Electric car terms: what do I need to know? – Yahoo News UK | CarTailz

If you’re in the electric car market, you may have encountered the sometimes bewildering array of terms and acronyms scattered across the segment. Knowing what they all mean — and which ones are important — can feel pretty daunting at first.

However, we will look at some of the most important EV terms that you really need to know. So let’s dive in.

battery

The Mercedes EQS uses one of the largest batteries for electric cars. (Mercedes Benz)

A battery is the heart of an electric vehicle. After all, without a battery, an electric vehicle cannot store energy that would not allow it to be driven.

You see batteries measured in kilowatt hours – or kWh – and the higher the number in front, the bigger the battery and the likely longer range. For example, the Mercedes EQS has a 107.8 kWh battery that can deliver a range of up to 453 miles.

Load

There are different ways to charge an electric vehicle.  (Fiat)

There are different ways to charge an electric vehicle. (Fiat)

Charging keeps your electric vehicle charged. However, compared to refueling a petrol or diesel car, there are a number of options. Everything is also measured in kilowatts – or kW – with a higher number of kilowatts meaning faster charging.

Slow charger

Slow chargers can often be found on the side of the road.  (connected notch)

Slow chargers can often be found on the side of the road. (connected notch)

A slow charger is expectedly one that offers a more modest power supply to an electric car. They are typically rated at around 3.6kW and may include charging stations, e.g. B. those found in street lamps and curbs in urban areas. These are best suited for overnight charges as they take more time to fully charge an electric vehicle.

fast charger

Fast chargers are designed between 7kW and 22kW.  (Audi)

Fast chargers are designed between 7kW and 22kW. (Audi)

Fast chargers are designed for a power of 7 to 22 kW. They are often ones that plug into homes and will also be the most common public chargers you will come across.

Depending on the size of your EV battery, a fast charger can fully charge an EV in just three hours. With a less powerful 7kW charger, expect about eight hours for an average sized EV.

Fast and ultra-fast chargers

The fastest ultra-fast EV chargers can charge up to 360 kW.  (Gridserve)

The fastest ultra-fast EV chargers can charge up to 360 kW. (Gridserve)

Capable of delivering the fastest charge, Rapid and Ultra Rapid chargers are ideal for charging when you’re halfway through a trip and don’t want to spend too much time hanging around. Fast chargers are rated for up to 50kW of power, which allows them to deliver a decent amount of charge in a short amount of time.

Ultra Rapid devices, on the other hand, can charge at speeds from over 100 kW up to 360 kW. These could deliver a 0-80 percent charge in just 20 minutes.

connections

Electric cars have different connections.  (Volkswagen)

Electric cars have different connections. (Volkswagen)

Plugs are – as you might expect – the way you connect your electric vehicle to a charging station. Here in the UK there are a few different types of hookups that you might come across.

The first is a British three-pin. Although electric cars can accept this as a charging method, it is not recommended by vehicle manufacturers, nor is it very fast. It should really only be used as a last resort.

Then you have Type 1. This was an early connector type and is not commonly used today. You can find it, for example, on older versions of the Nissan Leaf.

The next is Type 2. It is a three pin connector and is one of the most common on electric vehicles. It lets you connect to wallboxes and both slow and fast public chargers safely and reliably, although it only really gets by with lower outputs for slower overnight charges.

CHAdeMO is next. Although not as popular these days, Nissan used it in their ever-popular Leaf. It can, mind you, accept fast charges, which means shorter waiting times.

Finally, there is – at least in the UK, as other connectors are available in countries like America – CCS or Combined Charging System. This is the most common quick connector type and combines two DC pins located below the Type 2 AC connector. Essentially, this is the connector you use to get the fastest possible charge, and it’s found on most electric vehicles today.

preconditioning

With preconditioning you can preheat or cool down the car before you reach it.  (Volvo)

With preconditioning you can preheat or cool down the car before you reach it. (Volvo)

Preconditioning is a really handy feature that many electric vehicles offer. It gives you the option to pre-heat or pre-cool the interior of your car before you get in, to ensure it’s at the perfect temperature before you get in. You may be able to do this via a smartphone app connected to your car. You’ll also be able to de-mist or de-ice your windows without having to go outside.

This also happens while your car is connected to a charger, so it doesn’t use up your car’s range. It also pre-heats your battery to ensure it is at the optimum operating temperature.

RFID card

Some electric car chargers require an RFID card to start and stop a charge.  (Audi)

Some electric car chargers require an RFID card to start and stop a charge. (Audi)

If you come across an older charger, you might see it requesting an RFID card for payment. These are cards issued by a fee provider and linked to a user’s account, allowing them to pay fees simply by holding the card up to the reader.

However, modern charging units still offer RFID, but must offer the possibility of contactless payment for those who are not subscribed to a service.

Smart charging

With Smart Charging you can program when the car starts and stops charging.  (Kia)

With Smart Charging you can program when the car starts and stops charging. (Kia)

Perhaps you hear the term “intelligent charging” more often. It’s a clever system that uses Wi-Fi to allow an EV charging station to “talk” to other services. For example, a device with smart charging capabilities may be able to enable overnight charging for a vehicle when energy prices are at their lowest, or even switch off charging when there is a surge.

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