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Green Transportation Acronyms

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Tags: Transportation Technology

Vehicle type acronyms

  • ZEV: Zero-emissions vehicle: Is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power.
  • BEV / AEV: Battery Electric Vehicle or All Electric Vehicle: Are electric vehicles whose main energy storage is in the chemical energy of batteries. BEVs are the most common form of what is defined by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as zero emission vehicle (ZEV) because they produce no tailpipe emissions at the point of operation.
  • CEV: City Electric Vehicles: Have 50-75 miles range and are smaller versions of battery EVs intended for around town use.
  • Electrified or Electrification is a term Ford Motors uses to describe any vehicle with any form of electric assist in the drive train. This includes every form of technology from Mild Hybrid, to normal Hybrid, to Plug-in Hybrid, to Battery Electric.
  • A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle.
  • HEV: Hybrid Electric Vehicle: A type of hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle which combines a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) propulsion system with an electric propulsion system. The presence of the electric powertrain is intended to achieve either better fuel economy than a conventional vehicle, or better performance.
  • PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle: is a hybrid vehicle which utilizes rechargeable batteries, or another energy storage device, that can be restored to full charge by connecting a plug to an external electric power source (usually a normal electric wall socket). A PHEV shares the characteristics of both a conventional hybrid electric vehicle, having an electric motor and an internal combustion engine (ICE); and of an all-electric vehicle, having a plug to connect to the electrical grid. EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) is an abomination of a phrase invented by General Motors so that they could pretend the Chevy Volt is an electric car. EREV's are PHEV's, period, and EREV is unnecessary confusion in an already confusing array of acronyms. Unfortunately Fisker Automotive and Via Motors both chose to use the EREV name as well.
  • A hydrogen vehicle is a vehicle that uses hydrogen as its onboard fuel for motive power. Hydrogen can be burned in an internal combustion engine, or it can go through a fuel cell to produce electricity.
  • FCEV or HFCF: Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle or Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles: A type of hydrogen vehicle which uses a fuel cell to produce electricity, powering its on-board electric motor. Fuel cells in vehicles create electricity to power an electric motor using hydrogen and oxygen from the air. Hence, an FCEV is an electric vehicle which uses hydrogen as an energy carrier, and fuel cell to convert the energy into the hydrogen into electricity.
  • NGV: Natural Gas Vehicle: Is an alternative fuel vehicle that uses compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a clean alternative to other fossil fuels.
  • PEV: Plug-in Electric Vehicle: Is any motor vehicle that can be recharged from any external source of electricity, such as wall sockets, and the electricity stored in the rechargeable battery packs drives or contributes to drive the wheels. PEV is a subcategory of electric vehicles that includes all-electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles, (PHEVs), and electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.
  • PEV: Personal Electric Vehicle: This alternate acronym is used in some circles to refer to electric vehicles of a personal size/nature, such as electric bicycles, or the small scale electric scooters.
  • LEV: Low-Emission Vehicle: A motor vehicle that emits relatively low levels of motor vehicle emissions. The term may be used in a general sense, but in some countries it is defined in air quality statues.
  • LSV, NEV: Neighborhood Electric Vehicle: Is a U.S. denomination for battery electric vehicles that are legally limited to roads with posted speed limits as high as 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) depending on the particular laws of the state, usually are built to have a top speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h), and have a maximum loaded weight of 3,000 lbs. NEVs fall under the United States Department of Transportation classification for low-speed vehicles (LSV).
  • The air engine is an emission-free piston engine that uses compressed air as a source of energy. It has many of the same parts as a combustion engine (pistons, crank shaft, etc) but does not combust anything. The energy is stored in the compression of the air, released through the engine, to turn the wheels.
  • Bi-fuel vehicles are vehicles with multifuel engines capable of running on two fuels. On internal combustion engines one fuel is gasoline or diesel, and the other is an alternate fuel such as natural gas (CNG), LPG, or hydrogen. The two fuels are stored in separate tanks and the engine runs on one fuel at a time, unlike flexible-fuel vehicles ("dual-fuel"), that store the two different fuels mixed together in the same tank, and the resulting blend is burned in the combustion chamber. Bi-fuel vehicles have the capability to switch back and forth from gasoline or diesel to the other fuel, manually or automatically. These are distinguished from Flex-Fuel Vehicles (see below).
  • GG: Gas Guzzler: Any typical gasoline powered vehicle. Hopefully these will be rendered moot in a few years.

California acronyms

California's definitions (driveclean.ca.gov) California Air Resources Board

  • TLEV: Transitional Low-Emission Vehicle: The least stringent emissions standard in California. California phased-out TLEVs in 2004.
  • LEV: Low-Emission Vehicle: The minimum standard for all new cars sold in California as of 2004.
  • ULEV: Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle
  • SULEV: Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle: SULEV emissions are 90% cleaner than the average new model year car.
  • PZEV: Partial-Zero-Emission Vehicle: Meets SULEV tailpipe emission standards, but has no evaporative emissions (i.e., no unburned fuel leaves the fuel system). A PZEV has a 15-year / 150,000-mile warranty on its emission control components.
  • AT PZEV: Advanced Technology Partial-Zero-Emission Vehicle: Meets the PZEV requirements, but also meets some of the necessary conditions of a ZEV. AT PZEVs include dedicated compressed natural gas vehicles and hybrid vehicles with engine emissions that meet PZEV standards.
  • Enhanced AT-PZEV: Is a vehicle that meets the AT-PZEV requirements and makes use of an off-board ZEV fuel such as electricity or hydrogen.
  • ZEV: Zero-Emissions Vehicle: The emissions of a ZEV are 98% cleaner than the average new model-year vehicle, and has no tailpipe emissions. These include battery-powered electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
  • ZEM: Zero Emission Motorcycle
  • Zero Emission VMT: The vehicle miles traveled with zero exhaust emissions of any criteria pollutant.
  • FFEV: Full Function Electric Vehicle
  • FFV: Flex Fuel Vehicle: A flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) or dual-fuel vehicle (colloquially called a flex-fuel vehicle) is an alternative fuel vehicle with an internal combustion engine designed to run on more than one fuel, usually gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol fuel, and both fuels are stored in the same common tank. Modern flex-fuel engines are capable of burning any proportion of the resulting blend in the combustion chamber as fuel injection and spark timing are adjusted automatically according to the actual blend detected by electronic sensors. Flex-fuel vehicles are distinguished from bi-fuel vehicles, where two fuels are stored in separate tanks and the engine runs on one fuel at a time, for example, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles: These vehicles use hydrogen and a fuel cell to create electricity.
  • Hydrogen ICE Vehicles: These vehicles have an internal combustion engine (ICE) that is specially designed to run on hydrogen fuel.
  • LEV 1 LEV: Low Emission Vehicle rating within California�s LEV 1 exhaust emission standards. The LEV 1 emission standards apply to cars from 1994-2003. However some cars were stil certified as LEV 1 LEV's after 2003.
  • LEV 2 LEV: A Low Emission Vehicle emissions rating within California�s LEV 2 exhaust emission standards. The LEV 2 emission standards were adopted in 1998 and apply to cars from 2004-2010. However some cars were certified as LEV 2 LEV's before 2004.
  • LEV 1 ULEV: An Ultra Low Emission Vehicle is a vehicle emissions rating within California�s LEV 1 exhaust emission standards. The LEV 1 emission standards apply to cars from 1994-2003. However some cars were stil certified as LEV 1 LEV's after 2003.
  • LEV 2 ULEV: An Ultra Low Emission Vehicle emissions rating within California�s LEV 2 exhaust emission standards. The LEV 2 emission standards were adopted in 1998 and apply to cars from 2004-2010. However some cars were certified as LEV 2 LEV's before 2004.
  • LEV 1 or Tier 1 Emission Standards: California emission standards that extend through the year 2003.
  • LEV 2 Emission Standards: Emission standards adopted by California in 1998 which extend from the year 2004 � 2010.
  • MDV: Medium Duty Vehicle
  • LCFS: Low-Carbon Fuel Standard: Is a rule enacted to reduce carbon intensity in transportation fuels as compared to conventional petroleum fuels, such as gasoline and diesel. The most common low-carbon fuels are alternative fuels and cleaner fossil fuels, such as natural gas (CNG and LPG).

Fuel types

  • CNG: Compressed natural gas: Is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline (petrol), diesel, or propane/LPG. Although its combustion does produce greenhouse gases, it is a more environmentally clean alternative to those fuels, and it is much safer than other fuels in the event of a spill (natural gas is lighter than air, and disperses quickly when released).
  • LPG, GPL, LP Gas: Liquefied petroleum gas, liquid petroleum gas or simply propane: Is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as a fuel in heating appliances and vehicles.
  • Alcohol: Has been used as a fuel throughout history. The first four aliphatic alcohols (methanol, ethanol, propanol, and butanol) are of interest as fuels because they can be synthesized chemically or biologically, and they have characteristics which allow them to be used in current engines. One advantage shared by all four alcohols is their high octane rating. This tends to increase fuel efficiency and largely offsets the lower energy density of alcohol fuels (as compared to petrol/gasoline and diesel fuels), thus resulting in comparable "fuel economy" in terms of distance per volume metrics, such as kilometers per liter, or miles per gallon. Biobutanol has the advantage that its energy density is closer to gasoline than the simpler alcohols (while still retaining over 25% higher octane rating); however, biobutanol is currently more difficult to produce than ethanol or methanol.
  • Carbon Fixation: Is the reduction of inorganic carbon (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere due to organic compounds by living organisms. Organisms that grow by fixing carbon are called autotrophs�plants for example. Carbon sequestration is the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2). e.g. "The process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir."
  • Biofuel: A type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases. Although fossil fuels have their origin in ancient carbon fixation, they are not considered biofuels because they contain carbon that has been "out" of the carbon cycle for a very long time. Biofuels are gaining increased public and scientific attention, driven by factors such as oil price hikes, the need for increased energy security, concern over greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, and support from government subsidies.
  • Bioalcohol: Biologically produced alcohols, most commonly ethanol, are produced by the action of microorganisms and enzymes through the fermentation of sugars or starches (easiest), or cellulose (which is more difficult).
  • Biodiesel: Refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl, propyl or ethyl) esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, animal fat (tallow)) with an alcohol producing fatty acid esters. Biodiesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone, or blended with petrodiesel. Biodiesel can also be used as a low carbon alternative to heating oil.
  • Green diesel or renewable diesel: Is a form of diesel fuel which is derived from renewable feedstock rather than the fossil feedstock used in most diesel fuels. Green diesel feedstock can be sourced from a variety of oils including canola, algae, jatropha and salicornia in addition to tallow. Green diesel uses traditional fractional distillation to process the oils, not to be confused with biodiesel which is chemically quite different and processed using transesterification.
  • Vegetable oil: Straight unmodified edible vegetable oil is generally not used as fuel, but lower quality oil can and has been used for this purpose. Used vegetable oil is increasingly being processed into biodiesel, or (more rarely) cleaned of water and particulates and used as a fuel.
  • Algae fuel: Might be an alternative to fossil fuel and uses algae as its source of natural deposits. Several companies and government agencies are funding efforts to reduce capital and operating costs and make algae fuel production commercially viable. Harvested algae, like fossil fuel, release CO2 when burnt but unlike fossil fuel the CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere by the growing algae.
  • Butanol: may be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine. Because its longer hydrocarbon chain causes it to be fairly non-polar, it is more similar to gasoline than it is to ethanol. Butanol has been demonstrated to work in vehicles designed for use with gasoline without modification. it has a 3 link hydrocarbon chain. It can be produced from biomass (as "biobutanol") as well as fossil fuels (as "petrobutanol"); but biobutanol and petrobutanol have the same chemical properties.
  • Biogasoline: Is gasoline produced from biomass such as algae. Like traditionally produced gasoline, it contains between 6 (hexane) and 12 (dodecane) carbon atoms per molecule and can be used in internal-combustion engines. Biogasoline is chemically different from biobutanol and bioethanol, as these are alcohols, not hydrocarbons.
  • Cellulosic ethanol: Is a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants. It is a type of biofuel produced from lignocellulose, a structural material that comprises much of the mass of plants. Lignocellulose is composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Corn stover, switchgrass, miscanthus, woodchips and the byproducts of lawn and tree maintenance are some of the more popular cellulosic materials for ethanol production.
  • Ethanol fuel: Is ethanol (ethyl alcohol), the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline.
  • Methanol: Is an alternative fuel for internal combustion and other engines, either in combination with gasoline or directly ("neat"). It is used in racing cars and in China. In the U.S., methanol fuel has received less attention than ethanol fuel as an alternative to petroleum-based fuels, because in the 2000s particularly, the support of corn-based ethanol offered certain political advantages. In general, ethanol is less toxic and has higher energy density, although methanol is less expensive to produce sustainably and is a less expensive way to reduce the carbon footprint. However, for optimizing engine performance, fuel availability, toxicity and political advantage, a blend of ethanol, methanol and petroleum is likely to be preferable to using any of these individual substances alone. Methanol may be made from fossil or renewable resources, in particular natural gas and biomass respectively.
  • Biogas: Methane produced by the process of anaerobic digestion of organic material by anaerobes. It can be produced either from biodegradable waste materials or by the use of energy crops fed into anaerobic digesters to supplement gas yields. The solid byproduct, digestate, can be used as a biofuel or a fertilizer.
  • Syngas: A mixture of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and other hydrocarbons is produced by partial combustion of biomass, that is, combustion with an amount of oxygen that is not sufficient to convert the biomass completely to carbon dioxide and water. Before partial combustion the biomass is dried, and sometimes pyrolysed. The resulting gas mixture, syngas, is more efficient than direct combustion of the original biofuel; more of the energy contained in the fuel is extracted.
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