Sep 27, 2023 | EV Guides

So, you’re thinking about making the switch to cleaner, greener, electric transport? Great! But you’re struggling to wrap your head around all the lingo? Don’t worry! We’ve put together this useful jargon-busting list to help you make an informed decision when introducing electric vehicles to you or your business.

White electric car in front of a blurred green natural background. The car is plugged in. Its for an EV jargon buster.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current)– AC current is a type of electrical current where the flow of electrons switches back and forth at regular intervals.

DC current is a type of electrical current where the electrons always flow in the same direction.

EVs can charge using either AC or DC, therefore, when an EV is charged using mains power from your home, the invertor in your car must convert the current to DC, meaning it takes longer to charge than ‘fast’ or ‘rapid’ chargers which use DC current directly.


BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) – Refers to an electric vehicle which runs exclusively on battery power and is charged at a ChargePoint.


Carbon Emissions – Carbon compounds (often carbon dioxide) that are released into the atmosphere through burning fuel. These emissions can collect and store heat, causing the planet to heat up (global warming). EVs do not produce any tailpipe carbon emissions as they do not burn fuel.

Charge point – Is where an EV is plugged in to charge its battery, these can be found in public spaces or can be installed in the user’s home. There are different types of charge points, these depend on the user’s needs, location, and frequency of use.

Clean Air Zone (CAZ) – This is an initiative taken by some local authorities to try to reduce air pollution caused by vehicles. If your vehicle exceeds that area’s emission standards, you may have to pay a charge.


Destination Charging – This is an EV charge point set up in a public area such as a shopping centre, office car park or hotel, where users are likely to be parked for a long period of time and can charge their vehicles while they use the facilities.


Earth Rod – Is a metal rod (often steel or copper) that is driven into the ground and can be connected to an EV ChargePoint. Their purpose is to redirect electrical currents in the event of a power surge, so that people do not get electrocuted. Most modern EV charge points come with built-in O-PEN earthing and therefore any additional earthing is not necessary for your charge point.

En-Route Charging – En-Route charge points charge faster than destination charge points and are often set up in public spaces such as petrol/service stations and fast-food restaurants, where users can pay to charge their EVs for short periods of time along their journey. These charge points are typically higher powered DC charge points to allow a more rapid charge.

EV (Electric Vehicle) – A broad term used to describe vehicles that run on electricity stored in a battery or electric motor rather than a petrol or diesel engine. However, there are multiple types of EV.

EV ChargePoint Grant for Landlords – This grant allows landlords to claim up to 75% of the cost of installing a ChargePoint at their rental property.  (Maximum of £350 per charging socket). Landlords can claim up to 200 grants for residential properties or 100 grants for commercial properties each financial year. To be eligible, you must have off-street parking that is owned by you and is accessible to your tenants.

EV ChargePoint Grant for Tenants – The EV ChargePoint grant for tenants also offers up to 75% of the installation cost if you rent, or own and live in, a residential flat with private off-street parking.


Fast Chargers – These are the most common type of home charging points, though can sometimes be found in public spaces too. They use an AC current, and their power can vary from 7kWh to 22kWh.

Fleet – A group of vehicles owned by a business, government, or agency. Such as a taxi company, bus company or police department.


Home Charging – EV users can have ChargePoints installed at their homes for convenient use, allowing them to charge their vehicles overnight with peace of mind, knowing that their cars are secure in their own homes. Some home ChargePoints can even be connected to home solar panels, allowing users to charge for free.


Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) – Found in any non-electric car, their engine burns fossil fuels such as petrol or diesel to generate power.


National Grid – A network of power lines, pylons, and gas lines, spanning the UK, connecting power stations to smaller local networks, which then supply homes and businesses.

Net Zero – Also referred to as ‘carbon neutral,’ means that the amount of human-made emissions being put into the atmosphere are balanced with the amount of emissions that are taken out of the atmosphere. The UK has set a target to reach ‘net zero’ by 2050.


Off-street Parking – Car parking spaces that are not on public roads and are separate from the regular flow of traffic. These may be indoors or outdoors. Some grants’ eligibility criteria require you to have off-street parking.

On-Street Residential ChargePoint Scheme (ORCS) – A government scheme providing funding for local authorities to increase the availability of on-street ChargePoints for public and residents.

OZEV – The government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles which offer grants for charge point installation. You can find out more about available grants in our EV Grant Guide.


PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) – These are vehicles that have both a traditional internal combustion engine and a rechargeable battery allowing them to be used interchangeably.


Range – When used in relation to electric vehicles, range refers to the distance a car can travel on a single charge.

Range Anxiety – Is an issue faced by EV owners, when they worry that their vehicle will not have enough battery charge to complete its’ journey.

Rapid & Ultra-Rapid Chargers – These are the fastest types of chargers and are often found at service stations. They use a DC current and can range from 50kWh to 350kWh though exact charge times will vary depending on the vehicle itself.

Regenerative Braking – A technology used in electric and hybrid vehicles that converts some of the energy lost during braking, into electricity to be stored in the battery, extending the range of the vehicle.


Slow Chargers – Charge at speeds of 2.3-6Kw AC and are the second most common type of EV charger found in the UK, however they can take much longer to deliver a full charge.

Smart Charge Regulations Smart Charge Regulations were introduced to help manage the increased demand for electricity as more people make the switch to electric vehicles. This means that devices sold for private use must meet certain requirements.

Charge points now come with a default charge schedule that means your EV only charges during off-peak hours, when demand for electricity is lower. There are also increased insights for users on their charging statistics, so they can see the amount of energy they use and their charging history so they can ensure their device conforms to the regulations.

Solar Power – Power generated from the sun. Solar panels collect solar radiation from the sun and converts it into electricity.


Tethered ChargePoint – Tethered ChargePoints are wall-box setups with a cable attached which plugs into your vehicle. Tethered ChargePoints do not require you to bring your own charger with you and some people prefer to use tethered charge points at home as you don’t need to coil up and store the charger away to avoid it getting damaged.

  • Type 1 – Uses AC current and has a 5-pin design, some older vehicles come with type 1 chargers. They are single-phase plugs.
  • Type 2 – Also uses AC current and has 7 pins, but type two chargers can be 3-phase plugs and are more often found with newer vehicles.
  • 3 Pin Charger – This involves using a standard domestic 3-pin socket to charge your EV. However, this is not recommended unless no other options are available, as it is the slowest way of charging (around 2.3kWh) and can also be dangerous as it puts strain on your home’s electrical circuit.
  • CHAdeMO – Is a quick-charging system that allows for bi-directional charging and can charge up to 100kWh. They are not compatible with all EVs though, and they are most common in Asia, particularly Japan.
  • CCS – stands for ‘combined charging system’; it is an enhanced version of the type 2 plug that supports both AC and DC charging and can support up to 350kWh


ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) – These exist in major UK cities such as London, introduced in 2019. This means high-emission vehicles face a daily charge when driving in a ULEZ zone. This is designed to encourage drivers with high emission vehicles to use alternative transport in cities to help keep the air cleaner.

Units of Measure

  • Kilowatt Hour (kWh) – A unit of measure for power that is used when talking about the battery capacity and charging of an EV. 
  • Miles per Kilowatt Hour (Mi/kWh) – EVs are usually measured in mi/kWh, as opposed to MPG (miles per gallon) that internal combustion engine vehicles use. The mi/kWh figure tells you how many miles your car will travel for every kWh it consumes, this can then be used to calculate the efficiency of your vehicle. 3-4 mi/kWh is considered ‘average’ in terms of efficiency, 4-4.9 mi/kWh is considered ‘good’ and 5mi/kWh or over is considered ‘excellent’.
  • Watt-Hours per Mile (Wh/mi)– Some EVs are measured in Wh/mi (watt-hours per mile) which gives you the same efficiency rating as mi/kWh and tells you how much energy your vehicle will use for every mile travelled.

Untethered ChargePoint – Sometimes referred to as socketed charge points, untethered ChargePoints  do not come with a fitted cable, so you will need to use your own. Some people prefer untethered charge points as they tend to have a more minimalistic look, with no cable on show but may be less convenient for those who do not always have their cable to hand on the go.


Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) – A government scheme allowing eligible businesses to claim money off the cost of installing EV ChargePoints at their workplace. Our Government Grant Guide has more detail.


(ZEV) Zero Emission Vehicle – Vehicles that produce no tailpipe emissions, such as all-electric BEVs.

Electric vehicle in front of a snow covered landscape with a charger plugged in. EV jargon buster.


Hopefully, you will now feel a little more clued-up on the terms associated with EVs! And if you’re ready to make the transition to electric vehicles for your home or business, we’ll be with you every step of the way.  Get your free EV ChargePoint installation quote now.