Don’t know your PHEVs from your BEVs?


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Do not fear!  EV subscription company ELMO has created the ultimate electric car jargon busting page, which explains what these abbreviated EV terms mean.

Jaron busting terms 



What it means


Electric Vehicle

An umbrella term that encompasses all electric powered/electrically assisted vehicles. It’s commonly associated with purely electric cars, though.


Internal Combustion Engine

The usual petrol or diesel engine you’d find in all non-electric cars.


Hybrid Vehicle

Another umbrella term! ‘Hybrid’ cars combine an electric motor and ICE to power the vehicle. Some hybrids can run on electric power only for short periods, others always require the ICE to be running.


Mild Hybrid Engine

A hybrid vehicle that has an electric motor which only assists the ICE (meaning you wouldn’t be able to drive the car that far on electric power alone, the ICE nearly always needs to be running).


Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

A hybrid vehicle that has an electric motor which can drive the vehicle on its own (albeit at a much shorter distance than a full EV).


Range Extender

Not so common anymore, a ‘Range Extending’ electric vehicle has an onboard ‘auxiliary power unit’ in the form of a small petrol engine. This only charges the electric motor and doesn’t drive the wheels itself.


Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure

The harmonised what, you say? It’s not as scary as it sounds. This is just the term for the standard test that manufacturers do on their new vehicles to test their energy efficiency.

The wonderful world of EVs can be confusing. And with more motorists saying they would look to switch to electric, it is important for those switching to understand all the jargon – making the switch less daunting and accessible to everyone.