What is an electric vehicle?

An electric vehicle is a vehicle where the driving torque to the wheels is delivered exclusively by one or more electric motors.

What is a battery-electric vehicle?

A battery-electric vehicle is an electric vehicle where the electric energy to drive the motor(s) is stored in an on-board rechargeable battery.

What is a hybrid vehicle?

A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle with at least two different kinds of either or both:

• stored energy for vehicle propulsion

• powertrains, of which at least one is electric


What is an electric bicycle?

An electric bicycle is a bicycle with an auxiliary electric motor supporting the bicyclist during operation. The electric motor only delivers torque when the cyclist is actually pedalling.


What is a fuel cell vehicle?

A fuel cell vehicle makes use of a fuel cell as on-board energy source. It can either be fitted with a fuel cell only ('pure fuel cell vehicle') or with a fuel cell complemented with a battery ('hybrid fuel cell vehicle').

One should note that in any case the fuel cell vehicle is an electric vehicle.


What is regenerative braking?

Electric motors can also act as generators. During regenerative braking, the motor can thus take kinetic energy from the wheels, slowing the vehicle, and send this energy, in electric form, back to the battery. Depending on traffic conditions and on the topography on the road, an energy saving of typically 10% is possible this way.


What is a fuel cell?

A fuel cell is a device which directly converts the chemical energy of a fuel (e.g. hydrogen) into electrical energy.


What is conductive charging?

Conductive charging is a charging system where the transfer of electric current is performed through a continous conductive path, consisting of cables, socket-outlets, plugs, connectors and couplers.


What is inductive charging?

Inductive charging is a charging system which transfers energy from the supply network to the vehicle electromagnetically using a two-part transformer, without conductive contact.


Which power is needed to charge an electric vehicle?

A "normal" charge typically needs a power of 3,5 kW, which can be delivered by any standard 230 V, 16 A outlet.


How long is the charging time for an battery vehicle?

With a normal 3,5 kW charge, one hour of charge corresponds to 15-20 km of driving. A full charge of an empty battery takes 6 to 8 hours.


What is opportunity charging?

Opportunity charging means giving the vehicle a (partial) charge whenever there is access to an electric outlet, for example during parking at a charging station or power-equipped parking space. This practice greatly enhances the daily mileage that can be covered and thus the flexibility and deployability of the electric vehicle.


What is semi-fast charging?

Semi-fast charging typically makes use of a power of about 7 to 10 kW and allows to charge two or three times as fast as normal charging. It needs a dedicated power-outlet, the power of which (32 A single phase or 16 A three phase) can still be accomodated however by most electric installations.


What is fast charging?

Fast charging makes use of high power (20 kW or more) allowing to charge the battery up to a level of 80% in 30 minutes. It is mostly done by a direct-current connection and needs a heavy and expensive fixed infrastructure and electric connection.


What is "Type 1" charging?

"Type 1" charging, as defined in the international standards, means to make use of standard, non-dedicated socket-outlets.

In some countries, Type 1 charging is not allowed for charging stations in the public domain.


What is "Type 3" charging?

"Type 3" charging makes use of dedicated power-outlets fitted with additional safety measures such as a control pilot, which guards the continuity of the protective conductor and which makes sure only a properly connected electric vehicle will get access to electric current. With no vehicle connected, the socket-outlet is dead.

Type 3 is the preferred mode for charging stations on the public domain.


Which safety measures have to be taken to charge an electric vehicle?

To perform a Type 1 charging, for example in a private parking space, an adequate safety level necessitates that the socket-outlet is protected by suitable overcurrent protection and by a "residual current device". These devices are now mandatory in all new electrical installations.

Furthermore, if vented batteries with aqueous electrolyte are used, the charging space must be adequately ventilated.