EV Talk

Understanding EV terms and Abbreviations








Charging Phrases

Electric Vehicles come with a whole new set of terms to know and understand. Sustainable Power Australia breaks them down for you.

AC Charger

An EVSE that outputs alternating current (AC) which is rectified to direct current (DC) within the vehicle. 

DC Charger

An EVSE that outputs direct current which flows directly into the battery. This is faster than AC charging because the DC Charger can rectify more power than the car. 


The type of card required to access public charging stations.

Mobile Charging

Charging from a domestic power outlet without the need for an installed EVSE.

Rapid Charging

Public stations that use DC power to charge your vehicle in a short period. 

Fast Charging

Typical charging from home or public charging stations.

Trickle Charging

Slow overnight charge when the battery is close to full or the EVSE used can only supply a small amount of power.

EV Plugs

Type 1 & 2

Type 2 is the Australian standard plug type, used by charging networks across the country. Replacing the Type 1 plug that was the first to be used.


Allowing regular AC charging and fast DC charging the “Combined Charging System” charges on the same plug.


DC-specific, fast charging plug used primarily by Japanese manufacturers. Also known as Charge de Move.


General Purpose Outlet, the standard 3-prong plugs used throughout Australia.

EV Charge Levels

Level 1

Level 1 Home Charging: Standard equipment on a new EV which only require a grounded (three-prong) 120V outlet. An eight-hour overnight charge can add about 40 miles of range. Suitable for low- and medium-range plug-in hybrids, or low daily driving usage all-electric battery.

Level 2

Level 2 Home and Public Charging: Requires a charging unit on a 240V circuit. Charging rate depends on the vehicle’s acceptance rate and the maximum current available. With a typical 30 amp circuit, about 180 miles can be added during an eight-hour charge. For example, 240V outlets would power a dryer or hot water system.

Found at offices, grocery stores, and parking garages, public Level 2 chargers have a standard EV connection plug that fits all current vehicles. Teslas require an adapter.

Level 3

DC Fast Charging, Public Charging: The fastest recharging currently available. DC typically adds 50 to 90 miles in 30 minutes, depending on the station’s power capacity and the make of EV.

Tesla’s Superchargers add up to 170 miles of range in a half-hour. DC fast chargers are most useful for longer trips, commercial cars used all day (like taxis), or those with limited access to home recharging.

With three different plug types that are not interchangeable, DC fast chargers are from Japanese automakers – CHAdeMO standard; European and American makers – CCS system. Tesla’s Supercharging stations use a proprietary connector specific to Tesla vehicles.

EV Abbreviations


Electric Vehicle

Kilowatt (kW)

Measurement of power (how fast a car is charging).

Kilowatt hour (kWh)

Measurement of energy (how full a car battery is); equal to one kilowatt of power delivered for one hour.


Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (a.k.a. vehicle chargers).


Battery Electric Vehicle (synonymous with EV)


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Cars that can be both fueled and charged directly.

Single & Three Phase

Single-phase power is the source of your home power supply. Three-phase power is commonly found in industrial areas and can charge your car faster if using a type 2 plug.

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