E-mobility from A – Z
E-mobility - A growing field full of exciting developments, but also raising questions and uncertainties. Since many terms related to electromobility are technical vocabulary, we would like to explain them in our latest blog post. Find out what AC charging, recuperation, type 2 plugs or the abbreviation WLTP mean here.
A as in
AC charging refers to charging with alternating current. At charging stations, it is usually possible to charge up to a maximum of 22 kW.
Electric cars are not less safe than conventional cars. However, if the vehicle battery starts to burn, it can only be extinguished with considerable effort.
Electromobility has seen continuous growth in recent years. For example, the number of electric vehicles in Switzerland grew by nearly 61% from 2020 to 2021.
B as in
BEV stands for Battery Electric Vehicle and thus refers to a purely electric vehicle.
The battery is probably the most important component of an electric car. Its capacity is specified in kilowatt hours (kWh).
BMS stands for battery management system. This monitors the battery during operation.
C as in
Combined Charging System (CCS for short) refers to the European standard plug type for DC charging.
The charging curve indicates the progression of the charging power during the charging process. Once the charge level reaches 80%, charging generally slows down, and the curve drops sharply.
The charging power indicates how many kilowatts (kW) a battery may be charged. Multiplied by the charging time, it gives the capacity of the battery in kilowatt hours (kWh).
This value, also known as the drag coefficient, is the measure of a vehicle's streamlining. The lower the value, the more aerodynamic the vehicle.
Consumption is expressed in kWh/100 km. Most vehicles range between 15-20 kWh/100 km.
D as in
During DC (direct current) charging, the vehicle charges using direct current. This refers to fast charging above 50 kW. A CCS plug type is absolutely necessary for this purpose.
E as in
Electric motors are extremely efficient. 85% of the stored energy reaches the wheels and thus is used to power forward motion. The efficiency of an internal combustion engine is only 25%.
F as in
Fuel Cell Battery
Electric cars powered by fuel cell batteries are electric vehicles as well. In contrast to “conventional” electric cars, FCEVs get their power from hydrogen and not from an internal battery.
G as in
Green licence plates
Green licence plates offer several advantages. For example, cars with such number plates park for free in some municipalities and are exempt from speed limits under the Immission Control Act - Air (IG-L).
Even though in everyday life people talk about the accelerator pedal when referring to an electric car, this does not quite correspond to the facts. More correct would be the expression "current pedal".
H as in
High Power Charging (HPC)
With High Power Charging, suppliers want to increase the charging power up to 350 kW. This can greatly reduce charging time. At present, however, there are still few vehicles that can handle this high charging power.
I as in
This is the non-contact charging of the vehicle battery. Analogous to the induction oven, the energy is transferred via a magnetic coil embedded in the floor.
There are currently over 7,800 public charging locations in Switzerland. This compares with just over 3,300 conventional filling stations.
J as in
Electric cars accelerate faster than comparable cars with a combustion engine. An acceleration from 0 – 100 km/h under 5 seconds is no problem for many cars.
K as in
Kilowatt hours (kWh)
A kilowatt hour is the amount of energy that is converted within one hour at a power output of one kilowatt. In the case of electric cars, power consumption is expressed in kWh/100 km.
L as in
Most manufacturers currently guarantee, that their batteries will function at least for 8 years or 160,000 kilometers. And they are steadily improving.
Loss of charge
During charging, a small percentage of the energy coming from the charging station will be converted into heat. Therefore, the amount of energy you pay for can be different from the amount of energy you will get.
M as in
More and more automakers are turning away from combustion engines and toward electromobility. Accordingly, the number of e-cars on the roads will increase significantly in the next few years.
Quiet as a mouse
Electric cars are almost silent up to a speed of 30 km/h. After that, the rolling noise of the wheels is predominant.
N as in
Net Zero stands for the reduction of CO2-emissions from a company to a point where there is no environmental impact. Electric verhicles play a crucial part in this transition.
O as in
Many electric cars enable what is known as "one-pedal driving". In this case, the vehicle is brought to a stop entirely without a brake pedal using only recuperation.
The onboard charger is installed directly in the vehicle, converts alternating current into direct current and is absolutely essential for charging the battery. It also determines the maximum AC charging power that can be used.
P as in
Due to the shorter range of the e-cars, planning the trip and charging stops in advance is worth it for long-distance trips - apps make the whole thing easier.
Electric cars are still noticeably more expensive to buy than comparable cars with internal combustion engines. However, government subsidies and lower charging and maintenance costs mean that in many cases the electric car is still cheaper in the end.
The purchase of e-vehicles and charging infrastructure is subsidized differently depending on the canton. You can find more information here.
Q as in
The quality of e-cars is no different from that of other vehicles. On the contrary, e-cars often offer more technology than conventional cars.
R as in
Most e-cars can now go between 200-500 km. However, the achievable range can vary greatly depending on driving style, temperature and use of air conditioning or heating.
Recuperation starts as soon as you take your foot off the power pedal. Braking energy is recovered through deceleration, thus increasing range.
Driving an e-car requires a change in thinking. Anticipatory, steady, smooth; kind of like riding a bike. This is the only way to achieve the ecological and economic maximum.
If the capacity of the vehicle battery is no longer sufficient, it can potentially be reused as a stationary energy storage unit.
An electric motor only has about one tenth of the parts compared to an internal combustion engine. As the number of wear and tear parts decreases, the ongoing maintenance costs decrease as well.
S as in
Crash tests have shown that e-cars are not only just as safe as conventional cars, but many of the electric vehicles tested actually performed better during the tests than their combustion engine counterparts.
In many vehicles, recuperation can be turned off or reduced to a minimum. This makes it possible to use the weight of the electric car and "sail" with it on long stretches of road (e.g., a highway) that have to be travelled at a set speed.
Severe heat and cold affect the range of the electric car. In addition, the use of air conditioning or heating further reduces the range.
Solid state battery
The solid state battery is the great hope of electromobility. It is expected to greatly increase the range in the same design space. It is also less expensive, more efficient and safer.
As long as electric cars are predominantly charged with renewable electricity, they have a significantly better life cycle eco-balance than cars with combustion engines. If coal-fired electricity is the primary source of power for charging, an e-car will actually emit more CO2 than a conventional combustion engine.
T as in
Charging an e-car can take more than half an hour at a public charging station. This time should definitely be factored into longer trips.
Type 2 plug
The Type 2 plug is the most widely used plug in Europe and has been set as the standard. It theoretically allows charging power up to 43 kW, but in practice the Type 2 plug is used to charge up to a charging power of 22 kW.
U as in
Electric vehicles are because of their yet limited range not the best choice for all drivers. By getting to know your driving profile you get a first hint, if e-mobility is suitable for your daily driving.
V as in
Electric vehicles can, under certain circumstances, feed the charged electricity back into the power grid and thus avoid peak loads. Optimally, this can even generate financial gains.
W as in
In order to charge your e-car at home, it is recommended that a wall box be installed. Depending on the configuration and conditions, it is possible to charge up to 22 kW.
The "Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure" determines the consumption and range of electric cars. This procedure is more accurate than the "New European Driving Cycle (NEDC)" which was used until recently.
X as in
The abbreviation xEV refers to all types of electric vehicles. In addition to pure electric cars, this also includes plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and range extenders
Y as in
Besides cars, there are other vehicles that are electrically powered. The forklift and industrial truck manufacturer Yale, for example, has an electric forklift in its portfolio.
Z as in
An e-car is emission-free locally. This means it emits no pollutants while driving, which means that it can help improve air quality.