Countdown to Earth Day: PHEV? BEV? E85? What's with all the acronyms?

Deciphering the meaning of automotive acronyms can be complicated. To alleviate confusion, we've compiled this condensed list of some acronyms associated with the types of vehicles that you'll encounter when perusing the AutoblogGreen site:

BEV – Battery electric vehicle. A vehicle that runs only on batteries and requires no fuel of any type. For example, the Nissan Leaf.

CAFE – Corporate Average Fuel Economy. A system used in the United States to define the mileage requirements of vehicles. More details here.

E85 (also: E10, E15) – Petroleum gasoline mixed with ethanol. The number is the percentage of ethanol in the mix.

ER-EV – Extended-range electric vehicle. A vehicle that is driven by an electric powertrain but includes a powerplant to recharge the batteries on the fly. For example, the Chevrolet Volt.

H2 – Hydrogen.

ICE – Internal combustion engine.

Li-ion – Lithium-ion. A type of battery chemistry commonly used in high-tech vehicles. Wiki here.

MPGe – Miles per gallon equivalent. A way to calculate the miles per gallon rating in a vehicle where energy comes from two sources (i.e. the Chevrolet Volt). See more here.

PHEV – Plug in hybrid electric vehicle. A vehicle with two power sources, one being a battery.

This condensed list only covers the oft-used acronyms that you'll encounter on AutoblogGreen. For a more comprehensive listing, check out this Greenlings article in our archives.

Note: To mark the 41st anniversary of Earth Day* this year on April 22nd, we're running a series called Countdown to Earth Day that we want to be very welcoming to new readers, both in topic and tone. We'll be returning to our Greenlings series for inspiration here, and if you have friends who you'd like to introduce to AutoblogGreen, perhaps these introductory posts and the coming "holiday" will be the spark to get their green car fire burning. Share them with your friends.

Photo by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 AOL

*Ironically, the apparent traditional gift for a 41st anniversary is land. Since land – earth – is something we can't easily create, perhaps this Earth Day we can give ourselves the gift of stewardship of the land.

Share This Photo X