Electric Vehicle terminology explained

With the increased popularity of electric vehicles has come the introduction of acronyms and terminology that many of us haven’t heard before. We’re breaking down the most popular electric vehicle-related terms to keep you up to date with the jargon.


Battery Electric Vehicle is the term used to describe a fully-electric vehicle. This means the vehicle runs solely on power supplied by the battery, and needs recharging. BEVs produce zero exhaust emissions.

Charging speed

Charging speed refers to the amount of time it takes to charge an electric car from empty to full, although most drivers choose to top-up charge rather than wait for their battery to run empty.

Driving range

This refers to the distance that an electric vehicle can cover in a defined speed cycle (such as WLTP) on a single charge of the battery. Driving range is the equivalent of a fuel-powered car’s mileage.


EV refers to Electric Vehicle, which can often be used to describe all non-traditionally-fuel-powered vehicles, including battery electric vehicle, hybrid vehicles, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.


Hybrid Electric Vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine alongside one or more electric motors, which uses energy stored in the battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and the engine, rather than needing to be plugged in.

ORA 03 charging


Internal Combustion Engines are the term to describe traditional fuel-powered vehicles. ICE refers to both petrol and diesel vehicles.


Kilowatt is a measurement of electrical power. 1kW is approximately the same as 1.36 horsepower.


Kilowatt per hour, short for 1000 watts per hour, is the measurement of electric energy over time. An EV’s battery capacity is referred to in terms of kWh.


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles are hybrid electric vehicles equipped with a rechargeable battery pack. PHEVs are powered by both an internal combustion engine and a battery, which is charged both by plugging a charging cable into an electric power source as well as internally. Once the battery power has been used, the hybrid technology switches to the conventional engine.

Range anxiety

Range anxiety refers to the worry experienced by EV owners about the ability of their vehicle to complete a journey on a full charge, or the availability of charging stations along the way.

Regenerative braking

This refers to the braking system which acts as a mini generator by storing kinetic energy in the battery, saving fuel and helping you travel further.

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