Below is a list of glossary Electric Vehicle terms. Of course there are more technical terms but these are the basics.
AC - Alternating Current (AC) is a type of electrical current, in which the direction of the flow of electrons switches back and forth at regular intervals or cycles. Electric car motors are either AC or DC (see below), with most of the new breed being of AC type
Charging - Refueling an electric car's battery with electricity, not gas. The time a battery takes to charge depends on the size of the battery in kWh and the amount of electric current being supplied. Electric cars can take different levels of charge, meaning they can be fast or rapid charged.
Charging Stations - An electric vehicle charging station, also called EV (Electric Vehicle) charging station, electric recharging point, charging point and EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), which supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles, EVs and PHEVs.
DC - Direct Current - an electric current of constant direction. Electric car motors are either DC or AC, with DC motors generally being less expensive to buy and simpler to use on an electric car.
EV - Is an Electric Vehicle that operates on 100% electicity like the Nissan Leaf. They offer limited ranges and most are around 100 miles as of 2014; however, ranges are expected to increase in the coming years. Also, charging stations will become more popular so range-anxiety will decrease.
EVSE - Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment to connect electric vehicles for charging.
ICE - Internal Combustion Engine - an engine powered through the burning of fossil fuels. The term 'ICE' is often used as shorthand for any vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine, whether petrol or diesel.
Hybrid - A car that integrates a small battery and an electric motor to enhance the efficiency of the engine. The Toyota Prius is by far the most successful hybrid vehicle. The battery’s charge is maintained by the ICE engine - it cannot be charged by plugging into an electrical supply. Hybrids can offer greater fuel economy than a traditional ICE but can only travel very short distances on electric power only.
kWh - Kilowatt-hour - a unit of energy equivalent to the energy transferred or expended in one hour by one kilowatt of power. Electric car battery size is measured in kilowatt-hours, so think of it as the electric car's equivalent of litres of fuel in a petrol tank.
PHEV - PHEV is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle - a type of car that is configured like a regular hybrid, but with a bigger lithium ion battery pack that can be charged up by plugging in to a regular electricity supply. Pure electric driving is increased over a standard hybrid. PHEVs, as they are known, offer the chance to make short journeys on cheap, zero tailpipe emission electricity but also enable long journeys.
Electric Vehicle Range - The distance you can travel on pure electric power before the battery requires a recharge. The Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and Ford Focus are examples of pure electric vehicles. It is also definted as the combined range from electric and gas of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles like the Chevy Volt.
Range-Anxiety - Range Anxiety refers to the concept of operating an electric vehicle and running out of battery while driving.
Regenerative Braking - This is a system in which the electric motor that normally drives a hybrid or pure electric vehicle is essentially operated in reverse (electrically) during braking or coasting. Instead of consuming energy to propel a vehicle, the motor acts as a generator that charges the onboard batteries with electrical energy that would normally be lost as heat through traditional mechanical friction brakes. As the motor “acts in reverse,” it generates electricity. The accompanying friction (electrical resistance) assists the normal brake pads in overcoming inertia and helps slow the vehicle.
RPM - Revolutions Per Minute - the number of times the shaft of an electric motor turns through 360 degrees in one minute.
Torque - Torque is the tendency of an object to rotate about its axis or plane. A torque can also be a type of twisting force. Torque can also mean that pressure applied to something in a rotational force. In an electric vehicle, the torque is 100% from a complete stop. Electric motors give electric cars instant torque, creating strong and smooth acceleration.
V2G - Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) is a technology that makes clean and efficient electric-powered transportation possible by allowing electric vehicles to power and be powered by the grid. With an electric vehicle, you are driving an electrical storage system: since the average US car is driven one hour per day, it can be made available to the grid.
Wells-to-Wells - Wells-to-wheels emissions take into account the production and distribution of the fuel. It is a type of analysis that allows individuals to compare emissions over the entire life cycle of a vehicle —from the energy and materials used to power a vehicle, to the direct tailpipe emissions. This makes it more “apples-to-apples” when comparing to gas-powered rides. For example, although EVs produce no tailpipe emissions, the electricity used to power them does produce a certain amount of emissions, albeit notably less than a conventional car.
A wells-to-wheels analysis tracks emissions across two stages: well-to-pump and pump-to-wheels. The well-to-pump stage begins with the fuel feedstock recovery, followed by fuel production, and ends with the fuel available at the pump. The pump-to-wheels stage simply represents the vehicle’s operation. Taking this into account, an average electric vehicle will produce 80g/km of CO2 compared with 147-161g/km for an ICE (source: SMMT).
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