EV-Hybrid Naming Conventions Needed

EV-Hybrid Naming Conventions Needed

{NOTE: We at MGS Tech don’t necessarily agree with Mr Burridge’s category definition conclusion but we do agree that the current term-o-rama that is happening now is causing confusion with the general public and first reaponders}

Current naming conventions and terms for EVs and hybrids have created a cornucopia of confusion for the average consumer.

Ken Burridge the Editor-in-Chief of EV.com says, “There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to naming conventions and certainly the automotive industry and governments shouldn’t allow the marketing departments or advertising agencies of manufacturers to confuse the general public about something so important, since personal vehicles are often the most expensive purchase many individuals make in their lifetimes with the possible exception of their residence or a university degree.”.

At the moment the fledgling EV industry is looking like the lawless wild west and it seems as if everyone is trying to be first to coin or trademark terms and patent technologies for the next generation of transport vehicles.  The current situation is more than just a little confusing for consumers and may in fact be harmful and could possibly even slow the eventual acceptance of the new paradigm shift towards greener powered vehicles unless some standards are soon adopted and accepted.

Let’s take a look at just some of the terms currently in use when it comes to electric and hybrid vehicles: EVs, BEVs, zero-emission vehicles, all-electric vehicles, EREVs, HEVs, PHEVs, electric drive vehicles, hybrids, parallel hybrids, series hybrids, FFVs, NGVs, extended-range vehicles and Fuel cell vehicles etc. According to Mr Burridge “one of the simplest and best ways to define and classify vehicles is by what method is used to propel the vehicle, specifically where the energy is directly coming from to turn the wheels”.  When using that distinction as a meta-rule there are two main groups of vehicles in use today:

ICE: Internal Combustion Engine: These petroleum-powered vehicles are currently the largest segment of the vehicle market and rely on the combustion of fossil fuels to manipulate a series of mechanisms (cylinders, drive shafts, transmissions, etc.), which operate in sequence to eventually propel the vehicle.

Electric: An electric current typically supplied from a battery energizes a motor, which can often as a result of it’s function directly turn the wheel of a vehicle without the use of multitude of intervening mechanisms.

The Electric Category can be further subdivided into:

Hybrids, which can use either or both an ICE and an electric motor to propel the vehicle…an example of this type is the Toyota Prius.

All-electric, Pure or 100% EVs: These vehicles rely on the energy stored in a battery pack to power their electric motor.  Examples include: Nissan LEAF, and Tesla Roadster.

A sub-category of the All-electric vehicle are those that have Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), which are often relatively small devices, that only function to produce electric power to recharge an EV’s battery pack or possibly to provide an energy boost to an EV’s electric motors to meet supplemental short-term power requirements.  These APU’s are called “Range Extenders” by various marketing departments such as GM and are found on the Chevy Volt and Fisker Karma.

Historical note: The term APU has been in use to cover this type of operation for decades in both the aviation and heavy equipment vehicle categories and thus should not be used to classify a vehicle as a hybrid even though some green-purists would prefer otherwise.