Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Alternative Fuel Data Center
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) As defined by the Energy Policy Act, any dedicated, flexible-fuel, or dual-fuel vehicle designed to operate on at least one alternative fuel.
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Also known as the Stimulus or the Recovery Act, the ARRA was passed by Congress in February 2009 and designed to save and create jobs, and to invest in infrastructure, education, health and “green” energy.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Battery electric vehicle use batteries to store energy to power one or more engines
CHAdeMO A DC fast charging standard created by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries.  The CHAdeMO connector is available in the Nissan Leaf and is a different connector from the SAE J1772 used for Level 1 and Level 2 charging.
Carbon Dioxide (Co2) A product of combustion that has become an environmental concern in recent years. CO2 does not directly impair human health, but is a greenhouse gas that traps the Earth’s heat and contributes to the potential for climate change.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) A colorless, odorless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels with a limited oxygen supply, as in automobile engines. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CO contributes to the formation of smog ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory problems.
Clean Air Act Signed into law in 1963, then amended in 1970, and again in 1990 (see Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990). Includes emissions standard for mobile and stationary sources. Enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA)


Amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1970. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 created two new gasoline standards designed to reduce harmful fuel emissions for vehicles in highly polluted cities. The Act required gasoline to contain cleaner burning additives called fuel oxygenates such as ethanol. This Act recognized that changes in motor fuels and fuel composition would play a vital role in reducing pollution from motor vehicle exhaust.

Clean Cities Program


A voluntary program established and administered by DOE to increase AFV market penetration, particularly in more polluted urban areas. Clean Cities chapters are recognized by DOE as having successfully established a sulf-sustaining environment for AFVs. Specific chapters may include federal, state, and local government agencies, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, fleet managers, utilities, local distribution companies, and other stakeholders. The first international entities joined the program in 1995.

Clean Fuel Fleet Program


Implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a provision of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 to require cities with significant air quality problems to incorporate vehicles that will meet clean fuel emissions standards.

Clean Fuel Vehicle (CFV)


Any vehicle certified by EPA as meeting certain federal emissions standards. The three categories of federal CFV standards from least to most stringent are low emission vehicles (LEVs), ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). The inherently low emission vehicle (ILEV) standard is voluntary and does not need to be adopted by states as part of the Clean-Fuel Fleet Program. CFVs are eligible for two federal programs, the California Pilot Program and the Clean-Fuel Fleet Program. CFV exhaust emissions standards for light-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks are numerically similar to those of CARB’s California Low-Emission Vehicle Program.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Compressed natural gas measured in cubic feet.

Converted or Conversion Vehicle

A vehicle originally designed to operate on gasoline or diesel that has been modified or altered to run on an alternative fuel.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)


Law passed in 1975 that set federal fuel economy standards (P.L. 94-163). The CAFE values are an average of city and highway fuel economy test results weighted by a manufacturer for either its car or truck fleet. CAFE is also a program created to determine whether vehicle manufacturers are complying with the gas mileage, or fuel economy, standards set by the federal government. The CAFE values are obtained by combining the city and highway fuel economy test results and computing an average that is weighted by vehicle sales.
DC Fast Charging EVSE with 60 to 80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging an electric vehicle, also called level 3 charging.
ED Electric Drive
EERE Energy efficiency and renewable energy a site of the US Department of Energy and Clean Cities

Energy/Fuel Diversity

A policy that encourages the development of energy technologies to diversify energy supply sources, thus reducing reliance on conventional (petroleum) fuels; Energy/fuel diversity applies to all energy sectors.

Energy/Fuel Security

A policy that considers the risk of dependence on fuel sources located in remote and unstable regions of the world. It also considers the benefits of domestic and diverse fuel sources.

Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct)


Passed by Congress to enhance U.S. energy security by reducing our dependence on imported oil. It mandates the use of alternative fuel vehicles, beginning with federal, then state, then fuel provider fleets.
Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) Extended range electric vehicle use batteries to power an electric motor and fuel such as gasoline to power an internal combustion engine.
EV Electric vehicle powered by one or more electric motors that produce no tail pipe emissions.
EVSE Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment—charging equipment for an EV.
GHG Green house gas emissions affecting the Earth’s climate.

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes

Lanes on the highway that are restricted to vehicles carrying more than one passenger.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)


A vehicle powered by two or more energy sources, one of which is electricity. HEVs may combine the engine and fuel of a conventional vehicle with the batteries and electric motor of an electric vehicle in a single drive train.
ICE Internal combustion engine powered by fuel such as gasoline, diesel or bio fuel.
Inductive charging EVSE using electromagnetic field to transfer electricity to charge an electric vehicle, introduced in 1990s and SAE is working on a new standard



In transportation, this term generally refers to the charging and fueling network necessary to successful development, production, commercialization, and operation of alternative fuel vehicles. It includes fuel supply, public and private charging and fueling facilities, standard specifications for fueling outlets, customer service, education and training, and building code regulations.
J1772 Vehicle connector for charging electric vehicles standardized by SAE with computerized components to protect batteries.
Level 1 EVSE with 2 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging an electric vehicle; AC level 1 means low power 1.2 kW.
Level 2 EVSE with 10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging an electric vehicle; AC level 2 means effective power levels up to 6.6 kW in commercial locations and 3.3 kW in residential locations; DC level 2 refers to fast charging at typically 50 kW.
Level 3 EVSE with 60 to 80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging an electric vehicle, also called DC fast charging.
LNG Liquid Natural Gas.
LPG Liquid Propane Gas.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)/ Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA)


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an area qualifies for recognition as an MSA if it includes a city of at least 50,000 in population or an urbanized area of at least 50,000 with a total metropolitan area population of at least 100,000.Consolidated metropolitan statistical areas are defined similarly but have populations of 1 million or more and include within them separate metropolitan statistical areas. For purposes of EPAct, covered MSA and CMSA areas include those that had a 1980 U.S. Census population figure of more than 250,000.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

Ambient standards for air pollutants specifically regulated under the CAA. These pollutants include ozone, CO, NO2, lead, PM, and SOx.

National Automotive Technical Education Foundation

A consortium of automotive education experts that has established a steering committee to administer the CHAMP certification process at educational institutions.

National Low-Emission Vehicle (NLEV) Program


This program creates voluntary requirements that automakers can adopt in lieu of compliance with other vehicle emission control measures. (Applies only to light-duty vehicles lighter than 6,000 lb GVWR.) Vehicles are certified with California test procedures. See EPA’s Web site at
NEV Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, light duty, low speed, often restricted to roads with speed limits under 35 mph.
NGV Natural Gas Vehicle.
NOx nitrogen oxide, a diesel pollutant.

Non-Attainment Area


A region, determined by population density in accordance with the U.S. Census Bureau, which exceeds minimum acceptable NAAQS for one or more “criteria pollutants” (see Clean Air Act Amendments). Such areas are required to seek modifications to their State Implementation Plans, setting forth a reasonable timetable using EPA-approved means to achieve attainment of NAAQS for these criteria pollutants by a certain date. Under the CAA, if a nonattainment area fails to attain NAAQS, EPA may superimpose a Federal Implementation Plan with stricter requirements or impose fines, constructions bans, cutoffs in federal grant revenues, and so forth, until the area achieves the applicable NAAQS.

Office of Transportation and Air Quality


Division of EPA that protects public health and the environment by controlling air pollution from motor vehicles, engines, and the fuels used to operate them, and by encouraging travel choices that minimize emissions.

Particulate Matter (PM)


A generic term for a broad class of chemically and physically diverse substances that exist as discrete particles (liquid droplets or solids) over a wide range of sizes. A NAAQS pollutant.

Particulate Trap


Diesel vehicle emission control device that traps and incinerates diesel particulate emissions after they are exhausted from the engine but before they are expelled into the atmosphere.
PEV Plug-in electric vehicle.
PHEV Plug in hybrid electric vehicle.



A visible haze caused primarily by particulate matter and ozone. Ozone is formed by the reaction of hydrocarbons and NOx in the atmosphere.
SOx Sulfur dioxide, a diesel pollutant.



Citizens, environmentalists, businesses, and government representatives that are served by the air quality management system.

State Energy Program


Program offered by the U.S. Department of Energy that allows states to compete for funding to implement activities related to programmatic areas, such as federal energy management, building codes and standards, alternative fuels, industrial efficiency, building efficiency, and renewable energy technologies.

Tailpipe Emissions


EPA-regulated vehicle exhaust emissions released through the vehicle tailpipe. Tailpipe emissions do not include evaporative and refueling emissions, which are also regulated by EPA. EPA publishes allowable emission levels and vehicle certification standards in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Tax Incentives


In general, a means of employing the tax code to stimulate investment in or development of a socially desirable economic objective without direct expenditure from the budget of a given unit of government. Such incentives can take the form of tax exemptions or credits.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Total cost of ownership of a vehicle including purchase price and operational costs for fuel and maintenance.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)


A department of the federal government, established by the Carter Administration in 1977, to consolidate energy-oriented programs and agencies. The DOE mission includes the coordination and management of energy conservation, supply, information dissemination, regulation, research, development and demonstration.

U.S. Department of Transportation


A government agency whose mission is to ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets the national interests and enhances our quality of life.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


A government agency, established in 1970, responsible for protecting the environment and public health. EPA seeks to reduce air, water, and land pollution and pollution from solid waste, radiation, pesticides, and toxic substances. EPA also controls emissions from motor vehicles, fuels, and fuel additives.
V2G Vehicle to grid meaning the ability of a vehicle to supply power back to the electrical grid.
VMT Vehicle miles traveled.
VRA Vehicle Refueling Appliance for CNG.

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV)


A vehicle that emits no tailpipe exhaust emissions. ZEV credits can be banked within the Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area.