Electric vehicle dictionary.

We love an acronym in the electric car world! From CHAdeMO to RFID and all the BEV's in between, we cover all the terminology you need to know.

Electric car terminology explained.

Electric Vehicle


EV is used to describe any vehicle that is powered, in part or in full, by a battery. It is most commonly used for fully electric cars and often synonymously with BEV.

Battery Electric Vehicle


A battery electric vehicle is entirely powered by a battery, without an internal combustion engine’s assistance. It is re-fuelled with electricity only, by plugging in.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle


A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle can be powered by its internal combustion engine or its battery, which can be recharged by plugging in. Its electric range is usually small.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle


A hybrid electric vehicle is powered primarily by its internal combustion engine, but it is assisted by power generated from braking and stored in a battery.

Internal Combustion Engine


Refers to petrol and diesel cars, whereby an engine which generates power by the combustion of petrol, oil, or other fuel inside the engine.

"I've been ICE'd"


When a chargepoint is made unavailable by a vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE), preventing an EV from charging.

Radio Frequency Identification


Radio frequency identification gives drivers an alternate way to pay for charging sessions. RFID cards are physical cards or fobs linked to a driver's account to provide protected access to the network.



A kilowatt is a unit of measurement of power a charger can deliver. The higher the kW rating of the charge point, the faster it can transfer kWh to the car.

Kilowatt Hour


A kilowatt hour is a unit of measurement of energy consumed, in this case by the electric vehicle. Equivalent to litres of petrol/diesel.

Clean Air Zone


The Clean Air Zone (CAZ) have been introduced by some local authorities. If a vehicle exceeds emission standards, drivers need to pay to drive through Clean Air Zones. Some existing CAZs across the UK include Birmingham, Portsmouth and Bath. These are also sometimes known as a LEZ, or Low Emission Zone.

Ultra-Low Emission Zone


The ultra low emission zone is an area within London where individuals can be charged a fee for driving older or more high-polluting vehicles.

Low Emission Zone


The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is a way of encouraging heavily polluting vehicles driving in cities to become cleaner. There are many Low Emmission Zones set up across the UK including London, Birmingham and Bath. These are also sometimes known as a CAZ, or Clean Air Zone.

Alternating Current


A charge point with AC charging capabilities will receive the alternating current from the grid and pass this on to the vehicle to convert to direct current. Once the car has converted this power, the direct current is then fed into the EVs battery.

Direct Current


DC charge points already has the converter within the charger itself, and so does not rely on the car to convert AC power to DC. This means that the power is converted to Direct Current before it is delivered to the EV, resulting in a faster charge time.

Combined Charging System Connector


CCS connectors are used in DC charging and can charge at speeds from 50kW and above. They are compatible with almost every rapid charging vehicle on the market.

CHAdeMo Connector


CHAdeMo (an abbreviation of Charge de Move) connectors are used in DC charging and can charge at speeds from 50kW and above. They are commonly used by older EVs and Nissan Leafs.

AC Type 2 Connector

Type 2

Slow and fast chargepoints have a Type 2 socket. These are mostly untethered (meaning you have to provide your own cable) and can charge up to 22kW.

State of Charge


The state of charge is defined by the level of charge of an electric battery relative to its capacity i.e. if a battery is 80% full the SoC is 80%.

Charge Point Operator


A charge point operator, like Osprey, install and maintain public charging stations for drivers to charge their electric vehicles.

EV Charging: A beginners guide.

New to the world of electric cars? Our beginners guide covers everything from where to charge to how long it takes and everything in between.

Complete beginners guide
A CCS charging cable plugged into a blue electric vehicle

More driver resources

We cover everything you need from starting from scratch, to getting the most out of your charging journeys and more.