The Ultimate EV Charging Glossary
Every Term You Need to Know
AMPECO EV Charging glossary will give you a thorough understanding of the most common terms in the EV Charging ecosystem. It covers various topics from the main stakeholders’ business roles in the EV Charging to the technical terms regarding chargers, protocols, etc.
We hope our EV charging glossary will help you in your research, plans, or current business setup. If you need to learn more about the EV charging market, business opportunities, what you need to get started, and many more feel free to book a consultation with one of AMPECO’s eMobility experts.
Roles and business models in EV charging industry
Site Owner / Site Host / Location Host
Site owner is the entity, natural or legal person, that owns or operates the location where charge points are installed. Often these are retail chains, restaurants, business centres, parking operators, municipalities, etc.
EV driver is a person who is driving an EV (electric vehicle) and is using charging services at home, at work and in various public or private places.
Charge Point Operator (CPO)
Charge point operators install, manage, and ensure optimal operations of chargers/stations from one or more manufacturers. Moreover, they offer diagnostics, maintenance, price tariff management, and other value-added services to provide smooth network operation. Charge point operators may own the charging infrastructure and/or provide the connection to owners of EV charge points. Charge point operators can benefit from roaming network hubs and also provide eMSP (see definition below) service while allowing access to the charging stations in their network from other eMSPs. Usually, CPOs work in partnership with Site Owners to install chargers at their locations, collect operation fees and optionally share the EV charging revenue.
Charge Point Installer (CPI)
Charge point installers usually sell, commission and maintain in optimal condition charger points from one or more manufacturers to location owners (also referred to as charge point hosts). Their customers can be residential (single homes or multi-family), retail, business centres, real estate developers, hotel chains, car dealers, parking operators, energy, oil and gas, CPOs, government (municipalities, councils) and pretty much everyone who owns or provides car parking space. They take care of the maintenance and support of the hardware. More and more charge point installers are looking into delivering EV charging software solutions to their customers – home charging, workplace charging and even CPO business opportunities.
Electro-mobility Service Provider (eMSP)
Electro-mobility Service Providers offer an EV charging service to EV drivers. They enable access to a large pool of charging points around a geographic area. They provide charger location and availability information, account details, payment capabilities, and more to ensure high driver satisfaction and retention levels. eMSPs serve both registered and unregistered customers, as is sometimes required by local regulations. The eMSP provides a CPO service and access to its charging stations and third party charging stations via direct or indirect roaming.
Roaming Network Operator (RNO)
The RNO operates a platform to exchange charging data between Charge Point Operators (CPOs) and Electromobility Service Providers (eMSPs). Large RNOs in Europe are Hubject and Gireve, and you can benefit from out-of-the-box integration with them with AMPECO EV Charging Management Software.
Electric Vehicle Service Provider (EVSP)
The Electric Vehicle Service Provider (a.k.a the network provider) provides network charging stations connectivity. Connecting to a cloud-based server, the EVSP manages the backend software, database and communications to enable stations’ operations.
Electric Vehicle Fleet Operator
The EV Fleet Operator is responsible for the management and control of EV vehicle fleet charging. Electro-mobility’s main challenge is to ensure maximum availability and utilisation of vehicles, considering charging times and cost optimisation. EV fleet charging is prioritised based on fleet business priorities and the battery’s actual state of the electric vehicle.
OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer / Automobile Manufacturer
OEM is a manufacturer and seller of vehicles, vehicle parts and related services. Usually, this term is used for EV manufacturers.
The electricity supplier sources energy in wholesale and sells it to end and large customers.
Distribution Network Operator (DNO)
A distribution network operator is a company licensed to distribute electricity. These companies own and operate the system of cables and towers that bring electricity from the national transmission network to residential homes and businesses.
Charging business models based on EV driver access
Privately owned stations that are not accessible to the public such as home charging, multi-dwelling buildings, business premises and other private parking areas. Usually, you need an EV charge point management solution like AMPECO to control the different rules and access levels.
A charging infrastructure can be described as public charging in public spaces (e.g. public streets, highways and squares) accessible to everyone.
Charging is offered in privately owned publicly accessible facilities such as shopping malls, supermarkets, city and commercial parking lots.
EV Charging Software and Charging Terms
Various software solutions are needed to operate charging stations as a CPO or provide services as an eMSP. In this segment, we present you the crucial ones. Also, you will learn about the essential terms in the EV charging industry related to the software.
Charge Point Management System (CPMS)
Charge Point Management System (CPMS) is an information technology system built to manage and optimize the EV charging process. Usually, such software is cloud-based, white-labelled and maintained by the company providing the software. The charge point management system needs to have a minimum set of features to run a successful EV charging business. For example, AMPECO EV charging platform feature suite includes EV charge point operations and management features, payment and billing features, white-labelled EV driver apps, smart charging, dynamic load management, EV roaming, etc.
You can learn more about the common features of a CPMS in this checklist.
Roaming for EV Charging
Roaming for EV charging enables EV drivers to charge their EV with charging stations of different networks (CPOs and eMSPs), using a single account. It is the ability to exchange information between a Charge Point Operator (CPO) and an Electromobility Service Provider (eMSP) regarding EV charging. The CPO shares information about locations with charging stations including location data, number and types of charge points at particular locations, real-time availability status, pricing and other useful information for the EV Driver. The eMSP provides this information to its customers (EV Drivers) to locate a suitable charge point and start, stop and pay for the charging.
Smart charging is the ability to manage, monitor, and restrict EV charging to optimize energy based on local consumption demand. Typically this refers to things like load balancing, energy monitoring and “managed charging”. This is made possible by real-time communication between electric vehicles, charging stations and charging operators. With smart charging, the charging power can be decreased automatically, so it doesn’t exceed the grid’s limits. Moreover, it can optimize the cost of electricity for the EV Driver.
Smart Energy Management
Smart energy management is a solution that optimizes the charging infrastructure and energy resources, by efficiently monitoring, managing and adjusting energy consumption, providing optimal demand response and ensuring drivers can charge their EV when they need it.
Demand response allows consumers to play a vital role in the electric grid operation by reducing or shifting their electricity consumption during peak times in response to time-based specific rates or other forms of financial incentives, offered by power utilities for balancing supply and demand.
EV Charging Protocols and Standards
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an application protocol for communication between еlectric vehicle (EV) charging stations and central management systems, even when produced by different vendors.
Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI)
Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI) protocol is designed for exchanging information about charge points between Charge Point Operator and Electromobility Mobility Service Providers to enable a scalable, automated EV roaming. OCPI is an independent open roaming protocol and is free to use. It can work for direct connection or via roaming hubs.
Open Smart Charging Protocol (OCSP)
Open Smart Charging Protocol (OCSP) for communication between a charge point management system and the site owner’s energy management system.
ISO 15118 is an international standard outlining the digital communication protocol that an electric vehicle (EV) and charging station should use to recharge the EV’s high-voltage battery.
ISO 15118’s Plug & Charge
With plug-n-charge technology, all the driver needs to do is insert the charger plug into the car, charge, and drive away when ready. This process is made possible by a digital certificate located in the vehicle allowing it to communicate with the charging station via a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication protocol. This enables a seamless end-to-end charging process, including automatic authentication and billing and avoiding the need to use an RFID card, an app or to memorize PINs.
Vehicle 2 Grid (V2G)
Vehicle to grid introduces a new area of EV charging energy management. It is still not commonly used and is supported by a small number of EV manufacturers. Currently, it is available only through DC charging stations. Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) refers to bidirectional energy flow between an electric vehicle’s battery and the charging station. Energy can be transferred to a building (vehicle-to-building or V2B) the charging station is connected to manage energy costs or be sent to the grid (V2G) to earn revenue on energy markets. Similarly, if the building possesses excess energy from solar panels, this energy may be stored in the electric vehicle and re-used later.
The term “charging infrastructure” covers all technical installations that enable the supply to electric vehicles – this includes electricity parking spaces, charging points, access and billing options. This section will give you more details about the different options available.
Types of Power
Typically found in most homes and some businesses, all standard 2 or 3 pin plug sockets provide. A single-phase electricity supply can power a dedicated charge point up to 7kW.
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.
As compared to a single-phase AC power supply that uses two conductors (phase and neutral), a three-phase supply with no neutral and the same phase-to-ground voltage and current capacity per phase can transmit three times as much power using just 1.5 times as many wires (i.e., three instead of two). Thus, the ratio of capacity to conductor material doubles.
Types of Charging
This section will explain the two types of charging – Alternating current (AC) and Direct current (DC) as they have some fundamental differences in the way they work, resulting in significant differences in the speed of charging.
Alternating current (AC) charging is typically how people charge their electric vehicles overnight. In that case, the EV has an on-board charger charging the battery, so the speed of charging depends on its speed. Typical maximum speeds of AC charge points are 7.4KWh, 11KWh and 22KWh. AC charging uses a lower voltage, either Level 1 (120 volts or standard household current) or Level 2 (240 volts or the equivalent power of an electric dryer). Though the low voltage levels mean a slower charge, AC charging can be easily installed in most households. It’s an excellent solution for residential, workplace, multi-unit dwellings, and other longer-term parking locations like hotels, train station and airport parking garages.
DC Fast Charging
Direct current (DC) charging for electric vehicles allows for higher charging speeds since DC can be supplied directly to the electric vehicle’s battery at power levels usually higher than AC charging. The higher the DC power supplied, the faster the electric vehicle can be charged—provided the EV is designed to handle such power. Charging will slow down toward the end of your session to preserve your vehicle’s battery. This typically happens around 80% full but is dependent on the model of your EV. DC chargers can reach up to 350KWhon ultra-fast DC chargers. However, the most common speeds are 50KWh and high power DC in the range of 100KWh to 150KWh.
To illustrate the charging power difference between AC and DC fast charging, a Level 2, 7.2kW AC charger can take one hour to deliver about 27 miles of EV range. A 50kW DC fast charger can provide the same 27 miles of range in about 10 minutes.
In principle, there are two types of charging columns – fast DC charging columns and slower AC charging columns. Also, there are fast-charging stations with direct current and high charging power, such as the 170 kWh from CCS Systems, and in the private sector also so-called Wallboxes. These usually provide the standard 230 V household current, but unlike the regular socket deliver a permanently even 16 Amps.
A charging column can have multiple charging points. An EV charging point is hardware equipment that supplies electric energy to recharge electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Depending on the type of the charge point, we can distinguish between AC and DC charging points. The charging point is also called EV charging station, electric recharging point, charging point, charge point, electronic charging station (ECS), etc.
Alternating current (AC) charger works with the power of up to 22 kWh. Charging time will take 6-24 hours.
AC charging columns are charging columns that are equipped with normal alternating current (AC). As a rule, the power of an AC charging column is 11 kWh (at 400 V and 28 A).
- Typical standards for AC charging with 230 V AC are Schuko, CEE-Caravan, HPC (Tesla Roadster), IEC Type 1 and IEC Type 2. Since only small charging power is transmitted, a charging process takes a very long time – 3.8 hours (with 230 V, 16 A) for a 20 kWh car battery.
- Typical standards for AC charging with 400 V rotary current are the CEE rotary power plug and IEC type 2 connector, which means that you can achieve a higher charging power and faster charging speeds. 40 minutes (with 400 V, 32 A) for a 20 kWh car battery.
Direct current (DC) charger, also called fast chargers, with power 50 kWh to 100 kWh. Charging will take 30 min – 1.5 hours.
DC charging columns are operated with direct current (DC) and are often referred to as fast charging columns because they can transmit high performance in a short period of time. As a rule, the power with a voltage of 450 V and the current strength of up to 150 A is between 20 and 60 kWh. Typical standards for DC charging are CHAdeMO and IEC Type 2. The charging power is very high and thus allows maximum speed – approx. 20 minutes (at >450 V DC, >100 A) for a 20 kWh car battery.
Ultra-fast charger is a DC charger of 100 kWh. Charging will take 5-30 minutes.
EV Charging Connector Types
EVSE – Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment is an umbrella term for all technical components of a charging station or charging point.
The term “Connector”, as used in OCPP specification, refers to an independently operated and managed electrical outlet on a Charge Point. This usually corresponds to a single physical connector, but in some cases, a single outlet may have multiple physical socket types and/or tethered cable/connector arrangements.
The CHAdeMO is a Japanese standard fast-charging system made up of “CHArge de Move”, which is derived from the Japanese phrase “O cha demo ikaga desuka?”, translating to English as “How about a cup of tea?”, referring to the time it would take to charge a car.
A round four-pin plug, this connector is only used for rapid charging points and is typically compatible with electric vehicles manufactured by Asian brands, e.g. Mitsubishi and Nissan.CHAdeMO can offer Vehicle to Grid (V2G) but has less power than CCS and requires two separate sockets.
Combined Charging System (CSS1 and CSS2)
The CCS is a combined fast-charging system that can deliver direct or alternating current. According to the US and European standards, there are two types: in the States,, the connectors are Type 1 and DC (called CSS1 or Combo1), while in Europe CCS2 is in use – Type 2 and DC(also called Combo2).
Type 1 Plug
The type 1 plug is a single-phase plug that allows for charging power levels of up to 7.4 kWh (230 V, 32 A). A five-pin plug that also features a clip, this connector is common in the US and is typically found on EVs manufactured by Asian and US brands (e.g. Nissan, Mitsubishi and GM/Vauxhall/Opel). However, its prominence is fading as Nissan has moved to Type 2.
CEE rotary power connectors or CEE plugs are colloquially the most common connectors according to the IEC 60309 standard. In Europe, the red 400 V rotary power plugs or the blue 230 V plugs are mostly used in the camping branch.
Type 2 Plug
Type 2 plug is a triple-phase plug. In private spaces, charging power levels of up to 22 kWh are common, while charging power levels of up to 43 kWh (400 V, 63 A, AC) can be used at public charging stations. Most public charging stations are equipped with a type 2 socket. All mode 3 charging cables can be used with this, and electric cars can be charged with both type 1 and type 2 plugs. All mode 3 cables on the sides of charging stations have so-called Mennekes plugs (type 2).
It is a 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. Type 2 plug can carry three-phase power and locks into the socket of a charging point.
UK 3 pin
UK 3 pin is the plug for a standard UK electrical outlet. This connector can be used to charge some EVs in an emergency but lacks the safety, speed and security features of a dedicated charge point.
For its supercharger, Tesla uses a modified version of the Type 2 Mennekes plug. This allows for the Model S to recharge to 80% within 30 minutes.
Types of Vehicles
EV (Electric Vehicle)
An electric vehicle uses electric motors and motor controllers to power the vehicle instead of propulsion via an internal combustion engine. EVs store electricity in a battery that powers the vehicle’s wheels through an electric motor. Different types of EVs include the battery electric vehicle (BEV), the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), and the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV).
Battery Electric Vehicle(BEV)
A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is a type of electric vehicle. BEVs store energy within the batteries inside the vehicle. A BEV does not have an internal combustion engine but relies solely on an electric battery system for energy. It must be plugged into a charging source to replenish its battery.
PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
A PHEV is a type of hybrid electric vehicle that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric motor and a large battery that can be recharged by plugging into an electrical outlet—or in some cases, an electric vehicle charging station. Plug-in hybrids typically can run in at least two modes: “all-electric,” where the motor and battery provide all the car’s energy, and “hybrid,” where both electricity and gasoline are used.
Plug-in Vehicle (PiV)
A plug-in vehicle is a blanket term for any vehicle with a plug socket, including BEVs and PHEVs.
Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)
A car with official tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions of less than 75g/km is eligible for grants and benefits from the UK government.
Range-extended EV (REx)
An EV with only an electric drivetrain, but a small petrol generator to charge the battery when the range is depleted for longer trips. Often considered a type of PHEV.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
A hybrid electric vehicle is a 100% fossil-fueled hybrid car. The most common is the Toyota Prius. A small battery is charged through regenerative braking that generates some electric power in tandem to a combustion engine, but all energy originates from petrol.
Range-extended EV (REx)
An EV with only an electric drivetrain, but a small petrol generator to charge the battery when the range is depleted for longer trips. Often considered a type of PHEV.
Electric Vehicle (EV) systems
State of Charge (SOC)
SOC is the equivalent of a fuel gauge for the battery pack in an EV. The units of SOC are percentage points, with 0% meaning no charge left and 100% meaningfully charged. This allows you to see how much capacity is still available.
Battery Management System (BMS)
Each electric vehicle (EV) has a BMS to monitor the battery.
Charging Management System (LMS)
In an electric vehicle (EV), an LMS controls the charging process.
If you have not found the information you were looking for, please do not hesitate to contact AMPECO EV charging experts and ask all your questions regarding EV charging.