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Air conditioning. A system that cools and dehumidifies the air within the vehicle.


Alternating Current or mains electricity. Most non-rapid charging points supply AC power which the car’s on-board charger uses to charge the battery.


Types of electricity flow – Alternating Current [see above] and Direct Current [see below]


Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle. A car that runs on fuel other than petrol or diesel. See also PHEV, EV, BEV, FCEVS, HEVs.


Tesla’s self-driving technology. Autopilot allows the car to steer, accelerate and brake within its lane. It does require driver supervision, so is not yet fully


See Battery Second Use further down


A collection of cells that store electricity

Battery Capacity

The amount of power a battery can store. This may reduce with time, particularly if the car is frequently rapid charged.

Battery Lease

Paying a monthly fee to use the battery in an electric vehicle, rather than buying the battery outright. This makes the car cheaper to buy


Battery Electric Vehicle – a car whose only source of power is from its battery. BEVs have zero emissions.


Benefit in Kind Tax (more commonly known as company car tax). It’s calculated based on the P11D value of the vehicle, its CO2 exhaust emissions


Battery Management System. An electronic system that manages the state of the battery. It may tell the car how much power it can absorb through

Car Club

A scheme that allows members to rent a car by the hour.


Combined Charging System. This adds two DC pins to a Type 2 connector (in Europe) or a Type 1 connector in Japan or North America.


A battery is made up of individual cells. Cells in an EV only produce 3 or 4 volts, so it takes lots of cells to


Large, round four-pin charging plug for rapid charging points only. Generally used with EV marques such as Mitsubishi and Nissan. It can also be used

Charge flap

A door which covers the electric charging socket on an electric car.

Charging Rate

The speed at which a battery can be charged, or the speed at which a charging point can supply power to your car. Higher power

Cheetah Stance

The suspension setting used by a Tesla just before it accelerates from rest at its fastest rate.


Carbon Dioxide. This gas is produced when burning fuels. CO2 causes global warming, thus the amount given off by a vehicle is measured and subject


A plug that can be connected to an electric car to charge its battery.

Connector Type

There is more than one type of connector for electric cars. For AC charging, most cars from Japan or North America have a Type 1

Cost per kWh

Cost per kilowatt hour. A “unit” of electricity counted by an electric meter is a kilowatt hour. In SI units, 1 kWh is 3.6 MJ.


Charge Point Management System. A back office system that controls charging points.


Charge Point Operator. An organisation that runs or controls charging points.


Continuously Variable Transmission. A type of automatic gearbox common on hybrid cars. Rather than changing between small number of fixed gears, CVTs can pick any


Direct Current. Batteries need DC to charge. EVs that charge from the AC mains have an on-board inverter to make the DC power they need.


Batteries slowly lose their capacity over time. This degradation is affected by how fast they’re charged or by being stored at very high or very


The amount a car’s value drops with age or mileage. Also called Residual Value.

Destination Charging

A charging point at a popular destination like a shopping centre or theme park. Destination chargers are usually slower chargers than are found on motorways,


A name for the accelerator pedal in some Nissan Leafs. It allows a greater than normal amount of regeneration when the driver takes their foot


Extended Range Electric Vehicle. An electric vehicle powered by a battery, that also has a petrol or diesel generator which is used to extend its

Eco Mode

A setting on a car which makes it use less electricity per mile. Eco mode usually limits acceleration and top speed, plus it reduces power

Economy 7

An old “off-peak” electricity tariff. With Economy 7, electricity is sold cheaper at night when power demand is low.


Electric Vehicle. A vehicle that is powered by an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. Vehicles that use both electric motors and internal


Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. An OLEV (government) grant which gives a discount off the installation of an EV charging point at your home


Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. A charging point or a granny charger. EVSE signals to the car how much current it can provide and the car


Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Identifier. An EVSEID identifies a Charging Point.

Fast Charging

A charging speed between 7kW and 22kW. While faster than charging from the domestic mains, “Fast” charging isn’t very fast. Many cars will take between


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. An electric vehicle that uses a fuel cell to generate electricity. Fuel cells run on hydrogen and only emit water.


A non-rigid electricity cable, or Nissan’s battery lease scheme.

Formula E

Similar to Formula One, Formula E is an international racing championship featuring electric cars rather than ones powered by fossil fuels.

Fuel Cell

A device that produces electrical power from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and the oxygen in the air. Used in FCEVs.


Greenhouse Gas. CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels is a greenhouse gas.

Granny Charger

A car charger that can be plugged into a mains socket in a house. They’re called Granny Chargers because the most often time they’re used

Home Charging Point

A device fitted to the outside of your home to that will charge a car with a battery.

Hybrid, HEV

A Hybrid Electric Vehicle is a car that uses both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine for power.


A gas which is used to power Fuel Cells or can be burned in conventional engines with modifications. It contains no carbon so does not


Internal Combustion Engine. A traditional car engine that runs on petrol, diesel or LPG.

ICEed or ICE Blocked

When access to an EV charge point has been blocked by someone parking a petrol or diesel car in front of it.


Parking a petrol or diesel car in front of an EV charging point, stopping an EV from being charged.


An electrical device that converts AC power to DC

ISO 15118

This is an ISO standard for the Plug & Charge feature that allows EVs to automatically identify and authorise charging transactions by connecting the EV


The electrical standard that governs the AC car charging protocol. The Type 1 connector is sometimes known as a J1772 connector or ‘J plug’ after


A kilowatt measurement of power about 1.34 BHP.

kW⋅h or kWh

Kilowatt Hour. More properly 3.6 MJ, it is the amount of energy supplied per hour at a rate of 1kW. Domestic electric meters read in

Lead Acid

A type of battery which uses lead plates immersed in acid. The 12 volt battery in most cars is a lead acid battery.


Lithium Ion. A type of battery used in most electric cars, phones and laptops.

Ludicrous Mode

A setting on some Tesla models which unlocks very fast acceleration.


Miles per Kilowatt hour. The distance an EV can travel on one unit of electricity. 4 miles per kilowatt hour is fairly typical.

MHEV or Mild Hybrid

Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle. A hybrid car with a very small electric motor or battery. Offers much of the fuel saving of a hybrid car


A British charity which provides lease cars and mobility scooters to people who receive a disability benefit from the government.


Miles Per Gallon. A fuel consumption measure for ICE vehicles.


Nickel Cadmium, a type of battery.


Nitrous or Nitric oxide. Pollutant gases that are produced by ICE vehicles.


Open Charge Point Interface protocol. An open protocol supporting connections between charging stations and a central management system, allowing any EV user to charge at


Open Charge Point Protocol. An open protocol supporting connections between charging stations and a central management system.


The Office for Low Emission Vehicles. A Government team which combines policy and funding streams to simplify policy development and delivery for ultra-low emission vehicles.

OLEV Grant

A £500 government allowance from OLEV [see below] towards the cost of buying and installing a home charging point. Also called the Electric Vehicle Homecharge


Open Automated Demand Response. A standard for energy management. The solution defines parameters and information to manage the electricity network with demand response capabilities.


Pay As You Go. Payment for EV charging without a monthly contract.


Proton Exchange Membrane. Used in a fuel cell to allow hydrogen and oxygen to react but not burn


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. A hybrid with a built-in charger so the battery can be charged from the mains.


Plug-in Car Grant. A government-funded discount on new electric cars, designed to increase the uptake of zero emission vehicles.


A mains electricity battery backup system made by Tesla. Can be used to maintain mains electricity in the event of a power cut. Can also


The heater or air conditioning of an EV can be turned on before the car is used. Often via an app, or a button on


Nissan’s self-driving technology, which can steer, accelerate and brake automatically.


A low power, light weight four wheeled motor vehicle.


The distance a car will travel on a full charge.

Range Anxiety

The worry that you battery will run out of power before you reach your destination or a charging point.

Rapid Charging

A charging speed of 43 kW or more. Rapid charging will typically charge an EV in under an hour.

Regenerative braking

When the brake pedal is pressed in an EV, or when it decelerates or goes downhill, the electric motor acts as a generator. The generated

Residual Charge

The remaining capacity of a battery compared to its capacity when new. Usually expressed as a percentage


Range Extender. An internal combustion engine that is used only to generate electricity. It extends the range that an EV can travel without stopping to


A Radio Frequency ID card allows a driver to use a charging point.


Road Fund Licence, commonly known as car tax. A licence fee paid to the government for permission to use the car on the road in

Self-charging Hybrid

All hybrids and electric cars self-charge during braking or when going downhill. Cars branded as self-charging are cars that cannot be plugged in to charge.

Slow Charging

A charging point that supplies less than 7kW, often only around 3.6 kW. An EV with a large battery can take more than 12 hours

Smart Charging

A system that controls when or how quickly an EV is charged. Some systems may vary the charging speed based on the power available from

Smart Meter

An electricity meter that is connected to the internet. Your electricity meter sends its readings to your energy supplier so you don’t need to read


State of Charge. How full your battery is, usually displayed as a percentage.

Solid State Battery

Most batteries have metal plates in a liquid or gel electrolyte. The charging and discharge current is limited to avoid overheating the electrolyte. Research continues


Total Cost of Ownership. The combined costs of buying, running and maintaining a car.

Tethered cable

A charge cable which is fixed at one end, usually to the charging point.

Three Pin Plug

A type of plug used for domestic mains electricity. See Granny Charger.

Trickle Charger

A very slow battery charger that will maintain the charge of a battery that isn’t going to be used for an extended time.

Turtle Mode

When a car’s battery is almost empty, the car will gradually restrict its maximum speed. It allows the driver to find a safe place to

Type 1

A five pin charging plug specified in J1772. Usually found on cars made in Japan or America. Type 1 sockets can only deliver single phase

Type 2

A seven pin charging plug with one flat edge. Usually found on cars made in Europe. Performs the same function as a type 1 plug,


Ultra-Fast Charging. Charging speeds of 150 Kw or more. Allows very fast charging times.


Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle. A car that emits less than 75g of CO2/km from its exhaust.


Ultra-Low Emission Zone. An area in a city where only zero emission vehicles to enter.


Vehicle to Building. A system where electric vehicles can communicate with a building they’re plugged into. Allows either the vehicle to supply power to the


Vehicle to Grid. A system that can take power from an EV that is plugged into a suitable charging point and put the power into


Vehicle to Home. See V2B.


A measure of the energy of electricity. The higher the voltage, the lower the current that is needed for the same amount of power.


Workplace Charging Scheme. An OLEV (government) grant which gives a discount off the installation of an EV charging point at a workplace


The Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure. A standard test for measuring the range of electric vehicles. It is useful because cars from all countries

Zero Emission

An engine or machine emits no pollution. Zero emission ignores and air or water that may be emitted.


Zero Emission Vehicle. A vehicle that doesn’t emit any greenhouse gasses.