Electric Vehicle Terminology


Confused about the terminology surrounding electric vehicles? We've covered the basics to get you up to speed.


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Above is an example of an electric car description. The descriptions will generally start with the manufacturer, then list the model followed by what is known as the 'derivative' or 'variant'.

The derivative normally details the engine size, turbo details (which may also denote the fuel type), trim level (the set specification the car comes with), number of doors and transmission type.

For electric cars, the details remain largely the same, however there is now the inclusion of the battery and motor details. The motor (which propels the car) size is listed as a numerical figure in kilowatt units. Generally, this will be the first of two listings referring to kilowatts.

The battery size (which stores the energy and determines the vehicle's range) is also listed as a numerical figure, however this will be listed in kilowatt-hours and is normally shown after the motor size.

Trim level details are usually found between these figures, whilst the number of doors (including the boot lid) and transmission will end the description. The latter will normally be shown as 'Auto' or 'Automatic' for electric models, which have no traditional gears except for Drive, Reverse, Neutral and Park.




Below is an index of keywords that you will usually hear when talking about leasing an electric vehicle.

Battery   The component that stores the electricity, which powers the motor.
Charging   The method for adding electricity to the vehicle.
Fast Charging   A type of charging station, typically cable of charging at higher speeds.
Kilowatt   1,000 watts. The unit of measurement is typically used when referring to electric vehicles.
Manufacturer   The company that makes the vehicle.
Miles Per Hour (MPH)


1. The unit of measurement for a vehicle's speed.

2. The unit of measurement for the charging speed of a charging station. For example, a 50MPH charging speed means the charging station is adding 50 miles of range every hour.

Model   The vehicle designation.
Motor   The component that propels the vehicle.
Range   The distance a vehicle will travel on a single charge from 100% capacity.
Range Anxiety   The fear of running out of charge before reaching a charging point.
Rapid Charging   A type of charging station, typically cable of charging at higher speeds.
Regenerative Braking   A system that uses energy generated from braking to add charge back into the battery.
Transmission   Typically manual or auto/semi-auto. For electric and hybrid models, this is normally limited to auto.
Trim, Variant or Spec[ification]   The component that defines the standard equipment.
Type 2 Cable   A type of charging cable. Typically the most common.
Wall box   A unit installed to provide an accessible charging point.