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EV vs ICE Jargon

Confused how an Electric Vehicle is compared to an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) Vehicle – here are the answers.


Internal Combustion Engine

Electric Vehicle


Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) usually running on fuels such as Petrol and Diesel.

Electric motor or motors running on electricity from a battery. 


litres / 100km

Consumption of fuel in litres to travel 100 km.

kW / 100km

Consumption of electricity in kilo Watts (kW) to travel 100km. A kW is 1000 Watts.

Note kWh is kW hours, the consumption of 1000W watts of power over 1 hour. 

Range Is determined by efficiency above and the size of the petrol tank in litres

Is determined by the size of the battery in kW and efficiency above.

  • Petrol – 91 Octane or higher Octane 96/98
  • Diesel
  • LPG

Electricity via a connector.  AC (Alternating Current – Mains) or DC (Direct Current) for Rapid charging. 

  • T1 or T2 AC Connectors for Mains Power charging
  • CHAdeMo or CCS Type 2 for Rapid DC Charging. 
Cabin Heating From waste heat from engine as over half of the expensive fuel you have poured into the engine becomes waste heat!  In an EV heating takes extra energy usually with a heat pump in modern EVs. Generation 1 Nissan LEAFs only had a resistive heater that quickly drains the battery. Using the AC will effect the range of the EV.


Nm  – Newton meters

ICE engines have a Torque curve, which is why a gear box is required. Torque is specified at the optimal RPM, which is dependent on the engine and how sporty the car is.  Electric motors have much more consistent torque across all speeds, with lots of  torque at low speed. Most EV’s can easily out drag an ICE powered vehicle. 

See this Youtube video for a Tesla vs a V8 Supercar. 



Power is measured in kW for both ICE and EV cars. However for ICE cars the peak power will be at a specific high RPM.


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