The Clean Transportation Lexicon is a glossary of terms associated with clean transportation including multi-modal transportation options, vehicle fueling and charging, and the associated transportation and energy terms. Each entry includes a common abbreviation when appropriate, and a definition of the term.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV): A vehicle which is propelled with the use of a rechargeable battery and a motor instead of the gasoline powered combustion engine.
Battery Materials: Refers to the products (especially metals) used to manufacture batteries used in electric vehicles. Metals of particular interest in the context of environmental impacts and human rights are cobalt and lithium.
CHAdeMO: The Asian standard charging connector used for Level 3 charging. CHAdeMO was launched by Japan Electric Vehicle Fast Charger Association in March 2013 suppling up to 62.5 kW power via a 500V 125A DC supply. The second, 2021 version of CHAdeMo supports up to 400 kW speeds.
Charging Fees: The system in place to price electric vehicle charging. Fees can be set in accordance with some combination of the time spent charging, the amount of electricity consumed (in kWh), and the time of day during which charging takes place.
Charging Infrastructure: The systems in place to charge electric vehicles. This refers to the charging stations themselves, as well as the infrastructure associated with them, including signage, software, and changes to the electric grid to support charging.
Combined Charging System (CCS): The Level 3 charging connector standard used for most electric vehicles sold in Europe and North America. It allows charging at a speed of up to 350 kW. CCS is also called the “Combo” plug.
Cybersecurity: The degree to which the systems used for the exchange of information are resistant to malicious influence from software which poses a threat to privacy of and/or the security of the exchange of money between users of the systems.
Data Sources: The activities of consumers through which data – used for research and/or charging optimization – is collected.
Electric Bus: A bus which is propelled with the use of a rechargeable battery and a motor instead of the gasoline powered combustion engine.
Electric Grid: Refers to the network of electricity generation, transmission, and markets that supplies power to consumers. Electric grid management seeks to balance supply and demand at all times to ensure grid frequency stability.
Emissions: Any of a variety of air pollutants, especially those released by ICEVs, including Carbon dioxide (CO2), Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM2.5/PM10).
Equitable Access: Access to charging infrastructure that is set up in a way that is not discriminatory. To achieve equity, there should be access to charging regardless of socio-economic status, race, and ability.
Greenhouse gas (GHG): Any of a variety of gases which contribute to global climate change. In the context of transportation, Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the relevant GHG, and is directly emitted by all Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs).
Grid Reliability: The ability of the electric grid to withstand sub-optimal conditions, such as loss of generation or supply-demand imbalance. In the context of electric vehicle charging, grid reliability is a concern of indiscriminate charging throughout the day, regardless of daily cycles of supply and demand, and can be addressed through optimal charging regimes, wherein electric vehicles can offer energy storage.
Hydrogen Electrolysis: One of two main methods used for synthesis of energy-rich hydrogen gas (H2) for transportation, industry, and energy storage purposes. Hydrogen electrolysis uses electricity to separate water into H2 and O2, with no carbon compounds released.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle: A vehicle which uses the energy released through the synthesis of water from hydrogen gas (stored in tanks onboard the vehicle) and oxygen gas (drawn from the atmosphere) to charge a battery and run the motor. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles do not require EV charging infrastructure, instead relying on hydrogen fueling from specially installed stations.
Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle (ICEV): A vehicle which is powered only by gasoline and does not require external charging.
J1772: Charging connector used for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. All electric vehicles except for Tesla use the J1772, also known as the “J-Plug”.
Level 1 (L1) Charging: Refers to charging infrastructure that offers vehicles 1-1.4 kW of charge, providing a full charge in 12-24 hours. Typical L1 charging involves a standard Alternating Current (AC) wall outlet.
Level 2 (L2) Charging: Refers to charging infrastructure that offers vehicles 3.9-19.2 kW of charge, providing a full charge in 3-8 hours. For L2 charging, vehicles plug into specially installed Alternating Current (AC) charging stations.
Level 3 (L3) Charging: Refers to charging infrastructure that offers vehicles 24-300 kW of charge, providing a full charge in 30-40 minutes. L3 infrastructure consists of specially installed Direct Current (DC) charging stations.
Microgrids: Refers to electrical grids which are not connected to one of the large-scale continental grids, or which are connected but are capable of self sufficient generation except in rare circumstances.
Modeling of Grid Infrastructure: Mathematical computer models which predict the electric grid’s response to changes, such as increased charging of electric vehicles.
Natural Gas Reforming: One of two main methods used for synthesis of energy-rich hydrogen gas (H2) for transportation, industry, and energy storage purposes. Natural gas reforming uses a mixture of methane (CH4) and steam (H2O) to produce H2, with oxygen gas (O2), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) as byproducts.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): A vehicle which uses both a rechargeable battery and a gasoline powered combustion engine. Unlike prototypical hybrid vehicles, which use regenerative braking to charge their batteries, PHEVs require both gasoline and electric charging infrastructure.
Pollutant: A chemical with the property that, when added to a fluid, such as the atmosphere or a body of water, confers deleterious effects on the fluid and on the environment. Pollutants are so called when they harm ecosystem and/or human health.
Range Anxiety: The concern of would-be consumers of electric vehicles that insufficient charging infrastructure is in place to support driving behavior, especially long-distance trips.
Stakeholders: People who are directly affected by vehicle electrification, including manufacturers, consumers, and utilities.
Supply Chain Security/Reliability: The ability of the systems in place to secure materials used in electric vehicles to withstand sub-optimal conditions, such as shortages, tariffs, and turmoil in places where materials are sourced.
Vehicle Energy Storage: Refers to the ability of electric vehicles to store energy in the form of a charged battery. Vehicle energy storage is increasingly important as a larger proportion of electricity used is sourced from intermittent generation.