Electric Car Jargon Buster: The Complete Guide For Ireland

EV Jargon


Electric Car: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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EV Glossary: Top 20 Terms


For those new to electric driving, the terminology used in the EV industry can seem daunting, and understandably so! We at e-zoomed have put together the top 20 electric car jargons, commonly used in association with electric driving. However, it is worth noting that there are many more, and as the EV industry continues to develop, expect the electric driving dictionary to continue to evolve!


EV Glossary: Top 20
Alternating Current (AC):What is alternating current? Though we may not be familiar with this term, we use alternating current everyday in our homes to power our appliances! Alternating current is a type of electric current, in which the direction of the flow of ‘electrons’ switches back and forth at regular intervals or cycles. When an electric car is charged at home, the type of electric current used, is alternating current.
Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV):What is a BEV? A battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is more commonly referred to as a pure electric car. A BEV is ‘pure’, in that, the vehicle only uses electric power for propulsion i.e. a BEV does not have an internal combustion engine (ICE). It is easy to recognise these zero-tailpipe emission green cars, as these vehicles are silent (except for the artificial noise), and do not have a tailpipe! 
Direct Current (DC):What is direct current? Direct current (DC) is a type of electric current that flows in only one direction i.e. uni-directional. DC enables the constant flow of electrons from an area of high electron density to an area of low electron density. DC is quite common in our day-to-day lives. Many of the appliances we use on a regular basis that are operated by batteries, use DC. A mobile phone, a laptop, a torch light etc. In electric cars, the onboard EV battery also uses direct current to store energy.
EV (Electric Vehicle) :An EV is any vehicle that uses ‘electricity’ or an ‘electric motor’ to power the vehicle. In the world of electric road transportation, an EV is usually referred to any vehicle that is primarily powered by an electric motor. The electric motor derives its power from a rechargeable battery or batteries. In other words, EVs are less dependent on petrol or diesel as fuel, and in the case of pure electric cars (BEVs), not dependent at all. EVs do get confusing as it encompasses all types of electric vehicles to include: BEVs, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV).  
Frunk:What is a frunk? Though a frunk is not a new term, its availability is becoming more widespread with the development of electric vehicles (EVs). A frunk is a storage space/ compartment/ trunk in the front of a vehicle, rather than the rear. In the case of pure electric cars, given that these vehicles do not have an onboard internal combustion engine (ICE), there is space for a frunk. It is worth noting that a frunk is usually much smaller than a trunk, and in EVs, a good space for storing the EV cable.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs):What is a FCEV? Fuel cell electric vehicles, also known as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, is another type of EV. The vehicle uses hydrogen to produce electricity and unlike battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), does not require to be recharged. As long as there is hydrogen filled in the vehicle, electricity will be produced to power the vehicle. An FCEV is classed as an ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV), as the vehicle has zero-tailpipe emissions. The only discharge from the tailpipe is water vapour. 
Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle (ICEV):What is an internal combustion engine car? Put simply, conventional petrol and diesel vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE). These vehicles ‘combust’ fuel with the help of an oxidizer (typically oxygen from the air). These vehicles mostly use fossil fuels, like petrol, diesel, jet fuel etc. These vehicles are characterised by high tailpipe emissions, which pollute the local air.
Lithium-Ion EV Battery:What is a lithium-ion electric car battery? Most of the recent pure electric cars have an onboard lithium-ion EV battery. Most of use lithium-ion batteries in our day-to-day live, to include, in our smart phones. A Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery with higher energy density compared to lead-acid or nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries. Hence, the popularity in electric cars. The size of the onboard lithium-ion EV battery will depend on the type of electric vehicle (EV). In general, a PHEV will have a smaller onboard EV battery compared to a BEV. A PHEV usually incorporates an EV battery up to 20 kWh, while a BEV incorporates between 25 kWh to to 120 kWh.
Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs):What is a MHEV? Mild hybrids use both an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor. These cars are also known as ‘self-charging hybrids’. The vehicle uses regenerative braking (recuperated electric energy) to improve the fuel efficiency and to reduce tailpipe emissions (CO2 g/km). However, mild hybrids cannot be charged by an external power source, like an EV charger. 
One-Pedal Driving:What is one-pedal driving? In one-pedal driving, the EV slows down or stops, when the pedal is released. One-pedal functionality reduce the need to use the brake pedal, for speed reduction or stopping. Of course, the brake pedal is still the best way to hold a vehicle in place at a complete stop.
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV):What is a PHEV? Like a MHEV, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) aims to increase the fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions. However there is much difference between a PHEV and a MHEV. A PHEV has a more powerful electric motor and a larger onboard EV battery. In a PHEV, the electric motor and onboard EV battery are also used to propel the electric vehicle. Moreover, a PHEV battery is charged by using an external power source, like a dedicated EV charger.
Regenerative Braking:What is regenerative braking? Also known as regen braking or brake recuperation, regenerative braking is a process of capturing the wasted energy (during braking) from an electric vehicle, to be reused (recycled). In the case of electric driving, the ‘captured’ energy is reused to increase the pure electric range of the EV.
Smart EV Charger:What is a smart EV charger? A smart or ‘intelligent’ electric car charger, is a type of EV charger that enables smart functionality, to include, more control by the user, and communication between the EV charging station, the operator, the utility and the national grid.
Tethered EV Charger:What is a tethered EV charger? In a tethered home EV charging station, the EV cable that is used to charge the electric vehicle (EV) is permanently fixed (attached) to the EV charging station. The length of the attached cable varies depending on the manufacturer, but most manufacturers offer a length between 4m and 8m. As an example, the myenergi tethered zappi EV charger has a 6.5m cable attached to the electric car charger.
Torque:What is torque in electric cars? Torque is a key factor in determining acceleration of a vehicle and is defined as the engine rotational speed. Torque is most commonly defined as the force required to twist an object. For example, a wrench being used.  The heavier a car, the more important is the role of torque i.e. the vehicle needs more rotational force to help it accelerate faster. 
Untethered EV Charger:What is an untethered EV charger? In an untethered electric car home charging unit, the EV charging cable that is used to charge your EV is not permanently fixed (attached) to the charging station. Such an EV home charging station is usually referred to as ‘socket only’. An untethered home EV charging point is popular with those families that may need to have the flexibility to charge both a Type 1 and Type 2 electric car.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G):What is V2G? V2G is an innovative bidirectional technology that allows the onboard EV battery to be charged and discharged i.e. electrical energy to be exported/ discharged from the onboard EV battery to the grid via a V2G compatible EV charger. It also allows for vital informational flow (data) to the grid. In effect, the V2G technology allows an EV battery to be used as a grid-connected energy storage unit.
Vehicle-to-Load (V2L):What is V2L? V2L charging is a bidirectional functionality allowing an electric vehicle (EV) to use its onboard high-voltage EV battery to charge or power devices/ appliances. It is also sometimes referred to as Vehicle-to-Device (V2D). Depending on the type of device/ appliance that needs to be charged or operated, V2L can be used while the EV is moving or parked. As an example, a laptop can be charged or used when an EV is parked or moving, while a lawn mower can only be charged or used when the EV is parked. V2L is a less complicated technology, compared to V2G, which requires interaction with the National Grid. V2L does not interact directly with the grid infrastructure. V2L cannot be used for powering your home or office.
Vehicle-to-Home (V2H):What is V2H? Bidirectional V2H charging allows an electric vehicle to be leveraged for powering a home. In vehicle-to-home charging, the high-voltage onboard EV battery becomes a battery energy storage systems (BESS), enabling energy to be stored for use when the customer needs it. Decentralised EV battery storage units are expected to become an integral component of the National Energy Framework of a country. As the number of electric cars on our roads increase, the role of EV batteries will only become more pronounced and important to our day-to-day lives.
Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WLTP):What is WLTP? An important technical factor to consider when buying an electric vehicle, is the electric range. It is now common for manufacturer data to include, ‘WLTP range’. The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WLTP) is a testing procedure, to improve data accuracy and transparency for consumers. For the introduction of the WLTP measuring cycle, data was collected from 14 countries and based on 750,000 kilometres. The European Commission recommended converting communications from NEDC to WLTP from 1st January 2019.

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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