AC Charging

The majority of overnight EV charging is typically done with alternating current (AC) voltage at Level 1 (120 volts or normal household current) or Level 2 (240 volts or an electric dryer power equivalent). AC charging takes advantage of longer dwell (parking) times to provide power to an EV over a longer period of time. AC charging is an excellent solution for residential, workplace, multi-unit dwelling, and other longer-term parking situations like hotels and municipal or airport parking garages.

BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)

A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is a vehicle that does not have an internal combustion engine, and rather relies solely on an electric battery system for energy. It must be plugged into a charging source to replenish its battery. The name BEV is often also referred to as an electric vehicle or EV. As of 2018, many EVs can operate between 100 and 300 miles on a single charge.

CCS (Combined Charging System)

CCS is a direct current (DC) fast charging protocol that is Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) certified, and is featured on vehicles produced by the European and American car companies. The “combined” term in the CCS name designates its capability to incorporate the level 2 (J1772 standard) plug and DC fast charging connector into the same larger plug, The CCS plug nozzle is also commonly referred to as a ‘Combo plug’.


CHAdeMO is a DC fast charging protocol that was first developed for the Japanese EV market, and is currently capable in the U.S. of charging the Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul, and Mitsubishi iMiEV. The CHAdeMO is officially recognized as an international DC charging standard by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) alongside CCS plugs for U.S. and Europe, and the Chinese GB/T plug.

Charging an EV

"Refueling" an electric vehicle battery with electricity. The time a battery takes to charge depends on the size of the battery in kWh and the amount of electric current being supplied.

DC (Direct Current)

Direct Current is an electric current of constant direction.

DC Fast Charging

Direct current charging for electric vehicles allows for higher charging speeds, as DC current can be supplied directly to the electric vehicle’s battery at power levels normally higher than AC charging. The higher the DC power supplied, the faster the electric vehicle can be charged, provided the vehicle is designed to handle such power. By 2019, it is expected that 150+ kW DC fast charging will be available on a number of vehicles, and speeds of up to 320 kW (at 350 amps of current at 920V power source) will be available on a limited basis. To illustrate the charging power difference between Level 2 AC and DC fast charging, a Level 2 7.2 kW AC charger will deliver about 27 miles of EV range per hour of charging, whereas a 50 kW DC fast charger will deliver nearly the same 27 miles of range in 10 minutes of charge.

EV (Electric Vehicle)

An electric vehicle uses electric motors and motor controllers to power the vehicle instead of propulsion via an internal combustion engine. EVs store electricity in a battery that powers the vehicle's wheels through an electric motor.

Idle Time

Electrify America’s pricing policy includes a fee applied to time the vehicle stays plugged in after the charge is completed. An idle fee is applicable following a 10-minute grace period upon completion of the charging session. This feature is designed to encourage drivers to move their vehicles when their charging session is complete, and make the charger available for other electric vehicles.


The North American and Japanese adopted SAE standard for the design of the electric vehicle charge coupler (a pin and sleeve device used as a plug).

kWh (Kilowatt-hour)

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, so think of it as the electric car's equivalent to the size of an internal combustion vehicle's gas tank.


OCPP is the standard developed to provide powerful, open, and inter-operable communication between the different EV charging infrastructure companies, hardware, and networks. The Open Charge Alliance (OCA) is the global consortium of public and private EV infrastructure leaders that have come together to promote this open standard.


A PHEV is a type of hybrid electric vehicle that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric motor and a large battery that can be recharged by plugging into an electrical outlet, or in some cases, an electric vehicle charging station. Plug-in hybrids typically can run in at least two modes: "all-electric," where the motor and battery provide all the car's energy, and "hybrid," where both electricity and gasoline are used.


Plug-and-charge is part of the latest revision of the CCS combo standard. It features the IEC/ISO 15118 standard, which prescribes the means by which a charger and network can identify and authenticate a specific vehicle to allow for a charging session to automatically begin, by simply “plugging in”. This is done without the need for supplemental membership cards or fobs, or driver input, in many cases.

SOC (State of Charge)

SOC is the equivalent of a fuel gauge for the battery pack in an EV. The units of SOC are percentage points, with 0% equal to no charge left, and 100% equal to fully charged.

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV)

Under Appendix C of the Consent Decree regarding “Volkswagen ‘Clean Diesel’ Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation”, the following three vehicle types are considered Zero Emission Vehicles:

  1. An on-road passenger car or light-duty vehicle, light-duty truck, medium-duty vehicle, or heavy-duty vehicle that produces zero exhaust emissions of all of the following pollutants: non-methane organic gases, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, methane, formaldehyde, oxides of nitrogen, or nitrous oxide, including, but not limited to, battery electric vehicles (“BEV”) and fuel cell vehicles (“FEV”);

  2. An on-road plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (“PHEV”) with zero-emission range greater than 35 miles as measured on the federal Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (“UDDS”) in the case of passenger cars, light-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks, and 10 miles as measured on the federal UDDS in the case of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles; or

  3. An on-road heavy-duty vehicle with an electric-powered takeoff.