1. EV – An electric vehicle (EV) is defined as a vehicle that can be driven by an electric motor that draws power from a battery and is capable of being charged from an external source. Sometimes, people include hybrid cars (HEVs) in this category but they are not strictly electric vehicles, since the electric components are not the main thing that makes the car drive. 
  1. BEV – A battery electric vehicle (BEV), (also known as: pure electric vehicle, only-electric vehicle, all-electric, fully-electric) exclusively uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs, with no secondary source of energy. They must be plugged in to recharge when the battery is depleted. Most BEVs use lithium ion batteries but the term would apply to other types of batteries, too. 
  1. PHEV – A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a vehicle with two separate drivetrains: a combustion engine that can be refueled with gasoline and a high voltage battery pack that can be recharged by an external electric power source. The two drivetrains generally operate serially - the battery is used for propulsion first and when depleted, the gasoline engine switches on. Occasionally, PHEVs use gas power to assist the propulsion battery at high speeds or steep inclines. 
  1. HEV – A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) is a hybrid electric vehicle that does not have a plug and is refueled only by gas. The battery in a mild hybrid vehicle is recharged with the gas engine and regenerative braking. They can also be known as traditional hybrids or mild hybrids. The important difference between HEVs and BEVs is that in HEVs, the battery does not propel the car - it only works to improve the fuel economy of the gas engine.  
Schematic diagrams showing the differences between hybrid electric, plug in hybrid electrics, and battery electric vehicles
Image from https://www.transportation.gov/rural/ev/toolkit/ev-basics/vehicle-types
  1. Level 1 – Level 1 charging is what it’s called when you charge a BEV with a 120-volt plug - the ubiquitous household outlet. It’s also known as slow or trickle charging because it typically provides 3-5 miles of range for every hour it’s connected to an EV. Level 1 charging is what happens when there is no specific EV infrastructure.
Two wall plugs
  1. Level 2 – Level 2 charging is what we call charging with 240-volts; it charges the vehicle up to 10 times faster than Level 1 charging. At home, Level 2 charging uses the same sort of plug that a washing machine uses. You can also find Level 2 chargers in public places.
  1. Level 3 – Level 3 charging is the fastest type of charging available and can recharge an EV at a rate of 3 to 20 miles of range per minute. Unlike Level 1 and Level 2 charging that uses alternating current (AC), Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC). It is only available at commercial chargers. 
  1. DC – Direct Current (DC) is electric current that flows only in one direction. This is the sort of electricity that is needed to charge your car's battery directly. If you are charging using an AC charger (Level 1 or Level 2), the car’s onboard charger must convert the AC to DC. On the other hand, DC fast chargers are much faster because the energy does not need to be converted in order to be used by the battery.
  1. AC – Alternating Current (AC) is electric current that reverses its flow very quickly and very frequently, and is the main sort of electricity that most home appliances use. It is also the way that electricity comes out of the plug. However, EVs need this AC power to be converted to DC to power the battery. The conversion between AC to DC is why AC charging takes longer than DC. 
  1. DCFC – Direct-Current Fast Charger (DCFC), sometimes referred to as a Level 3 DC charging or supercharging, uses a 3-phase 480 volt AC electric circuit but delivers DC to the vehicle. Most DCFC can charge an EV from 10% to 80% in 30 minutes. 
  1. Supercharger – Superchargers are Tesla’s DC fast charging network, but the term is now used for lots of Level 3/ DC fast chargers. 
Bank of Tesla superchargers
Tesla Superchargers in New York
  1. CHAdeMO – CHAdeMO is a rapid-charging connector system for battery electric vehicles, developed in 2010 by the CHAdeMO Association – a cohort of top Japanese companies. Now in its second generation, CHAdeMO allows for up to 400 kW by 1 kV, 400 A direct current. CHAdeMO charging is losing popularity in the US in favor of CCS. 
  1. CCS – The Combined Charging System (CCS) is a type of connector used for rapid-charging. The CCS connector uses some connections of the Type 2 interface and adds two additional DC power lines which are capable of running at higher voltages compared to the standard connector. It can use Combo 1 or Combo 2 connectors to provide power at up to 350 kilowatts.
  1. Range - Range is the distance a car can travel on a single charge, stated as a single number that is the best guess for the car under ideal conditions. It may be different from the EPA range, dashboard range, and real range. 
  1. Dashboard Range – The dashboard range is a car’s current range as displayed to the driver in the car. It is calculated using proprietary calculations and may take into effect current battery state of charge, temperature, terrain, and past driving habits. Some car manufacturers display a dashboard range that is more sensitive to some of these factors, while some manufacturers, such as Tesla, show a dashboard range that relies primarily on state of charge, 
Info screen in an EV showing battery charge percentage and range
  1. Real Range – The real range of a car is the actual, moment-by-moment distance that it can go on the remaining battery charge. This number is a moving target, since it is impacted by a lot of factors, including speed, temperature, topography, and other traffic conditions. Thus, the ‘real range’ of an EV may be higher or lower than the EPA range or dashboard range.
  1. EPA Range – EPA Range is a number that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes for each electric vehicle on the market, detailing how far that car can drive on a full charge under very specific driving conditions. Manufacturers use a tool called a dynamometer, which is essentially a car treadmill, for their range tests. 
  1. Range anxiety – Range anxiety, or “charging anxiety” as it is sometimes known, is the fear that EVs will run out of power on the road, leaving drivers stranded, or that they won’t be able to charge their car when they really need to. 
  1. Calendar aging – Calendar Aging is the natural, baseline degradation of a lithium ion battery with age. It cannot be stopped or slowed, but it can be made worse. Calendar aging will happen whether or not a battery is used. 
  1. Temporary range loss – Cold weather temporarily reduces EV battery range. Some EVs can lose up to 35% of their range in freezing conditions, but each model performs differently, and this loss is only temporary. All electric cars experience some degree of range loss in cold weather.
  1. OBC – An On-Board Charger (OBC) is a charger that is built into the car. The on-board charger allows you to control the current and voltage at which the battery needs to be charged, thus taking care of the battery lifespan. It also converts AC power from the grid to DC power for the battery. 
  1. SAE J1772 – The SAE J1772, also known as a J plug or Type 1 connector, is a North American standard for electrical connectors in EVs, supporting a wide range of AC currents.
SAE J1772 Plug being held by a hand
J1772 Plug
  1. NEMA 14-30 or 14-50 – A NEMA 14-30 charger is a four-wire 30 amp socket. A NEMA 14-30 EV charging station should be able to fully charge a battery-electric vehicle in 5-6 hours. The NEMA 14-50 plug charger is the gold standard EV plug. It is a highly common 4-pin plug installed typically in garages for supplying power to EV chargers.
Black and white image of a NEMA 14-50 plug
  1. Kilowatts – A watt measures the rate of power consumption, and a kilowatt is 1,000 watts. It feels confusing at first, but, a kilowatt is a rate of energy, while a kilowatt hour is the amount of energy. 
  1. Kilowatt Hour – A Kilowatt Hour (kWh) is the measurement of an EV battery capacity, or size– one kilowatt of power for one hour. EV battery sizes are measured in kilowatt hours and generally range from around 40 kWh to over 100 kWh. 
  1. MPGe – Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe) is a way to compare vehicle efficiency regardless of fuel type. Just like how MPG measures efficiency based on miles and gallons (of gasoline), MPGe measures the equivalent amount of energy as a gallon of gasoline produces when burned. 
EPA Fuel Economy Sticker
  1. EVSE – Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) is the proper name for what most people call EV chargers. Technically, the charger itself is in the EV (see onboard charger). EVSEs are the devices used to deliver energy to the onboard charger, including the electrical conductors, related equipment, software, and communications protocols. However, most people will understand you if you just call them chargers.
GIF of a Tesla Model X with gullwing doors opening and closing
It's OK to call these chargers
  1. BMS – Battery Management System (BMS) is computer software and hardware dedicated to the oversight of a battery pack. Monitoring the battery includes providing battery protection, estimating the battery’s operational state, continually optimizing battery performance, and reporting operational status to external devices. The BMS is also closely linked with the thermal management systems that keep modern EV batteries in a safe temperature range. 
  1. Volt – A volt is a measure of electric potential energy, or the electric pressure that pushes electrons through a circuit. The common way to explain volts is to think about a hose spraying water. The voltage is the water pressure, or how much water is flowing how fast. For context, typical voltage for a lead-acid battery is 12V, and somewhere between 400-800V for the lithium-ion battery pack.
  1. Amp – Short for ampere, Amp is a unit that is used to measure electric current, or speed of electricity. If you think back to the hose spraying water, amps would be the rate of water flow. Amps is often used to indicate capacity in an EV charger.
Child being hit in the face with water from a hose
The water pressure hitting this child is like the voltage, while the rate of water flow is like amperage  

31. Regenerative braking – Regenerative Braking turns your car’s kinetic energy into electricity to recharge its battery and boost efficiency. When you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal and onto the brake, the motor swaps directions and starts to put energy back into the battery.