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Canada: Know your CHAdeMO from your CNG

New technology invariably means all of us have to learn a new language. As electric and alternative fuel vehicles roll out, a whole new set of abbreviations and acronyms have entered the automotive lexicon. Here is a current glossary of terms:

AC motors – Alternating Cur-rent motors. Some EVs (Chevrolet Volt, Ford Azure Dynamics Transit Connect) use an Alternating Current induction motor. Some can be three-phase AC motors, which are more compact and less costly as a single-phase motor.

BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle. Used by Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i MiEV, etc.

CHAdeMO – an abbreviation of CHArge de MOve. According to Wikipedia, it is an abbreviation of O cha demo ikaga desuka in Japanese. This roughly translates as, “How about some tea?” – a reference to having to wait while an electric vehicle charges. The CHAdeMO protocol is a pro-posed global standard that can deliver up to 62.5 kW of high-voltage direct current to a car’s battery. This means it can charge a 16-kWh battery to 80 per cent capacity in 20 minutes.

Conductive coupling – The transfer of electricity by means of physical contact of a conductive medium. This is how the current EVs are charged.

CNG – Compressed Natural Gas. Used by the Chevrolet Ex-press and GMC Savana full-sized vans.

DCPM – Direct Current Permanent Magnet. Describes the type of electric motor used in a number of EVs.

EREV – Extended Range Electric Vehicle (e.g. Chevrolet Volt).
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