Unveiling the Language of EVs: 7 Key Terms You Must Know

Unveiling the Language of EVs: 7 Key Terms You Must Know

Embark on a journey into the world of electric vehicles (EVs) as we unveil the essential language through 7 key terms you must know.

The dominance of internal combustion engines, which has lasted over a century as the standard power source for vehicles, is now being challenged by electric motors.

With the advent of modern electric vehicles (EVs) and their advanced technologies, a new lexicon specific to these battery-powered vehicles has emerged. Terms like MPGe (Miles Per Gallon Equivalent), V2L (vehicle-to-load), and kWh (kilowatt-hour) are becoming integral parts of automotive conversations.

To navigate this evolving landscape, it’s essential to grasp these seven key EV tech terms:

Motor Power: In North America, electric motors’ power is often measured in horsepower, akin to internal combustion engines. Alternatively, it can be expressed in kilowatts (kW), with 1 kW equating approximately to 1.34 horsepower. For EVs with multiple motors, peak power may not align across all motors, affecting the overall horsepower figure.

Battery Capacity: The energy stored in an EV’s battery is quantified in kilowatt-hours (kWh), akin to how utilities bill for electricity usage in homes. For reference, a gallon of gasoline holds about 33.7 kWh of energy. Understanding battery capacity helps gauge an EV’s range and performance.

Home Charging: Most EV mileage currently comes from home or workplace charging. Level 1 charging uses a standard 120-volt outlet, while Level 2 employs a more powerful 240-volt circuit, similar to those used for electric stoves. Level 2 chargers significantly accelerate recharging speeds, making them ideal for daily EV use.

DC Fast Charging: Designed for long-distance travel, DC fast charging stations use direct current (DC) to recharge EV batteries swiftly. Unlike home charging, which uses alternating current (AC), DC fast charging is found at highway rest stops and can charge a battery to 80% capacity relatively quickly.

Charging Rate: Charging speed is measured in kilowatts (kW). AC chargers (Level 1 and 2) vary from 1.0 to 19.2 kW, while DC fast chargers range from 24 kW up to 350 kW. The actual charging rate depends on factors like battery level and temperature.

MPGe: Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe) is a measure of an EV’s efficiency, equating its energy use to that of a gasoline vehicle in miles per gallon. This EPA metric helps consumers compare fuel efficiency across different vehicle types.

Bidirectional Charging: Also known as vehicle-to-load (V2L), bidirectional charging allows EVs to export electricity from their batteries through built-in outlets. This capability supports applications ranging from powering tools at job sites to serving as emergency backup power for homes during blackouts.

Embracing these terms equips you with the foundational knowledge needed to navigate the burgeoning world of electric vehicles.