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Glossary

A PANION glossary of industry terms specific to EVs, electrification, charging, fleets, regulations and anything related to our products, business focus and/or customer classifications.

Glossary

A PANION glossary of industry terms specific to EVs, electrification, charging, fleets, regulations and anything related to our products, business focus and/or customer classifications.

A

AC (Alternating Current)

AC is transmitted through power lines at 230V and 50Hz in a standard electrical outlet across most of Europe. Electric current is produced as alternating and it can be transmitted without much loss and over longer distances than with direct current (DC). Most modern electronics are built on integrated circuits and batteries, which need DC for operation. Energy is stored in batteries using chemical energy, which takes place only in one direction. So, a battery-dependent device can only be charged using a charger that converts AC power from an electrical outlet to DC power. Examples of devices that convert AC current to DC is a laptop charger or mobile phone charger. And the same system is needed for an EV

AC charging

When charging an EV with alternating current, the vehicle’s on-board system (or on-board charger) converts the outlet current into battery current. It therefore receives AC and converts it into DC, which is then sent to the electric vehicle battery.

AC charging station

When charging with AC stations, the electrical grid is connected to the on-board charger. AC stations mediate the necessary communication with the vehicle control system and to ensure the safety of the vehicle and the crew. The charger tells the vehicle what maximum current it can draw at that time, depending on how busy the grid is. The AC charging station thus regulates the charging according to the current possibilities of the house, wallbox, or charging point, so that the network is not overloaded. AC stations are more affordable than DC, more widespread, but much slower for EV charging.

API (Application Programming Interface)

Mechanisms that enable two software components to communicate with each other using a set of definitions and protocols. It can be compared to a user-interface, which is what connects a human to a program. APIs can be found in the world of e-Mobility frequently where they allow for communication between vehicle software apps and the computer software.

B

BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)

BEVs are exclusively powered by the electricity from an internal battery, working without any form of combustion engine or fossil fuels. When its battery runs out of energy, it needs to be recharged before it can drive again.  BEV is what most people instinctively think of under the term EV.

BMS (Battery Management System)

A BMS is designed to improve the quality of a rechargeable battery (like Li-on) and ensure safe operation as a real-time supervising system. For EVs, BMS functionality and features can monitor SoC, SoH, indicate temperature for thermal management, measure currents, track cell voltage and degradation, etc. A BMS could be seen as the best source of truth for how much a battery can be charged.

C

CCS (Combined Charging System)

A widespread plug and charging port design standard. A CCS-equipped EV can be charged using AC or DC power. The upper part of a CCS charging port accepts a standard Type 2 AC connector, commonly used with wallboxes and low-power public chargers, as well as the so-called emergency charging cables often supplied with new EVs. For DC charging a bulkier connector is required. This additionally connects to the two large side-by-side pins that make CCS easy to identify. DC is delivered through these pins, while communication between EV and charger is handled by some of the Type 2 pins.

CHAdeMO

Another plug and charging port type, CHAdeMO is a dedicated DC charging connector, so EVs equipped with it require a separate port for AC charging. Many DC fast chargers have two cables, one for CHAdeMO-equipped EVs and another for those with CCS ports. Developed originally for Japanese OEM carmakers, it is now a standard plug type. The name originates from the Japanese phrase “o CHA deMO ikaga desuka” or “How about a cup of tea?”, meaning the time to charge is as quick as having a cup of tea.

CPO (Charge Point Operator)

A Charge Point Operator is a company that operates, manages, and sets up a network of charging stations. However, a CPO does not necessarily need to own the charging stations. CPOs take care of the existing infrastructure and build to expand station networks. 

(Type 1) Charger plug

The type 1 charger plug is a single-phase plug for AC charging (alternating current). It is the standard plug for EVs from America and Asia. With the Type 1 charger plug, you will be able to charge your vehicle at a speed of up to 7.4 kW depending on the charging power of your vehicle and the grid capability.

(Type 2) Charger plug

This charger plug is also an AC charging plug; however, it is a triple phase charger. That means it has three additional wires through which electricity runs into your vehicle’s battery. They can charge faster than a type 1 charger plug. In comparison to the 7.4 kW, a type 2 charger can reach 22 kW at home charging stations and up to 43 kW at public charging stations — depending on the charging power of your car and the grid capability. Also note that the type 2 charger plug is the one used for most European and Asian EVs from 2018 onwards.

(Level 1) Charging station

This kind of charging station uses a 120-volt connection, which is the same as any standard household outlet. The Level 1 charging station charges your EV slower, but electric vehicle owners will notice that overnight this charging station does its job perfectly as they don’t deplete more of the battery than can be replenished overnight using a basic 120V connection. 

(Level 2) Charging station

In contrast to a Level 1 charging station, L2 stations use a higher-output 240-volt power source like an oven or clothes dryer. Charging times for your EV can decrease dramatically with this charging station. Level 2 is still AC charging, but faster than Level 1. 

CSMS (Charging Station Management System)

The backend system of a CPO company that connects with the EV charging equipment via OCPP. Drivers can locate charging stations, reserve charge sessions, make payments etc. thanks in part to the CSMS.

D

DC (Direct Current)

As opposed to AC, DC is a one-directional flow of electric charge. An electrochemical cell is a prime example of DC power. Direct current may flow through a conductor such as a wire, or through semiconductors, insulators, or even through a vacuum through electrons or ion beams. The electric current flows in a constant direction, distinguishing it from alternating current (AC). Direct current has many uses, from the charging of batteries to large power supplies for electronic systems or motors. DC may be converted into alternating current via an inverter. As in the case with EVs, battery-dependent devices can only be charged using a charger that converts AC power from an electrical outlet to DC power.

DC charging

AKA fast charging. DC charging speeds are faster because EV battery packs store DC electricity. Charging with DC sidesteps an EV’s on-board AC charger, which limits the rate of charge. DC delivers much more power than AC charging, which tends to top out at 22kW (with exceptions). Already 50kW and 150kW DC chargers are becoming more common in some countries. In Europe a growing network of 350kW DC chargers is being installed on major motorways.

E

ELCV or eLCV (Electric Light Commercial Vehicle)

Refers to vans, panel vans, flatbeds and non-passenger lighter electric vehicles used primarily for commercial business in transport, logistics and last-mile delivery.

EMSP (E-Mobility Service Provider)

An EMSP is a company offering an EV charging service to drivers of electric vehicles. To understand this charging service, imagine that you  manage a fleet which includes electric vehicles, but your EVs don’t have access to a sufficiently large network of charging points. An EMSP can support you by granting access to a huge number of charging stations around a certain area  —  like in the city where your fleet is based or where the capacity is needed. If you decide to use the service of an EMSP, you will be registered into the EMSP’s system and your drivers can use the charging infrastructure via a charging card or app. The EMSP will take care of the billing as well.

EV charging load management

When a company performs load management, it means they are optimizing the time of when they charge their EVs in order to get the cheapest electricity prices while still ensuring perfect availability for all fleet EVs. During peak hours, electricity is more expensive than during the night when there is a surplus of electricity in the grid. A load management software will balance out the charging of the EVs automatically based on the needs of fleet management or the driver. PANION Charging features load management functionality.

EV Charging Mode 1

With this mode, the EV is directly connected to a household socket. Mode 1 has a maximum current of 16 A and its voltage should not exceed 250 V with a single-phase system, and 480 V in the case of a three-phase network. Mode 1 is the simplest possible charging mode and does not support any communication between the EV and the charge point. This charging mode is prohibited or restricted in many countries. This is part of the 4 modes of the IEC 61851 Standard.

EV Charging Mode 2

Household socket outlets don’t always supply electric power according to the actual standards and might not be able to tolerate continuous current draw at the maximum rated value. This can increase the risk of electric shock. Mode 2 uses a special type of charging cable equipped with an in-cable control and protection device (IC-CPD). The maximum current of this mode is 32 A and its maximum voltage should not exceed 250 V single-phase or 480 V three-phase. Mode 2 can be used with both household and industrial sockets. This is part of the 4 modes of the IEC 61851 Standard.

EV Charging Mode 3

This mode utilizes a dedicated EVSE along with the EV on-board charger. The AC current from the charging station is applied to the on-board circuitry to charge the battery. Several control and protection functions are employed to guarantee public safety including verifying the protective grounding connection and connections between the EVSE and the EV. Mode 3 can adjust the charging current to the maximum current capability of the cable assembly. The maximum current of this charging mode is 250 A with either a 250 V 1-phase or 480 V 3-phase network. This is part of the 4 modes of the IEC 61851 Standard.

EV Charging Mode 4

This is the only charging mode that incorporates an off-board charger with a DC output. The DC current is delivered directly to the battery and the on-board charger is bypassed. This mode can provide 600 V DC with a maximum current of 400 A. The high power level involved in this mode mandates a higher level of communication and stricter safety features. Mode 4 only allows a case C connection, where the charging cable is permanently connected to the charging station. This is part of the 4 modes of the IEC 61851 Standard.

EV Charging Mode 4

This is the only charging mode that incorporates an off-board charger with a DC output. The DC current is delivered directly to the battery and the on-board charger is bypassed. This mode can provide 600 V DC with a maximum current of 400 A. The high power level involved in this mode mandates a higher level of communication and stricter safety features. Mode 4 only allows a case C connection, where the charging cable is permanently connected to the charging station. This is part of the 4 modes of the IEC 61851 Standard.

EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment)

EVSE connects the power source of a charging station and the vehicle’s charging port. Its job is to safely direct the AC-electricity to the EV. It includes the charging hardware and associated electrical infrastructure.

F

First Mile delivery

The initial stage of a delivery journey where goods leave the producer, factory or supplier warehouse and are delivered to distribution centers. The logistics of first mile can vary between retail or e-commerce models. A batch of coffee arriving by ship from Costa Rica still needs to be collected from the farm initially — this is first mile.

Fleet management

Fleet management is a network of technologies and processes that aims to manage and operate the fleet of a company with the highest efficiency possible and use their resources to the fullest. Factors which are optimized by fleet management include: Planning of fleet structure, new infrastructure, routing, equipment and vehicle maintenance, productivity, fuel/energy management and more.

Fleet management software

Fleet management software aids in fleet management by providing a single, central hub to the fleet managers with which they can receive and send information to all fleet vehicles, but also monitor their equipment and more. A powerful fleet management software will facilitate data exchange processes and help you improve the efficiency of your fleet. This and other functionality are part of the PANION Fleet tool.

G

Grid balancing

Grid balancing is an activity performed by electricity suppliers. Due to interchanging amounts of electricity flowing into the grid during a 24-hour period, some electricity suppliers switch off wind parks at night to avoid putting unnecessary electricity into the grid and having to pay fees. Due to more renewable energy sources being installed, the flow of energy into the grid has become less predictable, making grid balancing even more important.

H

HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

A HEV gets its energy simultaneously from a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The engine and the motor work together to power the car at the same time. It is important to know that a HEV cannot be charged at a charging station, but instead is constantly charged through regenerative braking.

I

ICE (Internal Combustion Engine)

ICE is an acronym for the gasoline-powered engine in most vehicles. Even though the term ICE refers to the engine, you are frequently going to read the abbreviation as a synonym for a vehicle that runs on fuel or diesel. Unlike electric vehicles, ICEs emit harmful gas and emissions like hydrocarbons as they are in use.

ISO 15118

This term describes an international standard for vehicle to grid (V2G) communication between charging infrastructure and electric vehicles. Thanks to ISO 15118 norms, vehicle-to-grid management has been facilitated on an international scale allowing for a more efficient use of electricity and helping users of EVs and electric fleets save money.

IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)

The IEC is an international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies — AKA electrotechnology. The IEC also manages four global conformity assessment systems that certify whether equipment, system or components conform to its international standards.

L

Last Mile delivery

Last or final mile deliveries are the last leg of the supply chain before reaching the customer’s doorstep. After deliveries of goods arriving from mid mile fulfilment centers, the packages are sorted individually and scheduled for home & business delivery in city, rural or regional areas. Last mile is generally transported via panel vans with various wheel bases or box trucks.

LFP battery (lithium iron phosphate)

LFP batteries use a different cell chemistry than the most common NMC (nickel manganese cobalt oxide) type batteries used in most EVs today. The LFP battery offers many advantages over the NMC. Not only are LFP batteries a more sustainable, robust, and cheaper alternative, they also don’t require cobalt. Cobalt scarcity and geo-political factors contribute to NMC battery manufacture supply chain problems today. Using more widely available materials, LFPs promise a lower price per kWh, more safety due to thermal stability, non-toxic components and a longer lifespan. They can also charge regularly to 100% safely and with less degradation than NMCs. Up to now, LFP batteries have been produced mostly in China, but EU carmakers are adopting LFPs and they are being increasingly used by Tesla.

M

Middle Mile delivery (Mid mile)

Middle mile is the term in logistics & distribution to describe the middle or second stage of delivery supply chains. This journey generally transports goods from or between warehouses or distribution centers for short storage and on to fulfilment facilities for sorting & packing. At this stage, products are often packed on pallets or crates and are en route to Last Mile hubs or other mid mile distribution & fulfilment depots. Heavy duty vehicles (HDV) like semi trucks with trailers typically run mid mile deliveries. Middle mile does not necessarily refer to range in distance — a journey might go from Spain to Germany, or from another city in the same country or region. As mid mile delivery is largely repetitive and predictable it’s perfect for automization and therefore PANION software!

N

Net zero

Net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible. It aims to achieve a balance between emissions produced and emissions re-absorbed by the atmosphere or removed by technology. The net zero goal was a result of the 2016 Paris Agreement to be achieved by 2050 to mitigate climate change, keep global warming temperatures 1.5C below pre-industrial levels and avert climate disaster. Net zero allows for some emissions to be above zero so long as they are balanced out elsewhere — like through forest & ocean absorption or carbon-capture and offsetting. Unfortunately, society is failing to reach this goal by current calculations.

NMC battery (nickel manganese cobalt oxide)

NMC batteries are currently the most common in today’s electric vehicles. This chemistry contains on average 33% nickel, manganese and cobalt in the battery’s cathode (positively charged terminal that supplies current). These are higher in energy density and provide more range and a longer lifecycle. They are however more expensive to produce and less sustainable than LFP batteries due to mineral mining and supply chain issues. Nickel and cobalt oxides, while higher in energy density yields, react in uncontrolled oxidation at the end of charge. This has been the main cause of battery fires. Suppliers caution to limit NMC charging to 80% to avoid combustion and prolong lifecycles. Similarly, nickel cobalt aluminium (NCA) batteries are used by Tesla long-range and performance models.

O

OBD2 (On Board Diagnostics 2)

OBD refers to a vehicle’s ability to self-diagnose issues and report them. The system consists of built-in sensors that help find engine faults. OBD2 has replaced OBD1 — originally used in California as of 1991 — but is becoming obsolete. OBD2 can log data from vehicles, take real-time diagnostics, help in predictive maintenance and act as a blackbox. They are not EV-exclusive and for our purposes are utilized primarily for telematics hardware plug-in ports.

OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol)

OCPP can best be described as the shared language that EV chargers and charging management systems (CSMS) use to communicate with each other. The vision of OCPP is that any charger can work with any charging station around the world. Note that for OCPP, it is not important whether the charger is made by the same company as the charging station. It also does not favor any charger type or charging software of a manufacturer. Furthermore, it is an open-source protocol, so anyone can access the protocol for free and anyone can contribute and help with the improvement of OCPP.

OCPI (Open Charge Point Interface)

An open protocol used for connections between charge station operators and service providers. Simply put, this protocol facilitates automated roaming for EV drivers across several EV charging networks. This interface underpins the affordability and accessibility of charging infrastructure for the EV owners, allowing drivers to charge on several networks. The protocol provides accurate charge station data such as location, accessibility, and pricing, and considers real-time billing and mobile access to charge stations.

OSCP (Open Smart Charging Protocol)

OSCP is an open communication protocol between a charge point management system and an energy management system. This protocol imparts a 24-hour forecast of the accessible capacity of an electricity grid.

OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response)

An open, secure, and two-way information exchange model facilitating automated demand response (DR) actions that help balance grid supply and demand or mitigate high electricity costs. This protocol ensures that dynamic price and reliability signals are uniformly exchanged between utility companies, system operators, and energy management and control systems during DR events. Aggregated EV charging loads offer significant potential DR value and will likely become well-integrated with modern smart grids.

P

PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

A PHEV will not tap into your gas tank until the battery runs out of power. Instead of the electric motor and the engine working together as in the HEV, a plug-in hybrid uses its combustion engine as a backup plan. Unlike a HEV, a PHEV can be plugged into a charging station and can be charged without the help of the combustion engine, but still makes use of regenerative braking while driving.

PLC (Power-Line Connection)

An EVSE smart-charger feature that does not rely on WiFi for a network connection like most charging stations. PLC uses the local power grid (230V) to provide internet connection to the charging station. The PLC module is installed near the EVSE and allows for extended range for the installation location and reduces network interference for charging and data transfer. It is essentially a communication converter.

R

Range anxiety

The commonly observed fear (or preconception) that the range of an EV is insufficient for the duration of a driver’s trip. Ranges are increasing with new battery tech year on year. Studies have shown that range anxiety is mostly perceived by people who do not actually drive or own an EV themselves and that required ranges (including for fleets) are often overestimated.

Regenerative braking

Every time you use your car’s brakes they generate friction to slow down the rotation of your wheels. In the process heat is produced —  a form of energy that goes to waste in traditional vehicles. But hybrid and electric vehicles  can utilize this energy. When braking in an electric vehicle, the vehicle’s engine switches into reverse  gear allowing for the resulting  heat to be converted into energy. That energy  is directed back into the EV’s battery, powering up the car with the energy it harnessed from the braking process. Your car essentially recharges a small portion of its battery during driving.

S

Smart charging

Smart charging refers to a charging system where electric vehicles, charging stations and charging operators share data connections. Via smart charging, the charging stations can monitor, manage and restrict the use of charging devices to optimize energy consumption. A fleet which incorporates smart charging practices will charge its EVs when economically reasonable. That means it will charge vehicles when prices for electricity are low, but also for peak management, meaning that EVs will be charged with the right speed and power matching their driver’s needs. This also describes the “intelligent” charging of electric vehicles.

T

Telematics

The long-distance exchange of information using the internet-of-things (IoT) to employ vehicular tech, telecommunications, sensors, and more to convey telemetric data. To simplify, telematics is a way for different WiFi-enabled devices to communicate information. EV telematics builds on these existing technologies to communicate data about your vehicle to a separate device. Useful in analyses for charging times, vehicle location, trip tracking etc.

V

V2G (Vehicle to Grid)

While it is commonly assumed that an electric vehicle can only take electricity from the electricity grid it is connected to, V2G makes use of the possibility of the car giving back its energy into the grid. When a vehicle is parked, it can give back some of its electricity to power other electric devices at your facility, for example, running PCs, or simply redirecting the electricity into the national grid in return for payment.

W

WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure)

WLTP is the latest official testing process for measuring new vehicle (ICE & EV) fuel economy, electric driving range and emissions. It was introduced in 2017 to replace the previous NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test; the standard process since the 1980s. This new method for the 21st century is modernized to match today’s consumer driving & vehicle use. The laboratory test simulates an average vehicle journey and takes place on a chassis dynamometer, AKA, “rolling road”. The test journey includes phases for: Acceleration, braking, stationary status, rolling resistance, air resistance, engine & gearbox combos and other equipment. The result is a WLTP Combined Range or City Range figure and can be found in the vehicle model tech specs.