EV Charging Glossary

Want to be up to date with all the latest technical jargon of the electric vehicle world? Or perhaps, you’ve come across a term you’re not familiar with? Well, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a comprehensive EV charging glossary to make sure you know everything you need to know when it comes to electric vehicles and EV charging points.


Alternating Current (AC)

An electric current that periodically reverses and changes direction. 


AC Charger

A device that converts AC power from the grid to DC power that can be stored in an electric vehicle’s battery. It is inbuilt into electric vehicles.


AC Charging

The process in which the AC charger converts AC power to DC power before being fed into the electric vehicle’s battery. Most EV charge points use AC power and it is the most common method for charging EVs at a speed of 22kW.


Active Load Management 

Refers to the optimisation of a building’s charging loads. It ensures that electricity is distributed evenly to all electric vehicles that are charging at the same time, by balancing the energy between them. It also creates equilibrium among power demands across all sites and reduces the burden on the grid without affecting electricity delivery to the connected building(s) or home.  



The unit of electric current. 


Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

A vehicle that runs solely on electric power. The vehicle contains a battery which is charged via main electricity. Most commonly this is carried out via an EV charge point. A BEV does not have a combustion engine. 


Battery Management System (BMS)

A system within every electric vehicle that manages the rechargeable battery and ensures it is working efficiently and safely. 


CHAdeMO Plug

A round four-pin plug that is exclusively used for rapid charging points and is often compatible with electric vehicles manufactured in Asia, such as Mitsubishi and Nissan. CHAdeMO offers Vehicle to Grid (V2G) but has less power than CCS and requires two separate sockets.


Charge Point

A piece of equipment and infrastructure that safely supplies electricity for the recharging of EV batteries. Most commonly referred to as Charge Points, they are known as EVSE or charging stations.


Charge Point Installer

A company that specialises in installing charge points to homes and businesses.



A process in which an electric vehicle’s battery is being recharged and filled up with electricity. 


Charging Point

Refers to the location in which an electric vehicle can be plugged in and charged. This could be in a public place, at work or at home. 


Charging Station (CS)

Another term for ‘Charge Point’. 


Combined Charging System (CCS)

A type of connector that has been standardised in the EU. It combines two DC pins below the Type 2 AC connector and uses 3 of the Type 2s pins. This connector is found on most Type 2 BEVs. 



A device that is connected to the charging cable and is connected to, or  plugged into an electric vehicle enabling it to charge.


DC Charger

A device that is located inside the charge point that converts AC power from the grid to DC power, ready to be stored in the electric vehicle’s battery. A DC charger eliminates the need for an EV to have an onboard or inbuilt AC charger or convertor. They are bigger and much faster than AC chargers.


DC Fast Charging

The process in which the AC charger converts AC power to DC power within a charge point, before being fed into the electric vehicle’s battery. DC charging is fast because the charge points are able to be bigger, due to being located outside of the vehicle. Because the electric current is already converted to DC when it reaches the vehicle, the EV can charge much quicker at a speed of 350 kW. 


Direct Current (DC)

The flow of electric current that flows consistently in one direction. 



A company fleet of vehicles that are all electric vehicles.


Electrical Grid

Also referred to as simply ‘the grid’, it is an interconnected network of electricity that runs via power lines and cables from the electricity producers, such as power stations, to consumers.   


Electric Vehicle (EV)

A vehicle that is either fully or partially powered by an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. EVs can include BEVs, PHEVs and REx, but most often is used to describe purely electric vehicles. 


Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS)

A UK government grant scheme set up by the Office of Zero-Emission Vehicles. The grant is exclusively for those that live in a rented property, are a homeowner of a flat, are a landlord or housing association or are an apartment block owner that wants to install EV charge points at their domestic property. The grant can contribute up to 75% of the upfront cost of the charge point and its installation. 


Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)

This term covers all the equipment within and components of an EV charge point. 


EV Driver

A person who drives an electric vehicle and uses charging services and stations. Can include all types of vehicles with a plug-in socket.


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

An electric vehicle that uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power the electric motor. Electricity is produced by the fuel cells, which in term powers the vehicle. 


Home Charging

The process of charging your electric vehicle at home. Most commonly, and effectively, by plugging your electric vehicle into an EV charge point that has been installed at your home. Many EV drivers typically carry out home charging overnight for efficiency as well as making use of cheaper energy rates.


Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

A vehicle that is an entirely fossil-fueled hybrid car. A small battery within the vehicle is charged throughout regenerative braking which generates some electric power together with a combustion engine. However, all the energy originates from petrol. 


Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

A type of engine that uses fossil fuels, such as petrol or diesel, to power an engine within a vehicle. 


ISO 15118 

An international standard that outlines the digital communication protocol that an electric vehicle and a charging station should use to recharge an electric vehicle’s battery. 


Kilowatt (kW)

A measure of one thousand watts of electrical power.


Kilowatt Hours (kWh) 

A unit of energy that is equal to one kilowatt of power for one hour, or alternatively, 3,600 kilojoules. 



Short for Lithium-ion battery. It is a type of battery that is rechargeable and works by the lithium ions moving from the negative electrode, through an electrolyte, to the positive electrode during discharge and charging cycles. 


Miles per Kilowatt Hour (mpkWh)

The unit for electric vehicles that is the equivalent of ‘miles per gallon’ for gasoline vehicles. The unit tells you how many miles the vehicle will travel on 1 kWh of electricity. 


Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV)

A UK government department that focuses on supporting the transition from gasoline vehicles to electric. They carry out research and development within the sector, as well as provide grants and funding to support the transition. The OZEV was previously named the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEZ). 


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

A vehicle that has both an onboard rechargeable battery and an internal combustion engine. The vehicle is able to drive with purely electric power or carry out extended range, whereby a combination of the petrol engine and the electric motor is used.


Plug-in Vehicle (PiV)

A term used to describe any vehicle that has a plug-in socket. The term includes BEVs and PHEVs. 


Public Charging

The act of charging an electric vehicle with a public charging station. A public charging station is a charge point designed to be used by the public. Anyone with a compatible electric vehicle will be able to use the charge point. 


Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)

A type of technology that uses radio-frequency to identify an individual. RFID cards are used, much like a public transport travel card, to allow users access to a charge point. 



Refers to the distance an electric vehicle can travel on one full charge. 


Range Anxiety

The anxiety felt by EV drivers surrounding the amount of charge their EVs battery is holding, especially on long journeys. Those with range anxiety often worry that their vehicle will run out of charge mid-trip and they will be left stranded. 


Range Extended EV (REx)

A vehicle that only has an electric drivetrain. It also holds a small petrol generator that is used to charge the electric battery when the vehicle’s range has depleted. This depletion can occur during a long journey.


Range per Hour (RPH)

Miles of range per hour of charge. 


Rapid Charging

Also referred to as fast charging, it is the process of using a specially designed charge point to charge an electric vehicle quickly. 


Regenerative Braking

A method of braking that recovers energy within electric vehicles. The EV is slowed down by converting the kinetic energy from the parts braked into a form that can be used immediately or stored until needed. 


Single-phase Power

A type of AC that uses two wires and can power a dedicated charge point up to 7kW. It is most commonly found in most UK homes and businesses. 


Smart Charging 

A term used to describe all the features and functions a WIFI connected charge point can perform. This can include live availability and status monitoring, reporting and individual charge point usage. 


State of Charge (SOC)

The equivalent of a fuel gauge for the rechargeable battery within an electric vehicle. SOC is measured by percentage points and ranges from 0% to 100%. This enables the EV driver to see how much charge their vehicle is currently holding.


TESLA Supercharger

The car manufacturer produces its own type of plug that is a modified version of a Type 2 plug. It can only be used by TESLA models and allows for an 80% battery charge within 30 minutes. 


Three-phase Power

A common type of AC in electricity generation, transmission and distribution. Commonly found on commercial and industrial sites, it provides three alternative currents, allowing for 22kW AC charging. 


Top-Up Charging

The practice of charging your electric vehicle whenever you park near an EV charge point. The vehicle battery is therefore always being ‘topped-up’ and doesn’t have the chance to run low on charge. This practice makes use of the time your EV is sitting inactive and helps to reduce range anxiety. 


Type 1 Plug

A five-pin plug with a clip. It is the most common connector within the US and can usually be found on Asian and US manufactured EVs. Manufacturers that use a Type 1 plug include Nissan, Mitsubishi and Vauxhall. It is a single-phase plug that allows for charging power up to 7.4kWh.


Type 2 Plug

A seven-pin plug that has a flat edge. This plug type is typically used by European manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen. It is now becoming the most common plug type for electric vehicles. It is a triple-phase plug that allows for charging power up to 22 kWh in private spaces and up to 43 kWh for public charging stations. 


UK 3 Pin

A standard plug for a UK electrical outlet. This connector can be used to charge some electric vehicles in an emergency, however, it is not recommended due to having some safety issues. 


Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)

A vehicle with tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions of less than 75g/km. ULEVs are eligible for certain UK government grants and benefits.



A volt is a unit of measurement for electromotive force.



A unit of electrical power equal to one ampere under the pressure of one volt.


Workplace Charging 

The act of charging an electric vehicle at charge points located at an individual’s place of work. 


Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS)

A voucher-based scheme provided by the UK government and managed by the OZEV, that offers a 75% contribution towards the upfront cost of the purchase of and installation costs of a workplace charge point system.