How to learn the basics of electric vehicle charging terminology

by Juha Stenberg

Get savvy with the jargon of electric vehicle charging

Even if Chago is already a veteran in the field of EV charging, it’s good to remember that the industry is still relatively young, with many struggling to grasp the many acronyms and terminology involved.

This blog post aims to help anyone tackle even the trickiest terms that may pop up during the journey through an EV wonderland. After all, falling through the rabbit hole can be a far more pleasant experience once you know the ropes. 

EV? Say that again?

Let’s start by the most obvious and by far the most common term in the industry. EV, of course, stands for Electric Vehicle. Very good. But what about BEV, or EREV? Or EVSE and PHEV? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

"I don’t need a PhD to drive a PHEV, as long as I’ve got my EVSE. Phew!"


  • BEV – 100% Battery Powered Electric Vehicle. Pretty self-explanatory, once you know the meaning of those three magic letters.
  • PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. You may have heard about hybrid vehicles. Same deal here, with PHEVs having plug-in capabilities to charge the car battery.
  • EREV – Extended Range Electric Vehicle. Similar to PHEVs, the difference with a plug-in hybrid is that the electric motor always drives the wheels, while the internal combustion engine acts as a generator to recharge the battery when it runs out.
  • EVSE – Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. A safety protocol that enables two-way communication between the charging station and the electric vehicle. Basically, it controls the safe current flow between the charger and your EV. Simples.


Yazaki what?

Learning your standard EV acronyms gets you started. But it doesn’t hurt to know a few more! Here’s some useful terms related to the charging aspect of electric vehicles.

  • SAE J1772 – Often called “the Yazaki”, this is most commonly known as the Type 1 plug, a North American standard for electrical connectors for electric vehicles.
  • IEC62196 – Nicknamed “Mennekes”, AKA the Type 2 plug, this is the European standard plug for EV charging.
  • Slow Charge ­– A charging method that allows 10 amp or 16 amp (3.6 kW) charging.
  • Fast Charge – Similar to above, this time with a 32 amp (7.2 kW) or a 3-phase 32 amp (22 kW) charge.
  • Rapid Charge – Direct Current (DC) charging, usually 43 kW AC or 50 kW DC.


The language of easy and effortless EV charging

The jungle of EV jargon can at first seem like a daunting world, but the experience of EV charging itself should be as simple as one, two, three. Fortunately, our focus at Chago has been to create products and services that are both easy to use and intelligent. 

We supply out-of-the-box hardware, software and service solutions to all kinds of organizations to make EV charging truly smart business. And now you know the language! So do get in touch.


Contact your local Chago expert!

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Topics: EV charging business, EV terminology

Written by Juha Stenberg

Juha Stenberg

Juha Stenberg is the Managing Director of Chago. Possessing a vast experience in senior positions in the intersecting fields of energy and technology, Juha is a leading figure in the Nordic cleantech industry. He has been a member of various energy and technology industry associations, having also served as a governmental policy advisor. Juha travels extensively for work and pleasure and likes to relax by researching his next destination.