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EV charging 101: Vehicles and charging stations

The terminology used in the EV charging industry is still evolving, yet there are some stable terms that everyone involved should know. Let’s start from the basics, and get to know the terminology of electric vehicles and charging stations.

EV = Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicles use electric motors to move around. The term also includes other vehicles than cars, such as motorcycles, buses and boats, but for example in statistics, the term is most often used to describe cars. Both BEV's and PHEV's are usually included (both explained below).


_90A0754-362058-editedBEV = Battery Electric Vehicle

Battery electric vehicles are fully electrified, meaning that they have an electric motor and a battery: everything runs with electricity. Currently BEV’s are more expensive than internal combustion engine vehicles, but the prices are decreasing dramatically. Charging a BEV is much cheaper than driving with gasoline: driving 100 kilometers with an EV costs approximately 2.5 euros.*

* Calculation: 0,18 kWh/km * 100 km * 0,17 €/kWh = 2,70 €


PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle

PHEV’s are also electric vehicles that can be charged, but they have a combustion engine as well. In many countries, PHEV’s are currently more common than BEV’s. A plug-in hybrid car is a n excellent fit for a driver who needs to be able to go for longer distance drives every now and then. Having a combustion engine as a backup might help with the range anxiety, nevertheless: for the most of us, the range of a BEV is enough for everyday use. Read more about long-distance travelling with EV's here.

EVSE = Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

Okay, one more letter combination. Basically, EVSE's mean electric vehicle chargers. However, not all charging points are always included in the term, as it actually refers to devices enabling two-way communication between the charging station and the electric vehicle.

_90A0590-193483-editedOne charging station, two charging points.

Charging point

Next two terms sometimes get mixed together, but practically each charging socket is a charging point. One charging device can thus include two, three or more charging points.

Charging station

A location where you can charge. One charging station can have one or multiple devices and charging points.
The amount of charging points is thus based on the amount of charging sockets, not devices.


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