With Level 2 charging, AC power is delivered to the vehicle where it is converted to DC power for charging the batteries
All Electric Range (AER) — The range an electric vehicle is able to reach by only using electricity.
Alternating Current (AC) — A modified electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals, typically used in residential neighborhoods for its efficient costs over long distances.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) — A vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas, liquified natural gas, liquified petroleum gas, propane, methanol, ethanol, or electricity, such as EV, PHEV, FCEVs, and also HEVs.
Amp — A unit of electric current.
Battery — An electricity storage medium that feeds electric current to the motor, usually made of lithium-ion construction.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) — A vehicle that operates only on battery-stored power, also known as an electric vehicle or EV.
Charging — Refueling an electric car’s battery with electricity, the EV equivalent of fueling up a tank for a gas-powered car.
Charging Point — The location where electric vehicles can be plugged in and charged, whether at home, work, or in a publicly accessible location.
Charging Station — A piece of equipment or element within an infrastructure that safely supplies electric energy to recharge electric vehicles, also known as an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment).
Connector — A device attached to the cable from an EVSE or charging station, that connects to an electric vehicle and allows it to charge. Most common in North America is the SAE J1772.
Direct Current (DC) — An electric current of constant direction, electricity in its unmodified form. Electric car motors are either AC or DC.
DC Fast Charging — The fastest and highest-powered method to charge electric vehicles with an electrical output ranging from 50kW – 120kw. DC Fast Charging is sometimes also known as Level 3 Charging.
Electric Vehicle (EV) — Any vehicle that uses electric motors, either in full or in part, as propulsion.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) — The technical name for these products is EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), commonly called a charging station or charging dock. These charging stations are built into the EV charging standard for electrical safety; first for the user, then the vehicle and then the power grid. The charging stations primary function is as electrical safety equipment. A standard home charging station, whether it is a Level 1 (120V) station or a Level 2 (240V) station, will provide pass through AC power to the vehicle for charging. The vehicle will convert this AC power to DC power and utilize that to recharge the batteries, the actual charger is on-board the vehicle. A charging station implements several layers of redundant safety features to protect the user from potential electrical hazards while connecting and disconnecting the station to the vehicle for charging.
ETL Label — The listing label of Intertek. ETL is also an NRTL but does not develop standards. ETL tests to UL standards.
Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) — A vehicle that uses an electric motor for propulsion but also has an internal combustion engine onboard to provide power for a generator, which maintains a minimum charge level on the battery. As long as fuel is in the tank and topped off, an EREV has unlimited range.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) — Vehicles that use a fuel cell, usually hydrogen-based, to generate electricity that runs an onboard motor.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) — Vehicle that uses both an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) and an electric motor with batteries. However, unlike plug-in hybrids, you cannot charge an HEV’s battery by simply plugging it into an EVSE. Instead, recharging an HEV comes from regenerative braking, and it’s not as efficient or powerful as a plug-in hybrid. Most HEVs will still utilize internal combustion engines as their primary source of power; their electric motor acts as an assistant to increase engine efficiency but is not powerful enough to power the vehicle independently. HEV engines can also painstakingly “turn off” at a stoplight, so it may take a minute to re-engage the car. Different from Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs).
Installers — Licensed, professional electricians with experience installing electric vehicle supply equipment.
Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) — An engine powered through the burning of fossil fuels. The term ICE is often used as shorthand for any vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine, whether petrol or diesel or any other flammable medium.
Intertek — An alternative to Underwriters Laboratory (UL), tests to the standards written by UL. ClipperCreek uses both UL and Intertek.
Kilowatt-hour (kWh) — A unit of energy equivalent to the energy transferred or expended in one hour by one kilowatt of power. Electric car battery size is measured in kilowatt-hours.
Level 1 Charging (Slow) — On-site circuit/outlet delivers 110-120V of alternating current. Typically, a “cord set” is used to connect to a 120V wall outlet at 15, 20, or 30 amps, which usually comes with the EV. The output to the vehicle is AC current. Cord sets provide a way of charging while at home or away on a trip where a Level 2 unit is not available. The low power flow leads to long recharge times. Due to this long recharge time, a large majority of electric vehicle owners will install and use the higher power Level 2 unit.
Level 2 Charging (Fast) — Between the (slowest or trickle) Level 1 and (fastest) DC Fast Charging stations sits Level 2 charging. Level 2 supplies 240V, like what an electric dryer or oven uses. It goes through a box and a cord that improves safety by waiting to send power to the plug until it’s plugged into an EV.
Level 3 Charging (Very Fast) — Allows an appropriately compatible vehicle to receive a full charge in 20-30 minutes. Unlike Level 1 and Level 2 systems, Level 3 charging stations are “offboard.” That means that the direct current (DC) output to the vehicle bypasses the EV’s Level 2 onboard charger to flow energy directly to the vehicle’s battery pack.
Lithium-Ion Battery — These are the current standard in electric vehicle batteries, offering good energy density, power, and fast charging ability. The life of a lithium-Ion battery is estimated to be the same as the life of the car (eight to ten years). Of course ‘end of life’ here does not mean the cars or batteries won’t work – after 10 years a lithium-ion battery is expected to be at 80% efficiency, so they will still be usable – replacement will be a choice, not a requirement. Should you wish to replace your car’s battery, it’s possible they will still be in demand as storage devices for renewable energy in the industry. They are expensive at the moment, but prices will reduce over time as more EVs hit the road.
Miles per Gallon Gasoline Equivalent (MPGe) — MPGe is an energy efficiency metric introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010. The use of this metric compares energy consumption of an electric vehicle (EV) to a gas-powered vehicle. MPGe shows an estimate of how many miles an EV is capable of traveling compared to the amount of energy contained in a gallon of gas.
NEC 625 — National Electric Code standard for electric vehicles. This is the code the building inspector refers to when inspecting an EVSE installation. While the code does specify some physical attributes of the installation (length of cable and whether it can be plugged in), it also requires all hardware to have the label of an NRTL Testing Lab.
NEMA 4 Enclosure — Fully sealed enclosure ensures all the components are completely protected from any outside elements.
NRTL Listing — Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) is a certification bestowed on labs by OSHA in the US. UL (Underwriters laboratory) and Intertek (ETL) are the most prominent in the electric vehicle infrastructure business.
Off-Peak Charging — Charging your electric vehicle at a less popular time (i.e. 12 am – 6 am) can often save you money, as electricity rates will be lower during this time.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) — The original EV manufacturer, also known as the original equipment manufacturer. Some OEMs will provide you with a complimentary charging station with your EV purchase. OEM stations are typically Level 1 charging stations, and a good backup option rather than your main charging station.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) — A type of car that is configured like a regular hybrid, but with a bigger lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged up by plugging into an EVSE. PHEVs, as they are known, offer the chance to make short journeys on cheap, zero tailpipe emission electricity but also enable long journeys.
Pure Electric Vehicle (PEV) — A vehicle powered solely by electric motors using power provided by onboard batteries.
Range — The distance an EV can travel before needing to charge its battery. Similar to how miles per gallon is used for gasoline cars, range is used for electric vehicles.
Range Anxiety — A term used to describe the fear of running out of battery while driving a pure electric car. Real-world accounts suggest range anxiety isn’t as common as thought, and trials show that anxiety recedes over time as drivers become more comfortable with their cars’ actual range capability.
Range Per Hour (RPH) — Miles of range per hour of charge.
Regenerative Braking — An energy recovery system used in most electric vehicles that can help charge the battery while the car is slowing down. Typically the electric motor acts as the generator, so power can flow both ways between it and the battery. ‘Regen’ helps extend the range, while the process also helps slow the vehicle in a similar way to engine braking in an ICE-powered car.
SAE J1772 — The North American Standard and Society of Automotive Engineers standard for electrical connectors in electric vehicles. This standard defines the interface (plug and receptacle) electronic interaction between the two and the allowable limits of voltage and current. The SAE standard covers the general physical, electrical, functional, and performance requirements to facilitate conductive charging of EV/PHEV vehicles.
Safety-Certified — Every ClipperCreek station is either UL or ETL listed, which means the station has been tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). This listing is required for permitted installations.
Torque — The twisting force that causes rotation. In cars, torque rules and is the major factor in a car’s accelerative ability. Petrol and diesel engines deliver torque over a curve as RPM increases, meaning they have peak power at a given RPM. Electric motors, on the other hand, deliver maximum torque from zero revs, meaning acceleration from a standstill can be phenomenal.
UL Listed — Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is one NRTL. UL develops the testing standards and tests to them.
Utility Rate (Time of Use or TOU) — Utility rates vary according to high- and low-peak use hours. Thus the rate charged to an EV customer is based not only on the total electricity used but also upon the time of day the energy was drawn.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) — Describes a system that allows EVs to communicate with the power grid to manage the flow of electricity in both directions.
Watt-Hours per Mile (Wh/mi) — Watt-hours per mile is a measurement used for electric car energy economy. It measures how many watt-hours of electricity a car uses to travel a distance of one mile.
Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) — A vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power. Harmful pollutants to the health and the environment include particulates (soot), hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen. A popular example of a ZEV is a Tesla Model S.