» AC » Alternating Current » Type of electricity that runs on the power company’s power lines and is found in most homes. AC must be converted to DC to charge batteries, but this is not efficient.

» Amp » Short for Ampere » A unit used to measure electric current (how fast an electric current flows), usually used in the context of EV charging (i.e., a 50-amp EV charger).

» Anode » The part of a battery that releases electrons during discharge. Anodes are always negative.

» BEV » Battery Electric Vehicle (no-ICE power plant) Also known as an “all electric” vehicle » A 100% battery-powered, utilize energy that is stored in rechargeable battery packs. BEV’s sustain their power through the batteries and therefore must be plugged into an external electricity source to recharge.

» BMS » Battery Management System » An electronic system within the EV that manages and protects the battery.

» Cathode » The part of a battery from which the current leaves the cell. Cathodes are always positive.

SAE Standard Combined Charging System (CCS)

» CCS » SAE Combined Charging System » A quick DC quick charging technology and and standard. Most EV’s entering the market in North America use the SAE J1772 plug standard. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a standards-setting body.



» CHAdeMO (JEVS G105-1993) an abbreviation of “CHArge de MOve,” was designed and adapted by some carmakers. It was one of the original DC fast-charging systems on the market, and often found on older designs.

» DC » Direct Current » Current from batteries are DC.

» DCFC » DC Fast Charging » Also known as Level 3 Charging » Accelerated charging, primarily available at public stations. DC fast chargers allow for the quickest charge by allowing direct current into the battery without first converting it from alternating current, which Level 1 and 2 chargers use.

» EV » Electric Vehicle » A vehicle that is powered by electricity

» FCEV » Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle » Electric vehicles have batteries that need to be charged by plugging the vehicle into a charging point, whereas fuel cell vehicles utilize hydrogen to generate their own electricity onboard.

» GHG » Green House Gas » A gas such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) that contributes to global warming through the absorption of infrared radiation.

» HEV » Hybrid Electric Vehicles » Not true electric vehicles. The small battery and electric motor is used to boost the efficiency of the gas powered ICE. All the energy comes from fossil fuels and the HEV cannot be plugged in to recharge the battery.

» ICE » Internal Combustion Engine » An engine that burns dead dinosaur goo (fossil fuel), most commonly in the form of diesel or gasoline.

» IEC 62196 » Also known as the Mennekes, it is the standard connectors used to charge EVs in Europe.

» JEVS G105-1993 » Also known as CHAdeMO, a method developed to quickly charge EVs. Used in Japan.

» kW » Kilowatts = 1,000 Watts » A basic measurement of an EV’s power that is generated by its batteries.

» kWh » Kilowatt-Hour » A measurement of an EV’s energy – how much power (kilowatts) it can supply over a period of time (hours).

» Level 1 Charging » The type of charging usually done at home and overnight. In North America Level 1 Charging uses a typical 120-volt electrical outlet found in the home at between 8-20 amps. Level 1 charging is typically done with a portable charging cord.

» Level 2 Charging » In North America, charges EVs at 240 volts using an installed Level 2 charger. Level 2 chargers are high current and need to be professionally installed so as to not cause unnecessary death. Level 2 Chargers can deliver faster charging times than Level 1 chargers. As of January 2023, there are 50,821 public EV charging stations and 130,563 charging ports in the US. The vast majority of them are Level 2 Chargers.

» Level 3 Charging » Also known as DC fast charging, the fastest method of charging EVs. Level 3 Chargers are expensive to install and require lots more power. Also charging EVs with Level 3 Chargers is known to shorten the lifespan of the battery quicker than charging at slower speeds. (BTW, this applies to all rechargeable batteries)

» Off Peak Charging » Charging an EV at off-peak hours. Some power utilities offer discounts for off-peak use.

» PHEV » Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle » Similar to HEV, with a bigger battery and electric motor. PHEV’s can be plugged into the power grid to recharge the battery and travel greater distances. Some jurisdictions have mandated larger batteries, tighter emissions, and a minimum of 50 miles to be considered as an PHEV.

» Range » The distance an EV can travel on one full charge before the battery needs to be recharged.

» Range Anxiety » Worry caused by the fear that an electric car will run out of battery power before the destination is reached or finding an available power source.

» Regenerative Braking » Captures energy usually lost while braking and feeds it back into the battery so it can be reused.

» Renewable Energy » Energy sources that naturally replenish, such as solar or wind power.

SAE J1772

» SAE J1772 » The standard North American electrical connection for EVs. Generally works with Level 1 and Level 2 systems.

Tesla’s proprietary plug

» Tesla Supercharger » Tesla’s proprietary DC charging system that could only be used by Tesla until 2021, when Tesla opened some up in Europe. The latest V3 Superchargers have a 250 kW maximum rate of charge available to Tesla vehicle owners.

» Volts » A measure of the electromotive force that drives electrons through a circuit.

» Watts » The basic measurement of electrical power.

» Wh/kg » Watt-Hours per Kilogram » A unit of specific energy. Equates to battery energy divided by battery mass. The higher the better, as it equals more energy in less mass.

» Wh/L » Watt-Hours per Litre » A unit of energy density. Equates to battery energy divided by battery volume. The higher the better, as it equals more energy in less volume.

» ZEV » Zero Emission Vehicles