Electric and alternative fuel vehicles is new to a lot of people, if you are just starting out with your research into an electric van it may seem a little confusing. There is a lot of jargon and so many acronyms that we've lost count and so we have created a brief jargon buster for you. We hope it helps.

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Jargon Buster


Alternating Current (the current constantly changes direction)
The power that comes from the grid is always alternating current (AC). A van or car battery is only able to accept direct current (DC). If you use an AC charger, the vehicle will have an ‘onboard charger’ and the conversion from AC to DC will happen inside the vehicle. After converting the power, the battery is charged. AC charging takes longer than DC charging but is ideal for overnight charging, either at home or a work location.


Direct Current (the current flows in only one direction)
With a DC charger, the conversion from AC to DC happens inside the charger. This means that the battery can be charged quicker, often more than 10x faster. DC chargers are usually a lot larger than an AC charger; they cost more to buy and install, they will also require a high power connection to the grid. DC charging is great for a quick top up on your journey.


Battery Electric Vehicle
Refers to pure electric vehicles, that are powered by a rechargeable battery pack with no secondary source of propulsion


Combined Charging System
A type of rapid charging system that combines two types of connectors into one.


CHArge de MOve charging system
A type of rapid charging system, not as commonly used as the CCS system.

Fast Charge

Industrial 3-phase power generating charging speeds up 22kw.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

FCEVs are hydrogen powered vehicles, they are zero emissions vehicles as they only emit water vapor and warm air


Hybrid Electric Vehicle
HEVs combine an electric motor with an internal combustion engine, they can travel on electric power for short distances with the engine kicking in when the battery is depleted.  Mercedes Benz Vans do not offer any HEV’s


Internal Combustion Engine
ICE vehicles are powered by conventional fuel, such as petrol or diesel.


Refers to motor power, and is also used when talking about the output speed of a charger and the maximum possible received speed of charge for any particular vehicle. 


Kilowatt hour
kWh is used when talking about battery capacity and the amount of energy put into the battery from the charger.


Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle
MHEVs are similar to HEVs but their electric motor isn’t powerful enough to power the vehicle, it can only support the engine.  Mercedes Benz Vans do not offer any MHEVs.


Miles travelled for each kWh consumed to travel that distance.  The equivalent to MPG for ICE vehicles.


Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (previously OLEV)
The OZEV team is part of the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and supports the transition to ZEVs.


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
PHEVs are a type of HEV whose battery pack can be charged by plugging into an external power source.  Mercedes Benz Vans do not offer any MHEVs.

Rapid Charge

Industrial / public charge point delivering charging up to 50kw.


Real Driving Emissions
RDEs are used by vehicle manufacturers to test on-road emissions under real, normal driving conditions.


Radio Frequency Identity Card
A contactless card that you can use to pay at some public charge points.  Home / workplace chargers often have this technology built in as well. 

Slow Charge

Residential 3-pin plug or dedicated charger up to 7.3kw charging speed.  Single phase electrical system.


Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle
Refers to vehicles that emit less than 75g of CO2/km from the tailpipe.  BEV’s emit zero tailpipe emission as they do not have any ICE. 


Public charging network delivering up 350kw charging speeds.


Vehicle to Grid
Refers to the process of feeding the electricity stored in an EV back into the electricity network. 


Vehicle Excise Duty
Commonly called car tax or road tax, the VED is an annual tax collected by the DVLA, its amount depends primarily on the vehicle’s CO2 emissions.


World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (replaces the old NEDC test)
Refers to a test used to measure a vehicle’s fuel consumption,CO2 emissions and their pollutant emissions.


Zero Emission Vehicle
ZEVs are vehicles that produce zero exhaust emissions. 

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