EV Charging Terms Explained

EV Charging Terms Explained

Entering the world of electric cars is exciting, but may be overwhelming due to the overflow of fresh EV terminology, jargon, and abbreviations. Do not worry though, we are here to support you in your journey!

This is precisely why we've assembled this straightforward guide to help you navigate through the most common EV terms that you'll encounter while researching, purchasing, and enjoying your new vehicle. So, if you've ever found yourself curious about the role of volts and amps in the charging process, or if you've pondered the meaning of "kWh," then you're in the right place!


Five Key EV Charging Terms

Let's embark on a mental journey to simplify the concept of EV charging. Picture, for a moment, that you're driving a car fueled by water, and envision replenishing your vehicle with a standard garden hose. Strangely enough, this analogy shares some parallels with EV charging!

Ampere (Amp):

Amp, or ampere, is the unit used to measure and quantify electrical current. Think of it as the flow rate of water through your garden hose. Similar to how wider hoses can handle a greater volume of water, high-amp chargers can draw a swifter flow of electrons from your power source to your vehicle.

Voltage (Volt):

Voltage signifies the potential of energy. In our "water car" analogy, volts can be equated to water pressure. An increase in water pressure results in a more forceful spray, and an increase in voltage translates to more potent and rapid charging.

Kilowatt (kW):

Kilowatt, often referred to as kW, measures the power consumption of an electric appliance.

Energy (kWh - Kilowatt-hours):

Kilowatt-hours (kWh) refers to the amount of energy consumed during one hour of charging. In our analogy, this equates to the total volume of water passing through the hose in an hour. Higher kWh chargers enable EV owners to recharge their vehicles notably quicker. You can calculate kWh using a basic formula: amp x volt = kWh.

State of Charge (SoC):

State of Charge, commonly known as SoC, indicates how full your EV battery is, represented in percentages from 0 to 100. It serves as the EV equivalent of a traditional fuel gauge and proves to be a practical tool during the charging process.


Three Key EV Terms:

Power (Watts):

Power is measured in watts and describes the rate of energy transfer, or like a more familiar term - horsepower.
Like horsepower, watts provide a means to conceptualize the power of an EV, including factors like speed, torque, and acceleration. Given the substantial power requirements of electric cars, they are typically rated in kilowatts (1,000 watts). You can determine horsepower using the equation: kW x 1.369 = Horsepower.

Maximum Range:

Maximum range is the distance your EV can travel on a single charge.
Prospective EV buyers should gain a clear understanding of their daily commuting and travel patterns to ensure that their vehicle's range aligns with their lifestyle. Research indicates that the average American drives about 40 miles daily, indicating that even EVs with the shortest range available should suffice for most U.S. drivers.

Maximum Charge Rate:

The maximum charge rate defines a vehicle's capacity to accept electricity during charging, specifying the amount of power it can accommodate. For instance, if your maximum charge rate is 50kW (a fairly typical rate), then high-capacity fast-chargers exceeding 150kW will be limited to your rate.

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