Guide | Article

The electric vehicle dictionary

028 Mar 2023

Thinking of switching to an electric vehicle? We share a guide to key terms

Are you considering making the switch to an electric vehicle? Or perhaps you’re already the proud owner of an electric vehicle? We know that the jargon can sometimes be confusing and even off-putting for drivers. Our electric vehicle dictionary explains key terms related to owning and running an electric vehicle (Note: terms are current at the time of writing and does not take into account changes in legislation or laws).

Battery electric vehicle (BEV): A BEV is an electric vehicle that runs solely on chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery pack.

Benefit in kind tax: This is a tax typically paid by an employee on the non-cash benefits they receive from their employer as part of their employment package, such as a company car. In the context of electric vehicles, the benefit in kind tax is a tax levied on the taxable value of a company electric car or van provided for the private use of an employee, and is calculated based on the list price of the vehicle, its CO2 emissions, and the employee's personal tax rate.

Charging point: A charging point is a location where an electric vehicle can be plugged in to charge its battery. Charging points can be found in public areas such as parking lots, or at private homes.

Clean air zone: A clean air zone is a designated area within a city or town where measures are taken to reduce air pollution. This can include restrictions on the types of vehicles that can enter the zone or fees for polluting vehicles.

Connector: A connector is a device used to connect the electric vehicle to the EVSE, allowing for the transfer of electric power. Connectors are available in various types, each designed to work with specific types of vehicles and charging stations.

Electric vehicle (EV): An EV is a vehicle that runs on electricity stored in a battery or fuel cell, and does not have a petrol or diesel engine.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE): This is the equipment used to supply electric power to recharge electric vehicles. It includes the charging station, cable, and connector that allow the vehicle to be charged from an external power source.

Home charging: Home charging refers to the process of charging an electric vehicle's battery at home, typically using a dedicated device installed on a property.

Hybrid vehicle: A hybrid vehicle has both an electric motor and a petrol or diesel engine. The vehicle can operate on either or both power sources, depending on driving conditions and the driver's actions.

Kilowatt hour (kWh): A kilowatt hour is a unit of energy used to measure the amount of electricity consumed or produced over a period of time. It is often used to measure the capacity of an electric vehicle's battery.

Lithium-ion battery: This is a type of rechargeable battery commonly used in electric vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries are known for their high energy density, long cycle life, and fast charging capabilities.

On the go charging: On the go charging refers to the process of charging an electric vehicle's battery while out and about, using public charging stations not a home charger. Use the bp pulse app to access charging points around the UK.

OZEV: Presently, the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) is a UK government department responsible for developing and implementing policies to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV): A PHEV is a hybrid vehicle that can be charged using an external power source. It has an electric motor and a gasoline engine, and can operate on either or both power sources.

Range: This refers to the distance that an electric vehicle can travel on a single charge of its battery. Range is a critical factor in the usability and practicality of electric vehicles.

Range anxiety: Range anxiety refers to the fear or concern that an electric vehicle's battery will run out of charge before the driver reaches their destination, leaving them stranded.

Regenerative braking: Regenerative braking is a technology used in electric and hybrid vehicles that converts some of the energy lost during braking into electricity, which is then stored in the vehicle's battery.

Smart charge regulations: Smart charge regulations are a set of rules introduced by the UK government with aims including reducing demand on the National Grid. For more information, consult our help centre.

Tailpipe emissions: Tailpipe emissions are the pollutants emitted by a vehicle's exhaust system while it is running. These emissions can include carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter.

Ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ): A ULEZ is a designated area within a city or town where only vehicles that meet certain emissions standards are allowed to drive. The aim of a ULEZ is to reduce air pollution and improve air quality.

Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV): A zero-emission vehicle is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from its onboard source of power. In the context of electric vehicles, this refers to vehicles that run on electric power and produce no direct emissions.

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