Jargon is an obstacle in every industry, but the everyday language of electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts can be particularly impenetrable. To help you keep up with the evolving acronyms and the technical lingo, we’ve collected the most common terms here for your reference.
EV - Electric Vehicle
BEV - Battery Electric Vehicle (synonymous with EV)
PHEV - Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. As the name suggests, these cars can be both fueled and charged directly, making them the most versatile vehicles on the road.
Kilowatt (kW) - Measurement of power (how fast a car is charging).
Kilowatt hour (kWh) - Measurement of energy (how full a car battery is); equal to one kilowatt of power delivered for one hour.
EVSE - Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (a.k.a. vehicle chargers).
TYPES OF CHARGING
Trickle Charging - Slow overnight charge when the battery is close to full or the EVSE used can only supply a small amount of power.
Fast Charging - Typical charging from home or public charging stations.
Rapid Charging - Public stations that use DC power to charge your vehicle in a short period.
Mobile Charging - Charging from a domestic power outlet without the need for an installed EVSE.
AC Charger - An EVSE that outputs alternating current (AC) which is rectified to direct current (DC) within the vehicle.
DC Charger - An EVSE that outputs direct current which flows directly into the battery. This is faster than AC charging because the DC Charger can rectify more power than the car.
RFID - The type of card required to access public charging stations.
The basic plug terms include:
Type 1 - the first plug type to appear in Australia; these have been replaced by Type 2 by most manufacturers.
Type 2 - the Australian standard plug type, used by charging networks nationwide.
CCS - the “Combined Charging System” allows regular AC charging and fast DC charging on the same plug.
CHAdeMO - abbreviation of “CHArge de MOve”; a DC-specific fast charging plug used primarily by Japanese manufacturers.
GPO - General Purpose Outlet; an abbreviation for the standard 3-prong plugs found throughout Australia.
EV charging is divided into 3 easy-to-understand levels.
Level 1 - charging from a general purpose outlet (GPO) using a portable charging cable.
Level 2 - charging from an AC charger at home or in public. This method uses EV-specific plugs and stations and is usually at least 3x faster than level 1 charging.
Level 3 - charging from a DC charger. Stations of this size and speed are generally only available on select public networks or for commercial use. DC charging is capable of incredible speeds, delivering full charges in as little as 15 minutes.
Single Phase Power - The most common type of power in most residential households.
Three Phase Power - More common in industrial areas but can also be found in some residential areas. It is capable of transferring more power (to your electric vehicle) if the vehicle uses a type 2 plug.