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EVSE is a terrible name

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,631
7,799
Maine
OK, I just really wanted to get this off my chest.

EVSE is a terrible name. It really is.

But worse than that is the full name: Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment.
Really? You "supply" your car every evening? A sarcastic round of applause to the engineers who came up with that one, and to the people who allowed the term to escape from the world of engineering.

To anyone who ever says something like "Actually, the charger is in the car, the thing you plug is in an EVSE", when there is no confusion about what's under discussion: shut up. Just shut up. (I was going to write please shut up, but no, this request is not polite). You aren't helping.

It's perfectly fine for people to call an EVSE a charger. It's a thing you use to charge your car. Your car doesn't charge without one.

In most cases people don't even need to talk about the onboard charger. It just decides how fast the car can charge on AC. That's usually decided when they buy the car. It comes with the car. It's inside the car. To the buyer, it's the capability, not a thing. So people don't talk about it. Until it goes wrong. When it goes wrong, that's when you can ask for qualification: wall charger, portable charger, onboard charger.

That's all. Thanks for reading.
 
Last edited:

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,743
Columbia River Gorge
OK, I just really wanted to get this off my chest.

EVSE is a terrible name. It really is.

But worse than that is the full name: Electric Vehicle Service Equipment.
Really? You "service" your car every evening? A sarcastic round of applause to the engineers who came up with that one, and to the people who allowed the term to escape from the world of engineering.

To anyone who ever says something like "Actually, the charger is in the car, the thing you plug is in an EVSE", when there is no confusion about what's under discussion: shut up. Just shut up. (I was going to write please shut up, but no, this request is not polite). You aren't helping.

It's perfectly fine for people to call an EVSE a charger. It's a thing you use to charge your car. Your car doesn't charge without one.

In most cases people don't even need to talk about the onboard charger. It just decides how fast the car can charge on AC. That's usually decided when they buy the car. It comes with the car. It's inside the car. To the buyer, it's the capability, not a thing. So people don't talk about it. Until it goes wrong. When it goes wrong, that's when you can ask for qualification: wall charger, portable charger, onboard charger.

That's all. Thanks for reading.
Feel better?

:)
 

Bangor Bob

Member
Jan 5, 2015
670
486
Bangor, ME
Don't call it a charger. Calling it a charger makes it seem like more than it is, and justifies the prices that are asked.

An EVSE is a glorified heavy-duty extension cord. A smart one, a safe one, but still just an extension cord. The only thing is "does to" the power is turn it on and off. Yes, there's the diode check, resistance checking, pilot signal generation, and the ground-fault protection, but in the days of cheap microcontrollers, those functions don't add up to anything like $600.

Hopefully as manufacturing and sales volume increases the component prices will come down - an 80A-capable J1772 plug is a pricey item at the moment, seems to be only 1 manufacturer out there.
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Oct 22, 2012
4,279
3,880
Santa Barbara/New York
Colloquially, I suspect it is most frequently referred to as charger. That's what the masses who drive plugins of any type and don't live on forums call it. Technically correct is unimportant. After reading your rant, I texted 5 friends with plug ins to see what they say. 4 chargers, 1 cable. Like Kleenex, colloquialism wins every time.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,631
7,799
Maine
Don't call it a charger. Calling it a charger makes it seem like more than it is, and justifies the prices that are asked.

An EVSE is a glorified heavy-duty extension cord. A smart one, a safe one, but still just an extension cord. The only thing is "does to" the power is turn it on and off. Yes, there's the diode check, resistance checking, pilot signal generation, and the ground-fault protection, but in the days of cheap microcontrollers, those functions don't add up to anything like $600.

Hopefully as manufacturing and sales volume increases the component prices will come down - an 80A-capable J1772 plug is a pricey item at the moment, seems to be only 1 manufacturer out there.

Well, then don't call them EVSEs, because they aren't supplying the electricity.

Doesn't matter what the name is, there will be market pressure for the price to come down. If PEVs become common, then the chargers will be become cheaper. Not necessarily super cheap, because you'll want them to be reliable.
 

cantdecide

Member
Dec 21, 2012
384
237
Boulder, CO
My friend went for the dual charger option, but his charger looks just the same as mine. I think he should take his charger in to be looked at. He says it makes supercharging faster but he plugs the supercharger straight into his car so I don't see how. [/nonsense]

We need to use precise terminology or else people will make bad decisions based on nonsense reasoning.
I agree that common usage of the charger term is technically wrong..
And difficult to change... We should probably change the technical name of the thing that is currently technically called the charger... Then I would be OK to let the popular term be whatever naturally fits.
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Oct 22, 2012
4,279
3,880
Santa Barbara/New York
What do ice drivers put in the car when they gas up? The pump? Definitely inaccurate, but probably the colloquial winner. I don't know that it matters. As EVs go mainstream and charging devices converge, it will be less important. You plug in, that's it. Until then, you need a modicum of knowledge, but what you call your charging thingie doesn't seem critical.
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,761
United States
I think "Tesla adapter cable" is probably a good generic term.

It's like Apple lightning cable. The lighting cable can be used with different AC adapters like the 12W adapter shipped with iPad or the 5W "cube" that comes with iPhone.
 

m6bigdog

Member
Mar 29, 2015
150
33
San Ramon, CA
My friend went for the dual charger option, but his charger looks just the same as mine. I think he should take his charger in to be looked at. He says it makes supercharging faster but he plugs the supercharger straight into his car so I don't see how. [/nonsense].

A single charger in the MS allows it to be charged at 40 amps (10kW) rate or 23 miles per hr. of charge.
The second charge in the MS (Dual Charger) allows it to be charged at 80 amps (20kW) rate or 56 miles per hr. of charge.

The UMC has a maximum output current rating of 40 amps.
The HPWC has a maximum output current rating of 80 amps.

Hence the advantage of the HPWC and a MS with dual charger is the ability to charge the MS at twice the rate of the single charger MS, hence you have the opportunity to save hours when charging if an HPWC can supply 80 amps (actually anything more than 40 amp saves time).
I like the dual charger option because I can arrive at a hotel destination check-in and have the MS fully charged (4-5 hrs.) by the time I go to bed and I sleep knowing the MS fully charged!!
I check the charging status from my room using my phone and retrieve the MS from the charge station once charging is complete; leaving the HPWC available for another MS to charge overnight.

The Supercharger supplies DC voltage directly to the MS battery and bypasses the MS internal single and dual acV chargers.


We need to use precise terminology or else people will make bad decisions based on nonsense reasoning.
I agree that common usage of the charger term is technically wrong..
And difficult to change... We should probably change the technical name of the thing that is currently technically called the charger... Then I would be OK to let the popular term be whatever naturally fits.

The correct terminology for the High Power Wall Connector or Universal Mobile Connector is "Charging Station"
However the Tesla terms "Wall Connector (permanent)" or Mobile Connector (movable)" is not that confusing because it does not conflict with other terminology in the standard.
They both include:
1) ground fault circuit interrupter
2) charging control circuit - communicates the maximum current available and allows the MS to turns on/off the Charge Station output.
3) user display

Want more Terminology?
see the attached EVSE standard UL 2594 definitions section 5.
Not very pretty!! but this it the standard terminology for EVSE.
 

Attachments

  • UL-2594_1.pdf
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paulkva

Member
Jul 22, 2013
707
255
Falls Church, VA
I think "Tesla adapter cable" is probably a good generic term.

It's like Apple lightning cable. The lighting cable can be used with different AC adapters like the 12W adapter shipped with iPad or the 5W "cube" that comes with iPhone.

I know lots of people who call a lightning cable (with or without the "cube" adapter) an "iPhone charger." Given the (very rough) similarities, aside from scale of course, I can see why people refer to EVSEs as chargers.

I agree EVSE is an annoying name, no matter how technically correct, and I generally avoid the term. I too prefer "charging station." But I'll say "charging cable" for my UMC.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,562
2,454
SF Bay Area, CA
My friend went for the dual charger option, but his charger looks just the same as mine. I think he should take his charger in to be looked at. He says it makes supercharging faster but he plugs the supercharger straight into his car so I don't see how. [/nonsense]

We need to use precise terminology or else people will make bad decisions based on nonsense reasoning.

I agree that common usage of the charger term is technically wrong..
And difficult to change... We should probably change the technical name of the thing that is currently technically called the charger... Then I would be OK to let the popular term be whatever naturally fits.
Totally agreed w/the bolded part.

I've griped about this a lot and often on MNL point people to Talk to me about charging/EVSE and charging stations - Page 2 - My Nissan Leaf Forum and to the diagram at Range issues - Page 2 - My Nissan Leaf Forum.

I don't like the terminology either (EVSE vs. charger) but we're stuck with it. There are some out there who don't like me being pedantic about this, but often, they're people who have never dealt w/anything above 3.x kW OBCs or never encountered someone who said something like "hey, I want to speed up charging on my Chevy Spark EV or 2012 Leaf (both have 3.x kW OBCs) by buying _______ 40 amp "charger" (UGH! EVSE!)"

If they understood all the pieces (and their proper names) and where the bottlenecks are, they would know better than to waste their $ or would've bought a different vehicle (e.g. one with a higher wattage OBC).
 

m6bigdog

Member
Mar 29, 2015
150
33
San Ramon, CA
...
I agree EVSE is an annoying name, no matter how technically correct, and I generally avoid the term. I too prefer "charging station." But I'll say "charging cable" for my UMC.

The UMC is technically an EV Cord Set.
We can invent terms to describe the EVSE but the problem with that is there is no reference for others or a standard definition.

The UMC is not a listed device in the US so it does not exactly fit the scope, but the definition is 100% from UL 2594.
Scope: Portable EV Cord Sets - Rated 125 Vac (UMC is 240 Vac) maximum, 20 A (UMC is 40 A) maximum, intended for indoor and outdoor use.
In the scope of UL 2594 everything that is 240 Vac, 40 A max is a charging station; definition: Charging station-moveable ... occasional moved..
Definition: Cord Set, Portable - An EV cord set that is intended for indoor or outdoor use, and is intended to be carried from charging location to charging locationand is transported in the vehicle when not in use.This type of cord set will be subject to charging environmental conditions and all foreseeable abuse.
 

ZachShahan

Active Member
Dec 3, 2014
1,051
5,349
Sarasota, FL / Wroclaw, Poland
OK, I just really wanted to get this off my chest.

EVSE is a terrible name. It really is.

But worse than that is the full name: Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment.
Really? You "supply" your car every evening? A sarcastic round of applause to the engineers who came up with that one, and to the people who allowed the term to escape from the world of engineering.

To anyone who ever says something like "Actually, the charger is in the car, the thing you plug is in an EVSE", when there is no confusion about what's under discussion: shut up. Just shut up. (I was going to write please shut up, but no, this request is not polite). You aren't helping.

It's perfectly fine for people to call an EVSE a charger. It's a thing you use to charge your car. Your car doesn't charge without one.

In most cases people don't even need to talk about the onboard charger. It just decides how fast the car can charge on AC. That's usually decided when they buy the car. It comes with the car. It's inside the car. To the buyer, it's the capability, not a thing. So people don't talk about it. Until it goes wrong. When it goes wrong, that's when you can ask for qualification: wall charger, portable charger, onboard charger.

That's all. Thanks for reading.

Haha, thank you! Completely agree, but you also took it a step further than I would have -- and I like that.

Thanks.

Really, if we want EVs to be mainstream, we need to use (and accept) terminology that doesn't alienate normal people.

- - - Updated - - -

Colloquially, I suspect it is most frequently referred to as charger. That's what the masses who drive plugins of any type and don't live on forums call it. Technically correct is unimportant. After reading your rant, I texted 5 friends with plug ins to see what they say. 4 chargers, 1 cable. Like Kleenex, colloquialism wins every time.

Yes. This.

This should be common knowledge, but as someone who has studied and taught English, the language changes over time -- quite a bit and quite fast, actually. Definitions and what is correct change based dominant usage patterns. To try to fight that for a technicality that originated with engineers is perhaps less intelligent than using the "wrong" terminology.

At this stage, people who "get" the advantages of EVs should be working to explain them to the masses in a way the masses will understand. Try doing it with 5 "normal" people and see what works best. Rinse and repeat.

- - - Updated - - -

I tell people it's a "Charging Station".

This is what I've also been using for the past few months or so.
 

scaesare

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
8,440
14,268
NoVA
Agree with the OP's underlying point (even if the tone of the post was "entertaining"").

I also use "charge station" quite a bit.
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Oct 22, 2012
4,279
3,880
Santa Barbara/New York
When I plug in and say I'm hooking up the charger, that is technically correct, regardless of whether charger is internal or external to car. I wish we'd stop inflicting complex terminology. People want the fueling process to be ubiquitous and simple and it will have to be b4 mainstream adoption. All this stuff that's important with 99 mile range cars and diverse charging infrastructure becomes unimportant with 200+ mile range, home charging, super chargers, and a couple of adapters.
 

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