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EV terms & definitions

Electric Vehicle

» Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

» Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

» Range-extended EV (REx)

» Plug-in vehicle (PiV)

» Electric vehicle (EV)

EV Charging Connector Types

» Type 1

» Type 2


» Plug-in vehicle (PIV)

» Combined Charging System (CCS)


» Single-phase Power

» Three-phase Power

» Range Anxiety

» Home Charging

» RFID Cards

Types of EV

» Trickle Charging

» Slow Charging

» Fast Charging

» Rapid Charging(Ultra Fast)

Vehicle Types Definition

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

A car that runs purely on electric power, stored in an on-board battery that is charged from mains electricity (typically at a dedicated ChargePoint).

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

A car with a combination of a traditional internal combustion engine and a rechargeable battery, allowing for either pure electric-powered driving or extended range from a combination of the petrol engine and electric motor.

Full Hybrid or“Self-Charging” Hybrid

A 100% fossil fuelled hybrid car. The most common is Toyota. A small battery is charged through regenerative braking that generates some electric power in combination with a combustion engine, but the car’s energy originates from petrol. The electric motor can only power the car itself for short periods at low speeds.

Electric vehicle (EV)

Can be used as a catch-all term for BEVs, PHEVs and REx, but often used to refer to pure electric vehicles i.e. BEVs

Plug-in vehicle (PiV)

A blanket term for any vehicle with a plug socket, including BEVs and PHEVs.

Range-extended EV (REx)

An EV that has only an electric drivetrain, but a small petrol generator to charge the battery when range is depleted for longer trips. Often considered a type of PHEV.

Hybrid Car

A catch all term for any vehicle that has a petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor. The main types are full, mild and plug-in hybrid.

Mild Hybrid

Mild hybrids also have a small electric motor, but unlike full hybrids, it is solely used to assist the petrol engine. The car cannot drive on battery power alone.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

This term refers to an EV which uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power its electric motor. The fuel cells create the electricity to power the car.

EV charging connector types

Type 1

Type 1 plug

A five pin plug that also features a clip, this connector Used to be common for pre-2018 EVs but since 2018 the Australia standards defined type2 to be used For all Evs in Australia.

Type 2

Type 2 plug

A seven-pin plug with one flat edge, this connector was originally favoured by European brands e.g. BMW, VW group, but is now becoming the most popular on all cars. Can carry three-phase power and locks into the socket of a charging point. And it is now the standard for Australian EVs



A round four pin plug, this connector is only used for rapid charging points and is typically compatible with EVs manufactured by Asian brands e.g. Mitsubishi and Nissan. Can offer Vehicle to Grid (V2G) but has less power than CCS and requires two separate sockets.

Combined Charging System (CCS)

Combined charging system

Standardized by the EU, this connector combines two DC pins arranged below the Type 2 AC connector and uses 3 of the Type 2s pins. Found on most Type 2 BEVs. Which the common type used for Fast and Ultra-Fast Charge in


Key concepts

Top Up Charging

The practice of plugging in your electric vehicle whenever you park while out and about, making use of the time your car is not in use to add charge to your battery. This helps avoid range anxiety and means you will rarely find yourself waiting for your car to charge.

En-route Charging

En route charging typically requires high powered rapid chargers, that put >160 kilometers into your electric car in the time it takes to grab a coffee, a snack and use the facilities. This enables you to take long-distance trips in your electric Vehicle, but is not needed day-to-day.

Home Charging

Plugging your electric car in to charge while it is parked at home, typically overnight. A dedicated home charging point is the best and safest way of doing this.

RFID Cards

Using the same technology used in public transport travel cards, these cards are used by many older charging Stations to allow access to EV charging.


The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an application protocol for communication between Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and a central management system, also known as a charging station network, similar to cell phones and cell phone networks.

Contactless Payment

Available on some rapid chargers, it is possible to start and pay for your charging session with the tap of your contactless credit/debit card.

Range Anxiety

The term given to a fear of running out of charge while driving a plug-in electric vehicle. This fear can be avoided by top-up charging wherever you park throughout the day and en-route charging on longer journeys.

Range per hour (RPH)

Kilometers of range per hour of charge.

Kilowatt hour (kWh)

A unit of energy equivalent to the energy transferred in one hour by one thousand watts of power. Electric car batteries are typically measured in kilowatt hours. 1 kilowatt hour is typically 4.8 -6.4 kilometers of range in a BEV.

Vehicle to Grid (V2G)

The concept of using your electric car battery to release power back through the charger either for use in the local building or back into the grid at large during time of high grid demand.

Single-phase Power

Typically found in most Australia homes and some businesses, this is what all standard 3 pin plug sockets provide. A single-phase electricity supply can power a dedicated chargepoint up to 7kW.

Three-phase Power

Often found on commercial and industrial sites, this provides three alternating currents and allows for 22kW AC charging. Significant three-phase power availability is also a prerequisite for DC rapid charger installation.

Smart charging

A catch-all term for a series of functions that a Wi-Fi connected chargepoint can perform. Typically this refers to things like load balancing, energy monitoring and “managed charging”, i.e. shifting charging periods away from periods of high grid demand and/or low grid supply and to periods of low grid demand and/or high grid supply.

Types of charging

Trickle Charging

The slowest type of charging, this is best reserved for long overnight charges at home and is either provided safely by de-rated dedicated EV charger, or through a standard 3 pin plug, which lacks certain safety features.

Slow Charging

A better option for home charging, this allows for both top up and overnight charging through a dedicated ChargePoint. The 3.7kW Portable Charger is a good example of this type of charging point and provides faster charging times than a 3 pin socket.

Fast Charging

Ideal for top up charging, most fast charging Stations offer 7kW, ideal for keeping you going while out and about. Typically found in homes, workplaces and in public car parks where people typically spend circa 40 mins or more. Maximum charging speed may be limited by your vehicle’s onboard charger. 

Rapid Charging(Ultra Fast)

Typically used on long distance journeys, rapid chargers can also be used as occasional “caught short” chargers, particularly if available somewhere convenient, e.g. a supermarket. Rapid charging takes place from 43kW power and above. Maximum charging speed may be limited by your vehicle’s onboard charger.

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