Electric Car Glossary

Everything you need to know about choosing, charging and driving an electric car.

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Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Bev 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 charge point).

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

Phev 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)

Piv Piv

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

Electric vehicle (EV)

EV glossary terms EV glossary terms

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

Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)

Ulev 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

Re Re

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

Type 1

Mitsubishi Outlander Charging - Type 1 Connector 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 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 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)

Ccs 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 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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Tesla Model S

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One of the best-known battery electric cars, this is a luxurious four-door saloon that has a range of well over 200 miles and can go from 0-60mph in just under three seconds. The one catch is the price, which starts at around £62000 before government grants.

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X Icon Tesla Model X Icon

This is Tesla’s SUV offering and comes with all the same luxuries as the Model S, with the added benefit of seating up to seven people. Expect the price to be similarly premium when the Model X launches in late 2016.

BMW i3

Bmw I3 Icon Bmw I3 Icon

A radical offering from BMW, this futuristic-looking car combines features like an all-digital display with surprisingly quick performance and the option of an extended range model that has a small engine to charge the battery when needed.

BMW i8

Bmw I8 Bmw I8

BMW’s high-end plug-in hybrid, this i8 is firmly in supercar territory in terms of price, looks and performance. The powerful petrol engine is the main driver here, but an electric motor gives the option of pure electric power for a limited range.

Nissan LEAF

Nissan Leaf Icon 2 Nissan Leaf Icon 2

The LEAF was one of the first truly successful EVs on the market and continues to be one of the most popular options to this day. The clever design looks fresh, the car can seat four passengers comfortably and it has a range of around 100 miles, making the LEAF a great mainstream option.

Renault ZOE

Renault Zoe Icon Renault Zoe Icon

More conventional-looking than the Nissan LEAF but with similar benefits, the ZOE is a good family car with a range of 100 miles with the 22kWh battery or up to 180 miles with the 41kWh battery, while being compact enough for short trips around the city.

Volvo XC90

Volvo Xc90 Icon Volvo Xc90 Icon

The ever-popular XC90 crossover now comes in an intelligent plug-in hybrid version, which allows for either pure electric driving at speeds of up to 75mph or hybrid power for longer drives, which also gives a significantly higher MPG than a traditional petrol engined car and therefore offers serious cost savings.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Golf Gte Icon Golf Gte Icon

Based on the same design as the classic Golf, the GTE is a plug-in hybrid with a pure electric range of around 30 miles and a hybrid range of around 500 miles for the driver who wants a sportier hatchback option.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Phev Icon 2 Phev Icon 2

The Outlander PHEV is another option if you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid SUV, and can go around 30 miles on pure electric power for short drives around the city. Even at high speeds, the electric motor can assist the main petrol engine for an extra boost.

Top Up Charging

Top Up Charging 2 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 the free Open Charge app.

Home Charging

Cost of charging an electric car - Home 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 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 charge point 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 Rfid Card Icon

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

Open Charge

Open Charge Icon 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 charge point and confirm your charge.

Range Anxiety

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 OLEV Grant - Faster

Miles of range per hour of charge.

Kilowatt hour (kWh)

Kwh 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 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 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

Trickle Trickle

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

Slow Slow

A better option for home charging, this allows for both top up and overnight charging through a dedicated charging point. 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

Fast Fast

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

Rocket Rocket

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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Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS)

Cost of charging an electric car - Home Cost of charging an electric car - Home

More commonly known as the OLEV grant, this provides up to £500 towards the cost of installing of a home charging point for your electric vehicle.

Plug-In Car Grant

OLEV Grant - Charging Points OLEV Grant - Charging Points

This government scheme contributes up to £4500 towards the purchase of an eligible plug-in electric vehicle that fall into the category of ultra low emissions vehicle (ULEV). The grant is deducted from the purchase price and does not need claiming back retrospectively by the driver, essentially providing an automatic discount.

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Hashtag Hashtag

The hashtag used on Twitter by UK electric car drivers wanting to share their experiences and photos. Look here for hints, tips and discussion, as well as a quick way to check the status of public charge points.


Twitter Twitter

POD Point’s official Twitter feed, with all the latest EV news and announcements of new public charge points

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Open Charge App

Open Charge Icon Open Charge Icon

Available for iOS and Android, this app maps all the public Open Charge charging points and tracks their availability in real time. Download it to access free charging at hundreds of charge points across the country, or visit the online version.

Zap Map

Zap Map Zap Map

A comprehensive service available both online and as an app, this maps the vast majority of public charge points across the UK with real time information where available.

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