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What does WLTP mean? A beginner's guide to EV terminology

Electric Vehicle Glossary


Currently there isn't a car on the road which offers true autopilot capability, i.e. the driver relinquishes control of the vehicle at the vehicle's AI. However, there are more systems available which are getting closer to offering 'autopilot'.

BEV | Battery Electric Vehicles

Often shortened to EV (electric vehicle) or EVs (electric vehicles). The added ‘B’ is simply a reference to the battery that powers an EV.

Drag Coefficient | Often written as ‘Cd’

The lower the number the better; the easier the car slices through the air, using less power to ‘fight’ against the drag. For reference, a Jeep Wrangler has a drag coefficient of 0.454 – one of the highest values of any production vehicle. The Tesla Model 3 has a drag coefficient of only 0.23.

EV | Electric Vehicle

Any vehicle: van or car, that is powered solely by a battery and electric motors. The future of motoring.

FlexiHire | Flexible hire finance

A term for a hassle free, short-term, low-commitment way for businesses to test out electric cars and vans. For a full rundown, click here.

HEV | Hybrid Electric Vehicle

HEVs are cars that have both a traditional petrol/diesel engine, as well as an electric motor powered by a battery. It’s often the case that the electric motor is very much an auxiliary source of power in a hybrid, rather than a standalone source of propulsion.

ICE | Internal Combustion Engine

The technical name for engines that use traditional fuel (petrol/diesel) to create power. Under current plans, all sales of new ICE cars will be banned from 2035.

kW | Kilowatt (Charging Power)

When referencing a charger, the higher the kW, the quicker the car will charge. Basic wall-box chargers at home are 7kWh, whilst some rapid chargers go up to 350kWh.

kW | Kilowatt (Electric Motor Size)

For electric motors, the higher the kW, the better the performance figure. Although electric vehicles do have horsepower figures, a quick way to get an idea of the performance is to look at the kW capacity of the electric motor.

kWh | Kilowatt per hour (Electric Vehicle Battery Size)

This will typically be preceded by a number and indicates the size and capacity of the vehicle’s battery. The larger the kWh, the more charge the vehicle can hold.

kWh | Kilowatt per hour (Energy Pricing)

The unit in which electricity is priced. Often used to determine the cost of a full charge for an electric vehicle.

LCV | Light Commercial Vehicle

A catch-all term for any commercial vehicle (vans, pick-up trucks etc.) with a gross weight of no more than 3.5 metric tons (3,500kg).

LEZ | Low Emission Zone

This area covers most of Greater London (and will be coming to some other cities too), which was introduced to penalise the heaviest diesel polluters. It’s a daily charge of £100. It mainly affects businesses using older diesel vehicles.

OEM | Original Equipment Manufacturer

Often used as a substitute to reference car makers within the automotive industry. May also be used when discussing replacement parts for vehicles – genuine ‘OEM’ parts are usually better quality and more reliable than third-party options.

PHEV | Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Unlike normal hybrids, plug-ins typically run on electric power first. Once the battery is nearly empty, the vehicle automatically switches over to its internal combustion engine.

Real-World Range

When an electric vehicle is put to market, it gets a WLTP range. At DriveElectric we carry out our own tests to determine the range our customers can actually expect from their EV.

Regenerative Braking

Technology that allows the electric motors of an EV to put energy back into the battery. As the car slows down and the brake pedal is depressed, the electric motor swaps direction and siphons the energy back into the battery.

ULEZ | Ultra-Low Emission Zone

An ever-growing radius of central London. To drive through the ULEZ with a non-exempt vehicle (it’s only electric vehicles and motorcycles that are typically exempt) costs £12.50. The zone is due to expand, meaning thousands of family cars, vans and other LCVs will soon have to pay the charge.

WLTP | Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure

This is the test carried out by manufacturers to determine the range of an electric vehicle. This is effectively how efficient manufacturers claim their electric vehicles are – similar to MPG (miles per gallon) figures in traditional cars. WLTP replaced NEDC a few years ago.