Glossary

Battery Management System (BMS): Onboard computer system that monitors the vehicle battery and may be constructed into the charging system. The BMS helps maintain stable, safe operation of the battery pack and often optimizes performance.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard: The Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for average fuel economy, expressed in miles per gallon (mpg), of a manufacturer’s fleet of passenger cars or light trucks manufactured for sale in the United States for a given model year.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): A by-product of internal combustion engines that acts as a greenhouse gas, which traps heat by reflecting radiation toward the earth’s surface and can contribute to the warming of the atmosphere.

Carbon Monoxide (CO): A colorless, odorless gas produced by automobile engines. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CO contributes to the formation of smog, or ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory problems.

Charging Station: See [“Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment”|Some tooltip]

Electric Vehicle (EV): A vehicle powered by electricity, which is generally provided by batteries. EVs qualify for the zero-emission vehicle category.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE): The charging equipment used to obtain a charge for an EV or BEV battery system.

Level 1 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment: One-hundred-twenty-volt charging equipment that fully charges an EV (starting with an empty battery) in about 18 hours, or a PHEV may charge to capacity in six (6) hours. “Wall plug” charging, equivalent to running a hair dryer. Recharges roughly 5 miles of driving for each hour plugged in.

Level 2 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment: Two-hundred-forty-volt charging equipment that is quicker for charging EVs or BEVs in no more than eight hours, depending on battery and vehicle type. Special electric car plug, equivalent to a clothes dryer. Recharges roughly 25–50 miles of driving for each hour plugged in.

Level 3 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment : High-voltage DC charging equipment that requires a three-phase electric service. This is the fastest way to recharge an EV or BEV to 80 percent capacity, but it is commercially available only in limited locations.

Electricity: Electric current used as a power source. Electricity can be generated from a variety of sources, including oil, coal, nuclear, hydro, natural gas, wind, and solar. In electric vehicles, onboard rechargeable batteries store electricity to power electric motors.

Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV): An electric vehicle with a rechargeable battery as well as an onboard gas-powered generator to recharge the battery for extended mileage. Also known as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Green House Gases (GHG: )A gas in the atmosphere that prevents heat from radiating back into space, which consequently results in a warming of the planet (known as the “greenhouse effect”). CO2 is a very common greenhouse gas, but there are also others like ozone (O3), methane (CH4), water vapor, and other trace gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): A vehicle powered by two or more energy sources, one of which is electricity. HEVs may combine the engine and fuel of a conventional vehicle with the batteries and electric motor of an electric vehicle into a single drive train.

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE): An engine that uses the combustion of fossil fuels in order to power a vehicle, resulting in the expulsion of greenhouse gases and other tailpipe emissions.

Investor Owned Utility (IOU): A utility owned by private investors, as opposed to one owned by a public trust or agency.

International Standards Organization (ISO): An international non-governmental organization consisting of representatives from 163 countries that sets standards for things like vehicle efficiency and other international issues of importance.

Lithium Ion Battery: A type of rechargeable battery in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode (anode) to the positive electrode (cathode) during discharge, and from the cathode to the anode when charged in order to produce electricity.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM): Usually refers to an automotive brand, such as Ford, GM, or Chrysler.

Off-Peak Charging: Charging the battery pack during periods of low demand for electricity, usually at night. This can reduce the cost of charging and the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity grid.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): Hybrid electric vehicles with a substantial battery pack that can be charged by an external source other than fossil fuels (i.e. plugged into household electricity). These vehicles often have the ability to travel in a “pure electric mode” without using any conventional fuels for a limited distance.

Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV): A vehicle that has zero evaporative emissions (fewer emissions while driving than a typical gasoline car has while idling) and a 15-year / 150,000-mile warranty.

Public Utility Commission (PUC): The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in Colorado has full economic and quality of service regulatory authority over intrastate telecommunication services; and investor-owned electric, gas and water utilities, as well as partial regulatory control over municipal utilities and electric associations.

Pure Electric Vehicle: An electric vehicle that relies solely upon electricity for its propulsion, whereas a hybrid or PHEV uses an internal combustion engine in addition to electricity to power the vehicle.

Regenerative Braking Systems : An EV braking system that uses the energy typically lost as heat due to friction during conventional braking to charge the on-board batteries.

Renewable Portfolio Standard: A regulation that requires a minimum production of renewable energy by utilities in order to provide cleaner technologies for the respective communities.

Tailpipe Emissions: Exhaust emissions released through the vehicle tailpipe. The Environmental Protection Agency publishes allowable emission levels and vehicle certification standards in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Time-of-Use (TOU): A term referring to the difference in rates an electricity user pays depending on the time of day they are using electricity. Currently, these rates only apply to commercial and industrial customers in most parts of the country. Also see “Off-Peak Charging”.

Volt: A unit of measurement used to determine the potential strength of an electrical current.

Watt: A measurement of total electrical energy.

Watt-hour: The amount of energy required to power a one-watt load for a full hour.

Wells-to-Wheels: A term referring to the entire amount of energy used in the production and consumption processes of a vehicle