can run on just the engine, the batteries of a combination. A large high capacity battery provides battery-only operation for strong hybrid ( reference)

Supercapacitor: a capacitor that has high capacitance values but lower voltage limits

Supercharging: fast charging or supercharging of an electric vehicle is a DC charging that makes the battery gets charged faster.

SVPWM inverter: Space Vector Pulse Width Modulation inverter is a power electronics inverter that converts DC from the battery to AC to run a vehicle.


Tesla supercharging: a fast-charging standard for electric vehicles developed by Tesla motors

Traction Motor: Electric motors that drive an electric vehicle are called traction motors.

Tritium battery: Read Nuclear battery


UK 3 pin: The plug for a standard UK electrical outlet. This connector can be used to charge some EVs in an emergency but lacks the safety, speed and security features of a dedicated charge point.

Ultracapacitor: Read Super Capacitor

Utility Rate (Time of Use or TOU): Utility rates for electricity vary according to-peak use hours. Thus the rate charged to an EV customer is based not only on the total electricity used but also upon the time of day the energy was drawn.


Vehicle to Grid (V2G): A technology in which Battery Electric Vehicle or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle connected to the power utility grid to deliver or draw electricity.

Vehicle to Home (V2H): A system in which electric vehicle is being used to meet the electricity demand of a home supplying electricity from the battery of EV

Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V): A technology in which one electric vehicle is connected to another electric vehicle to transfer or receive electricity





Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV): A vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power.

If you find more words to add to Electric Vehicle Glossary, please comment below. I would update the electric vehicle glossary including the words that you commented 🙂

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Originally published at https://getelectricvehicle.com.




Engineer | Blogger | Pencil Drawing Artist

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Sibi Krishnan

Sibi Krishnan

Engineer | Blogger | Pencil Drawing Artist

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