Glossary electric car charging

Glossary electric car charging

Within electric car charging, we often hear the phrases single-phase charging and three-phase charging. In simple terms, the difference is how much electricity the wallbox can deliver to the vehicle. A wallbox with single-phase charging only delivers electricity through a single phase, while three-phase charging delivers electricity through three phases, enabling it to charge your vehicle faster.

Whether a vehicle can be charged with single- or three-phase charging and how much power it can handle always comes down to the vehicle’s converter (see OBC) and not the wallbox.

The AC here stands for Alternating Current. AC charging uses a form of current that changes direction and power over time and is the current that, among other things, flows when you have an electrical device connected to your wall socket. This is also the type of current that powers your wallbox when charging your vehicle at home.

Ampere, or amp for short, is the unit of measurement for electric current and helps us calculate how much energy is flowing through the charging cable.

BEV is an acronym for Battery Electric Vehicle. This is a term used for a fully electric vehicle.

CCS is an acronym for Combined Charging System and is a type of charging connector. It is used for fast charging in public places and is currently the European standard for DC charging. This type of charging connector combines DC charging and AC charging with a Type 2 connector.

CHAdeMO is a fast charging standard developed in Japan and found primarily in vehicles manufactured in Asia. The standard allows for a charging output of 50 kW. Vehicles that can be charged with CHAdeMO often have this socket next to a Type 1 or Type 2 socket under the same hatch. When the CHAdeMO socket is used, the vehicle switches to DC charging, which enables fast charging.

The DC here stands for Direct Current. Unlike AC charging, with DC charging direct current is transferred directly to the vehicle’s battery and doesn’t need to be converted in the vehicle’s on-board charger (see OBC), enabling you to charge your vehicle with a higher charging output.

Unlike normal load balancing, dynamic load balancing allows for priority charging. Normal load balancing distributes the available power equally between all loads, while dynamic load balancing can prioritise certain loads, such as allowing the vehicle that started charging first to finish first, for example.

EV is an acronym for Electric Vehicle. Just like BEV (see BEV), this is a term used for a fully electric vehicle.

EVSE is an acronym for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment and is a system for ensuring safe vehicle charging. It ensures that the vehicle is charged safely and with the right power output.

This represents the number of conductors used to transport electricity. For an explanation of the difference between single-phase and three-phase, see "single-phase charging vs three-phase charging".

Phase balancing means that the electricity from the distribution cabinet is distributed more evenly, ensuring more well-balanced charging. If a wallbox is equipped with phase balancing, this means that when there’s insufficient power for three-phase charging, the wallbox will automatically switch to single-phase charging using the phase with the most power to spare. 

HEV is an acronym for Hybrid Electric Vehicle. This term is used for a hybrid vehicle powered by both electricity and fossil fuel.

For optimal electrical safety when charging your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle with a wallbox, the residual current device (RCD) already fitted in the distribution cabinet in your property is not sufficient to meet electrical safety requirements. The applicable electrical installation regulations require an RCD for each connection point.

There are two different types of RCD. Type A RCDs detect AC faults, while Type B RCDs detect both AC and DC faults.

Electric vehicle charging can necessitate a Type B RCD under the new Swedish electrical installation regulations (SS 436 40 00, third edition). This applies to wallboxes without integrated DC fault detection to identify any earth leakage currents. If your wallbox has integrated DC fault detection, you can use a Type A RCD.

A kilowatt (kW) is the unit used to measure energy and is the measure used to determine the charging speed when charging your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the unit used to measure energy per hour.


Charging output is the energy transferred from the wallbox to the vehicle’s battery over a certain amount of time and is measured in kilowatts (kW).

Load balancing ensures that the charging output from your wallbox is adapted to any other electricity consumption in the building. Load balancing detects any increase in electricity consumption and adjusts the load accordingly, lowering or turning off the charging output to the vehicle for the time being. Once the household demand drops, the charging output is increased again without tripping the main fuse. Simply put, we can say that this function distributes the available power without overloading the main fuse.

If the measured electricity consumption is to be used as a basis for billing, an MID-approved meter is required. If a meter is certified as compliant with the MID (Metering Instrument Directive), then it meets the quality requirements established by the authorities for an energy meter.

OBC is an acronym for On-Board Charger and is the converter built into the vehicle that converts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) so that the vehicle battery can be charged. This comes into the picture when, for example, you charge your vehicle at home as household mains power uses alternating current. If, on the other hand, you charge the vehicle in a public place, the OBC is not used as the direct current is transferred directly to the vehicle’s battery without the need for conversion.

OCPP is an acronym for Open Charge Point Protocol and is an application protocol for communication between the wallbox and the vehicle.

If a wallbox is OCPP-compliant, then the owner of the charging station is never tied to a single provider and is free to choose their preferred provider.

We usually compare this to when choosing a broadband provider for your home – it should work the same way. With an OCPP-compliant wallbox, you can always change provider if you aren’t satisfied or wish to change for some other reason.

PHEV is an acronym for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. This is a term used for a hybrid vehicle powered by both electricity and fossil fuel.

An RFID tag or charging tag is used to identify your status as a user to a charging station, to start charging and to prevent unauthorised users from using the charging station.

How far your electric vehicle can travel on a full charge before the battery fully discharges.

Schuko is the electrical industry’s term for the most common type of wall socket in Sweden.

Fast charging entails high charging output. Fast charging uses direct current and transfers the energy directly to the rechargeable vehicle’s battery. 

An electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle can have two different types of socket – Type 1 and Type 2. This is because just as with household wall sockets, different countries have different standards.

A Type 1 socket is a single-phase socket that is often found on older electric vehicles.

An electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle can have one of two different types of socket – Type 1 or Type 2. This is because just as with household wall sockets, different countries have different standards.

The majority of European rechargeable vehicles have a Type 2 socket, which is the current European standard.

Vehicle-to-X is a technology that enables an electric vehicle’s battery to be used for energy storage. In practice, this means that vehicles can act as storage batteries that, when necessary, can return energy to the power grid, a building’s heating system or even a washing machine. 

The X in the name can be considered to refer to almost anything. There’s much talk of V2G, or Vehicle-to-Grid, which entails using the vehicle’s energy storage to support the local power grid in conjunction with power peaks or for general power equalisation.

In the above example, we can interpret the X as home. You use your vehicle’s energy storage to power all or parts of your home from your vehicle’s battery. If you have an hourly price agreement or tariff, this becomes particularly interesting during the expensive hours of the day.

Simply put, this technology enables the vehicle’s battery to both store and move energy. This way, the energy you get from your solar panels during the day could, for example, be stored in your electric vehicle’s battery and then be used to run your dishwasher later in the evening once the sun has set. 

Volt is the unit of measurement for electrical voltage. There are two different types: AC voltage, which is used in our buildings and wall sockets, and DC voltage, which is used in our vehicles.

The unit of measurement for electrical power.