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Terminology Clarification of Electric Vehicles(2)


The name of the type of charging connector found on the majority of non-Tesla EVs and chargers in the United States as well as the SAE International standard that controls EV charging.

One of the two widely used connectors on EVs and chargers in the U.S. is called J1772, which isn’t a very nice name (the other is a proprietary Tesla connector), but if you type “ev charging stations” into Google Maps or use any charging-station-finder tool, it will show up as a choice. J1772 can only be used for Level 1 and Level 2 charging technically. The Combined Charging System connector, which adds two wires below it for DC rapid charging, is built around J1772 as its base. (This enables an electric vehicle (EV) with DC charging capability to have a single compound charging port as opposed to two separate ones, as was the case with early Japanese EVs equipped with the CHAdeMO DC port.)

Ironically, CCS is the name given to the less complicated version of the J1772 connector. But anything is preferable to the moniker CHAdeMO.

kilowatt (kW)

1,000 watts is the unit of power used for EV charging and operation, and 1.34 horsepower is a substitute unit of motor power.

Although the root unit is the watt, we use the kilowatt instead as electric vehicles (EVs) rather than light bulbs are typically discussed in terms of quantities exceeding 1,000. Kilowatts are significant among electric units because they are the result of the interaction between voltage and current. Therefore, unlike with the other units, there are no factors to consider while discussing kilowatts. For instance, Level 2 chargers are all 240 volts, but you won’t know how many kilowatts you’re supplying to your EV until you know their current rating, in amps.

The kilowatt is fundamentally a power rating as well because it has a time component built in (1 watt = 1 joule per second), therefore each can be translated into the other, even if we’re used to using horsepower for internal-combustion engine ratings. In actuality, James Watt, a Scottish innovator from the 18th century, is responsible for both horsepower and watts. Engine readings are occasionally given as kW for consistency even though it’s less usual now that internal combustion and electric forces are mixing in the same car.

kilowatt-hour (kWh)

The unit used to quantify battery capacity as well as the energy required to operate an EV or other equipment that gradually drains power.

When it comes down to the bare essentials, 1 kilowatt-hour is the quantity of energy required to run, for instance, a space heater that uses 1 kW for an hour. It may also be the amount that a 6-kW motor would use up in 10 minutes. Though it’s easy to assume that an electric car with a 70-kWh battery would result in a 70-kWh rise in your electricity bill every time you charge it, the situation is more complicated than that. One loss is energy lost as heat during the charging process, which occurs when the battery is being charged and the grid’s AC is being converted to DC in the vehicle. The difference between a battery rating measured in gross (total capacity) or net is that you won’t always be charging a completely empty battery, and most EVs and plug-in hybrids don’t use their entire battery capacity as claimed (usable capacity). The onboard software is set up to manage not entirely charging or discharging the batteries, which is one of the keys to maintaining their health. Even though the battery charge display on your electric vehicle (EV) says it is completely charged or empty, there is likely a buffer above or below that is unnoticed.


A great way to compare the effectiveness of battery-electric vehicles to one another, if not to gas-powered ones, is to use miles per gallon-equivalent.

Because the EPA’s mpg-e rating does not take into consideration the price variations between the two fuel types, it is not very helpful in comparing plug-in efficiency to that of internal-combustion vehicles. But for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, it’s better than nothing and perfect for comparing one battery-electric to another (PHEVs). Maybe.

You may note that efficiency has been a strength of Tesla models relative to comparable competitors if you look through the EPA’s ratings for new and used EVs. It is simple to think that every car with a plug must be efficient, but this is untrue. In plug-in automobiles, increased efficiency translates to a longer range for a given battery capacity and more range added for the same charging time.

We’re not as excited about the EPA’s method of assessing PHEVs because the mpg-e rating combines gas and electric power. This indicates that there are already two variables, and the third variable—the distance this pairing goes in order to determine the rating—is purely arbitrary. The PHEV should be rated for its mpg-e in electric-only mode rather than a combination of a high electric mpg-e rating and a low hybrid mpg rating that meets the official EPA specification at one point in a journey but may be higher before that or lower thereafter depending on the vehicle’s electric range—yet another variable.


The distance that a plug-in vehicle may be expected to drive on electric power before running out of battery power

Whether it’s the manufacturer’s claim, the EPA’s assessment, or the remaining distance shown on a car’s instrument panel, the range of a plug-in vehicle is always an estimate. Many of the ideas below also apply to gas-powered vehicles, but we didn’t pay attention before because of the abundance of range and quick reloading that liquid fossil fuels represent. When it comes to demonstrating how one can either exceed or fall short of the range estimate based on the circumstances and the driver’s activities, some EVs do better than others.

Aggressive driving, going fast, using accessories like lighting and especially cabin climate controls all reduce range, but the weather has the biggest impact: Range is marginally impacted by slick roads, but cold weather are more detrimental because they deplete battery capacity and use more energy for electric cabin heating. When comparing the average EV at 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees, one AAA research calculated a range loss of nearly 40%. (Somewhat assisting is preheating or chilling the cabin while it is still plugged in.)

Buyers of EVs in colder regions should take this effect into account in addition to two other crucial aspects: the likelihood that they will charge their vehicles at home each night, in which case they should prioritize miles per day rather than “tankfuls,” and the fact that it is common for EVs to lose some range over time, just like any other rechargeable device. By the time the car reaches the end of its warranty period, which is typically eight to ten years or 100,000 miles, experts estimate the amount to be around 20%.

regenerative braking

The method used by all hybrid and electric vehicles to essentially recycle energy, turning the drive motor during coasting or braking into a generator to replenish the battery pack

Regenerative braking, also known as recuperation by German manufacturers, has been a characteristic of EV and hybrid efficiency since the GM EV-1 (to count actual products), and with more advanced computer control, which is the heart of regen, its efficiency has only risen. Fortunately, the driver’s perception of regenerative braking has improved, but it is rarely as linear and gratifying as traditional hydraulic brakes, frequently with mushy brake pedal feel. When the regen has reached its limits, like in harsher braking, and conventional brake pads or shoes must engage the discs or drums, one of the issues engineers have faced is delivering a smooth transition from regeneration to conventional braking.

Regenerative braking has the primary advantage of being frictionless, which means that the shoes and pads last much longer and need to be replaced less frequently than in traditional vehicles. Another advantage is that many EVs now have at least a few settings, while some have peculiar paddle-triggered temporary modes. This allows you to alter the level of regeneration and, consequently, the braking force when you pull off the pedal. The most prevalent trend is one-pedal driving, in which pressing down on the accelerator pedal hard enough to activate the brakelights eliminates the need for the brake pedal altogether except in emergency situations requiring full-threshold braking.

In contrast to its gas-powered cousin, a more powerful (quicker) EV can also be a relatively efficient performance car because to regeneration. In an EV, a more powerful drive motor also implies a higher-capacity generator for regeneration, so at least it gains some efficiency. Larger, more powerful drive systems naturally increase weight, which reduces efficiency.

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Terminology Clarification of Electric Vehicles

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