Electric Vehicle Glossary: The Complete list of Electric Car Related Terms

This is a list and definitions of all the terms related to electric vehicles. 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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Electric Vehicle Glossary


All electric range (AER): Driving range of a vehicle in a driving cycle using only electric power from its battery pack. 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-as-a-Service (BaaS): Battery-as-a-Service model allows customers to lease batteries as a separate component from cars. Leasing the battery saves the upfront purchase cost of an electric vehicle. This new service provides battery swapping options that offer a solution to address shorter-range issues of an EV.

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 the 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 vehicles (wiki). CCS allows both AC and DC charging of the electric vehicle.

Connected and Automated mobility (CAM): Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) refers to autonomous/connected vehicles or self-driving cars (vehicles that can guide themselves without human intervention).


DC Fast Charging (DCFC): a charging technology for electric vehicles 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).

DISCOMs: Electric power distribution companies

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

Electronic Control Unit (ECU): An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is a specialized computerized component in a vehicle that controls and manages various electronic systems and subsystems

Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV): Read Series Hybrid


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


GENCOM: Electric Power Generation Companies


Hill Hold Feature: Hill hold is a feature in electric vehicles that helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards or forwards when starting from a stopped position on an incline or hill. This feature is particularly useful in situations where the driver needs to temporarily stop the vehicle on a hill, such as at a traffic light or stop sign.

Home charging: charging of an electric vehicle from a 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 the Current is 1A. 1 kW (kiloWatt) is equal to 1000W.

kWh: kilo Watt hour (kWh) is the one unit of energy. Equipment of a 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 is 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 hybrid electric vehicles. They don’t have an electric power train. The fuel economy of micro-hybrids is a little bit high due to the techniques such as regenerative braking, and start-stop features.

Mild hybrid: A Hybrid Electric Vehicle in which the motor and battery alone is 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 that 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.


OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer): It refers to a company that manufactures products or components that are used or sold by another company under their own brand name. The OEM typically produces parts or products based on the specifications provided by the purchasing company, which then sells them as part of their own offerings. Eg. Bosch, Continental AG, Denso Corporation, etc.


Parallel hybrid: a vehicle power train configuration in which both the electric motor and IC engine can propel the vehicle independently and together. A 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

Public Charging Stations (PCS): The electric vehicle charging stations are commercially accessible to the electric cars to charge the battery. They are available on the sides of roads and other locations.



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

Rechargeable Energy Storage Systems (RESS): The energy storage systems that can recharge once it discharges. Rechargeable batteries are examples of this.

Regenerative braking: Braking in which the energy that would have been lost as heat energy during braking is captured using a 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.

SAE J2954: The emerging standard for inductive car charging over a pad, with power delivery up to 11kW

SAFD (Speed Acceleration Frequency Distribution): A statistical concept to analyze and describe the distribution of acceleration values within a given speed range. It involves measuring the frequency or occurrence of different acceleration levels at various speeds.

SAPD (Speed Acceleration Probability Distribution): A statistical concept used to analyze and describe the probability distribution of acceleration values at various speeds. It provides insights into the likelihood or probability of different acceleration levels occurring within a given speed range.

Separated Extra Low Voltage (SELV) System: is an extra-low voltage electrical circuit that is electrically separated from other circuits that carry higher voltages, isolated from earth and from the protective earth conductors of other circuits

Series hybrid: a hybrid electric vehicle configuration in which only an 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 the 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 Electric Vehicle (SEV): Read Solar Assisted Electric Vehicle

Solar powered electric vehicle: Read Solar assisted electric vehicle

Stop/Start Technology: A technology in which the 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 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.

TRANSCOM: Electric Power Transmission Company

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 is 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.

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  1. Nice list How about RESS-Rechargable Energy Storage System; SELV Separated Extra Low Voltage;

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