Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)

A group of safety systems that monitor vehicle performance and the surrounding environment. ADAS alerts the driver of potentially hazardous conditions, and some, such as automatic emergency braking, can take corrective action if the driver fails to respond appropriately.

All-electric range
In a battery-electric car, the all-electric range is how far the vehicle can travel using just its battery, on a single charge.
Alternating Current (AC)
An electric current that regularly changes direction. It is the standard electrical current in homes. Traditional automotive alternators produce alternating current, which is converted to direct (DC) current.

Short for “ampere,” an amp is a unit of electrical current. It measures how much electricity is passing through a point at a given time. In regard to EVs, it is used to describe chargers. Higher amperage generally means faster charging.

Autonomous Vehicle

A car that uses advanced technology to accelerate, brake and steer itself. There are five levels of vehicle automation.

An energy storage device that provides power in EVs. They are recharged by connecting the vehicle to an electrical outlet or charging station.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
A vehicle powered entirely by an electric battery with one or more electric motors for propulsion.
Battery Management System
An electronic computer system within the vehicle that manages and protects the battery during driving and recharging.
Battery Pack
The entirety of an EV’s battery. It is composed of thousands of battery cells grouped together in battery modules, all contained in a protective structural enclosure.
carbon footprint
The combined greenhouse gas emissions generated by a person, place or thing.
A device attached to the end of a power cord that connects to an EV. This connector, used for DC charging, can reach capacities up to 50kW. Currently, CHAdeMo compatibility is found mainly on models from Mitsubishi and Nissan.
Connecting an EV to an external power source to replenish the battery power.
Charging Point
Any charging device, public or private, through which an EV can be charged.
Charging Station
Publicly available locations where EVs can be recharged.
Combined Charging System (CCS)
A device attached to the end of a power cord that connects to an EV. CCS is used in DC charging and can reach power levels of up to 350 kW.
The loss of a battery’s ability to hold a charge. EV batteries degrade slowly, typically at a rate of 1-2% per year.
Direct Current (DC)
An electrical current that flows in one direction. It is the type of current that comes from a battery. When being charged by alternating current (AC), EVs need to convert the power to DC to replenish their batteries.
Direct to Consumer
An automobile purchase occurring between a manufacturer and consumer, rather than through a dealership or third party.
Electric motor
Motors that convert electricity into mechanical energy.
Electric vehicle (EV)
A battery-powered vehicle that uses one or more electric motors for propulsion.
Electric vehicle supply equipment
Another term for the wall chargers and charging stations used to power electric vehicles.
emergency roadside ASSISTANCE (ERS)
A service that sends assistance to motorists when their vehicles suffer a mechanical failure or are otherwise inoperable.
EPA Rated
The measurement of a vehicle’s efficiency as tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
EXtreme Temperatures

Significantly high or low temperatures that have a negative effect on an EV’s range.

Fast chargers

A high-power charging station capable of bringing a depleted EV battery to 80% in a half-hour.


A front storage space in EVs is located in the area that houses the engine in gas-powered cars. The name is a combination of “front” and “trunk.”

Fuel cell electric vehicles

Powered by hydrogen, these environmentally friendly cars produce no harmful emissions (just water vapor). The Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson are examples of hydrogen-powered vehicles available in the United States.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Byproduct gases from internal-combustion engines in cars that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a ‘greenhouse effect’ that contributes to climate change.

Home charging unit

An electric vehicle charger that can be mounted inside or outside one’s home.

Hybrid electric vehicle

A type of car that uses both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor for improved fuel economy.

Givebacks to purchasers of an EV and/or EV infrastructure. These incentives can include tax credits, rebates, discounted toll fare, etc.
INTERNAL Combustion Engine (ICE)

The gas-powered source of energy in traditional cars. Byproducts of an internal combustion engine include harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. ICE vehicles can be fueled by gasoline, diesel or compressed natural gas (CNG).


A device in EVs that converts the battery’s direct current (DC) to alternating current (AS) to power the motor.

Also known as a “J plug” or “Type 1 plug,” it is the North American standard electrical connector for EVs.

A unit of electrical power equal to 1,000 watts. It is used to measure the power generated by an EV’s battery.


A unit of measurement for energy consumption showing how much power an energy source can provide in one hour.

Level 1 (120V) charging
This car charging is done with your typical household power outlet. It is the slowest of the three levels of car charging, with a full charge sometimes taking upward of 20 hours.
Level 2 (240V) charging

The next step up as far as chargers go, with the ability to add about 70 miles of range per hour to your EV. Most public charging stations are Level 2.

Level 3 (480V) charging

The fastest of the three charging levels, and another term for the fast chargers mentioned above.

Lithium-Ion Battery
The type of battery used on most EVs is due to its high energy density and ability to be continually recharged.

Like miles per gallon, but for alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles. It stands for miles per gallon equivalent.

Neighborhood electric vehicles

Smaller, battery-electric vehicles with a top speed of 25 mph. Street-legal in 46 states, most are relegated to roads with speeds limits under 45 mph.

Noise pollution

Excessive noise caused by machines and motor vehicles, which can be detrimental to health. Diesel engines are typically louder than gas ones, and electric cars are quieter than both.

Off-Peak Charging

Charging an electric vehicle when demand for electricity is low. Utilities often provide lower prices for charging during this time.


A unit of measurement of electrical resistance. Resistance affects a material’s ability to conduct electricity. Higher resistance creates a slower flow of electricity.

On-Board Charger

A device found in EVs that converts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) to charge the battery.

Ownership Options

The choice to buy or lease an automobile.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

Hybrid cars with huge batteries that have to be charged from a power outlet or at a charging station, as opposed to traditional hybrids, which get the energy for their batteries from features like regenerative braking. There are two main types of plug-in hybrids. Those are:

  1. Extended-range plug-ins: In these cars, gasoline is only used once the battery is drained, and it only powers the electric motor.
  2. Parallel or blended plug-ins: In which both gasoline and electricity are used to propel the car most of the time (at slow speeds, it’s sometimes just the electric motor that makes the car go).

The powertrain of an automobile includes the engine, transmission, drive shaft, suspension and wheels. The Hyundai IONIQ is available with three electrified powertrains — hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric.

price parity

When the price of two different commodities is the same. Price parity is often used in discussion of the cost comparison between EVs and gas-powered cars.

Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle

A tax-credit eligible electric vehicle.


The distance an EV can travel on a single full charge.

Range Anxiety

A motorist’s concern that an EV will run out of battery charge before reaching the destination.

Regenerative braking

A system in which the mechanical energy generated by physically braking is converted to electricity to power an electric motor.

SAe j1772

Also known as a “J plug” or “Type 1 plug,” it is the North American standard electrical connector for EVs.

State of Charge

The level of charge an EV battery has at any given time relative to its capacity.


Tesla’s propriety EV charger that can only be used on Tesla vehicles. According to the automaker, these powerful chargers can add up to 200 miles of range in as little as 15 minutes. Tesla owns and operates a network of more than 35,000 superchargers across North America.

Tax Credit

A financial incentive that subtracts the amount of the credit from a taxpayer’s federal or state tax bill.


A way to measure the force that causes things to twist or rotate. Some electric cars have 100% of their torque available at 0 rpm, which gives the strong and quick acceleration.

total cost of ownership (TCO)

The complete financial cost of owning a vehicle, including, but not limited to, the price paid for the car, as well as registration, insurance, maintenance and energy costs.

Traction Motor

The motor found in an EV that uses power from the battery to drive the vehicle’s wheels, propelling the car forward.

Utility Rate

The retail cost of electricity. Utility rates vary by region and fluctuate during peak and off-peak hours.

Vehicle Control Unit

The processing center of an EV, coordinating the vehicle’s power and motor control, regenerative braking, load management and power supply.


A unit that measures the flow of electrical current between two points. Some refer to it as “electrical pressure.” In regard to electric car chargers, the higher the voltage, the faster power is transferred to the battery.


A contract issued to the purchaser of a vehicle guaranteeing the manufacturer will cover all repairs and/or replacements during a specified period of time.

Worldwide Harmonized Light Test Procedure (WLTP)

A test measuring a passenger car’s fuel consumption and emissions.

Yearly Maintenance

The inspection and, if necessary, repair of an automobile that should be done at least once per year by a qualified mechanic.

Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEH)

A vehicle that emits no exhaust or other pollutants while in use.