Glossary for EV's
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)A car that runs purely on electric power, stored in an on-board battery that is charged from mains electricity (typically at a dedicated chargepoint).
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)A car with a combination of a traditional internal combustion engine and a rechargeable battery, allowing for either pure electric-powered driving or extended range from a combination of the petrol engine and electric motor.
Plug-in vehicle (PiV)A blanket term for any vehicle with a plug socket, including BEVs and PHEVs.
Electric vehicle (EV)Can be used as a catch-all term for BEVs, PHEVs and REx, but often used to refer to pure electric vehicles i.e. BEVs.
Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)A car that has official tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions of less than 75g/km, and is therefore eligible for grants and benefits from the UK government.
Range-extended EV (REx)An EV that has only an electric drivetrain, but a small petrol generator to charge the battery when range is depleted for longer trips. Often considered a type of PHEV.
Hybrid CarA catch all term for any vehicle that has a petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor. The main types are full, mild and plug-in hybrid.
Full Hybrid or
“Self-Charging” Hybrid
A 100% fossil fuelled hybrid car. The most common is the Toyota Prius. A small battery is charged through regenerative braking that generates some electric power in combination with a combustion engine, but the car’s energy originates from petrol. The electric motor can only power the car itself for short periods at low speeds.
Mild HybridMild hybrids also have a small electric motor, but unlike full hybrids, it is solely used to assist the petrol engine. The car cannot drive on battery power alone.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)This term refers to an EV which uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power its electric motor. The fuel cells create the electricity to power the car.
Alternative Fuel VehicleThis term is used for a vehicle that runs on a fuel other than traditional petrol or diesel. It includes engines that don't solely rely on petroleum such as PHEV, EV, FCEVS, but also includes HEVs.

EV charging connector types

Type 1

A five pin plug that also features a clip, this connector is common in the US and is typically found on EVs manufactured by Asian and US brands (e.g. Nissan, Mitsubishi and GM/Vauxhall/Opel). However its prominence is fading as Nissan have moved to Type 2.
Type 2

A seven pin plug with one flat edge, this connector was originally favoured by European brands e.g. BMW, VW group, but is now becoming the most popular on all cars. Can carry three-phase power and locks into the socket of a charging point.

A round four pin plug, this connector is only used for rapid charging points and is typically compatible with EVs manufactured by Asian brands e.g. Mitsubishi and Nissan. Can offer Vehicle to Grid (V2G) but has less power than CCS and requires two separate sockets.
Combined Charging System (CCS)

Standardised by the EU, this connector combines two DC pins arranged below the Type 2 AC connector and uses 3 of the Type 2s pins. Found on most Type 2 BEVs.
UK 3 pin

The plug for a standard UK electrical outlet. This connector can be used to charge some EVs in an emergency but lacks the safety, speed and security features of a dedicated chargepoint.

Key concepts

Top Up ChargingThe practice of plugging in your electric vehicle whenever you park while out and about, making use of the time your car is not in use to add charge to your battery. This helps avoid range anxiety and means you will rarely find yourself waiting for your car to charge.

Public Pod Points are ideal for top up charging.
Home ChargingPlugging your electric car in to charge while it is parked at home, typically overnight. A dedicated home charging point is the best and safest way of doing this.
En-route ChargingEn route charging typically requires high powered rapid chargers, that put >100 miles into your electric car in the time it takes to grab a coffee, a snack and use the facilities. This enables you to take long-distance trips in your electric car, but is not needed day-to-day.
ICEdWhen a chargepoint is occupied by a vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) , preventing an EV from charging. A polite note left on their windscreen with your phone number is generally the best response.
RFID CardsUsing the same technology used in public transport travel cards, these cards are used by many older chargepoints to allow access to EV charging.
The Pod Point NetworkOn the Pod Point Network you can charge your EV without RFID cards or membership. Simply use the Pod Point app to find a chargepoint and start your charge. Alternatively, some Pod Point rapid chargers can be used with just the tap of your contactless bank card.
Contactless PaymentAvailable on some rapid chargers, it is possible to start and pay for your charging session with the tap of your contactless credit/debit card.
Range AnxietyThe term given to a fear of running out of charge while driving a plug-in electric vehicle. This fear can be avoided by top-up charging wherever you park throughout the day and en-route charging on longer journeys.
Range per hour (RPH)Miles of range per hour of charge.
Kilowatt hour (kWh)A unit of energy equivalent to the energy transferred in one hour by one thousand watts of power. Electric car batteries are typically measured in kilowatt hours. 1 kilowatt hour is typically 3-4 miles of range in a BEV.
Smart chargingA catch-all term for a series of functions that a Wi-Fi connected chargepoint can perform. Typically this refers to things like load balancing, energy monitoring and “managed charging”, i.e. shifting charging periods away from periods of high grid demand and/or low grid supply and to periods of low grid demand and/or high grid supply.
Vehicle to Grid (V2G)The concept of using your electric car battery to release power back through the charger either for use in the local building or back into the grid at large during time of high grid demand.
Single-phase PowerTypically found in most UK homes and some businesses, this is what all standard 3 pin plug sockets provide. A single-phase electricity supply can power a dedicated chargepoint up to 7kW.
Three-phase PowerOften found on commercial and industrial sites, this provides three alternating currents and allows for 22kW AC charging. Significant three-phase power availability is also a prerequisite for DC rapid charger installation.
The Rapid Charge ParadoxThe counter-intuitive realisation that it is only at the fastest chargers where EV drivers typically spend time waiting to charge. This is because most charging is done at slower chargepoints that charge the car while the driver is otherwise occupied.

Learn how to charge an electric car

Types of charging

Trickle ChargingThe slowest type of charging, this is best reserved for long overnight charges at home and is either provided safely by de-rated dedicated chargepoints, or through a standard 3 pin plug, which lacks certain safety features.
Slow ChargingA better option for home charging, this allows for both top up and overnight charging through a dedicated chargepoint. The 3.7kW Pod Point Solo is a good example of this type of charging point and provides faster charging times than a 3 pin socket.
Fast ChargingIdeal for top up charging, most fast chargepoints offer 7kW, ideal for keeping you going while out and about. Typically found in homes, workplaces and in public car parks where people typically spend circa 40 mins or more. Maximum charging speed may be limited by your vehicle’s onboard charger. You can find more information on our vehicle guides.
Rapid ChargingTypically used for en-route charging on long distance journeys, rapid chargers can also be used as occasional “caught short” chargers, particularly if available somewhere convenient, e.g. a supermarket. Rapid charging takes place from 43kW power and above. Maximum charging speed may be limited by your vehicle’s onboard charger. You can find more information on our vehicle guides.