Electric Vehicle Glossary of Terms

A glossary of terms related to EV charging from EV types to key concepts.

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Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)


A car that runs purely on electric power, stored in an on-board battery that is charged from mains electricity (typically at a dedicated chargepoint).

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)


A car with a combination of a traditional internal combustion engine and a rechargeable battery, allowing for either pure electric-powered driving or extended range from a combination of the petrol engine and electric motor.

Plug-in vehicle (PiV)


A blanket term for any vehicle with a plug socket, including BEVs and PHEVs.

Electric vehicle (EV)

EV glossary terms

Usually used to refer to pure electric vehicles i.e. BEVs.

Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)


A car that has tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions of less than 75g/km, and is therefore eligible for up to £4500 of grants from the UK government.

Range-extended EV


An EV that has a small petrol generator to charge the battery when range is running low for longer trips.

New Energy Vehicle (NEV)

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This terms is used to refer to vehicles that are partially or fully powered by electricity, such as PHEVs and BEVs.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

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This term refers to an EV which uses a fuel cell to power its electric motor. The fuel cells create the electricity to power the EV.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle

Alt 1

This term is used for a vehicle that runs on a fuel other than the traditional petrol or diesel, this includes engines that don't solely rely on petroleum such as PHEV, EV or solar powered vehicles.

Type 1

Mitsubishi Outlander Charging - Type 1 Connector

A five pin plug that also features a clip, this connector is typically found on EVs manufactured by Asian brands e.g. Nissan.

Type 2

Tesla Charging - Type 2 Connector

A seven pin plug with one flat edge, this connector is typically found on EVs manufactured by European brands e.g. BMW.


Mitsubishi Outlander Charging - Chademo

A round four pin plug, this connector is only used for rapid charging points and is typically compatible with EVs manufactured by Asian brands e.g. Mitsubishi.

Combined Charging System (CCS)


Standardised by the EU, this connector is only used for rapid charging points and is typically compatible with EVs manufactured by European brands e.g. Volkswagen.

UK 3 pin

How Long Does it Take To Charge An Electric Car - 3 pin

The same plug as a standard UK electrical outlet, this connector can be used to charge some EVs but typically lacks the safety, speed and security features of dedicated systems.

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Top Up Charging

Top Up Charging 2

Charging your electric vehicle wherever you park it while out and about, topping up your charge as you go to prevent range anxiety. Public charge points can be found using our free Open Charge app.

Home Charging

Cost of charging an electric car - Home

Plugging your electric car in to charge while it is parked at home, typically overnight. A dedicated home charging point is the best and safest way of doing this.

En-route Charging

Nissan Leaf Charging - Motorway Range

Many motorway service stations now feature rapid charging points installed and run by Ecotricity, which allow you to charge your EV up to 80% capacity in as little as 30 minutes. Register on the Ecotricity website for a free swipe card and you can easily take long-distance trips in your electric car.



When a chargepoint is occupied by a vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) , preventing an EV charging. A polite note left on their windscreen with your phone number is generally the best response.

RFID Cards

Rfid Card Icon

Using the same technology used in public transport travel cards and contactless debit cards, these cards are used by many older chargepoints to allow access to EV charging.

Open Charge

Open Charge Icon

This technology allows you to charge your EV without RFID cards or memberships and is rolling out across the POD Point network. Simply use the POD Point app to find your chargepoint and confirm your charge.

Range Anxiety

Range Anxiety

The term given to a fear of running out of charge while driving a plug-in EV. This fear can be avoided by top-up charging wherever you park throughout the day.

Range per hour (RPH)

OLEV Grant - Faster

Miles of range per hour of charge.

Kilowatt hour (kWh)


A unit of energy equivalent to the energy transferred in one hour by one kilowatt of power. Electric car batteries are measured in kilowatt hours.

Single-phase Power

Single Phase 2

Typically found in most UK homes and businesses, this is what all standard 3 pin plug sockets provide. Single-phase electricity can power up to 7kW POD Point chargers for up to 30 miles of range per hour of charge (RPH).

Three-phase Power

Three Phase 2

Often found on commercial and industrial sites, this provides three alternating currents of the same voltage and is required for fast and rapid chargers.

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Trickle Charging


The slowest type of charging, this is best reserved for long overnight charges at home and is typically provided by a standard 3 pin plug, which lacks the safety features of a dedicated charging point.

Slow Charging


A better option for home charging, this allows for both top up and overnight charging through a dedicated chargingpoint. The 3.7kW POD Point Solo is a good example of this type of charging point and provides a faster charge than that from a 3 pin socket.

Fast Charging


Ideal for top up charging, this can provide up to 30 miles of range per hour of charging, or a full charge in a few hours. Fast chargers are ideal for keeping you going while out and about, and are typically found in public car parks via the Open Charge app.

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Rapid Charging


Usually only found in motorway service stations, rapid chargers typically allow for around 80% charge in as little as 20 minutes. This is useful for longer road trips and journeys beyond your local area.

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