Electrical Terms (Amps, Volts, kW and KWh)

Amps (A) is the measuring unit for electric current.  It is typically illustrated as being similar to the flow rate of water through a pipe.  South African domestic sockets can supply up to 16 Amps current.  Faster AC charging is possible from a 32 Amps supply but this requires the installation of a thicker cable from the distribution board to the charge station to handle the current.

Volts (V) is the measuring unit for electrical potential.  It can be understood by comparing it to the pressure of water flowing through a pipe.  South Africa’s standard domestic supply voltage is 230 Volts. 

Watt (W) is the measuring unit for electrical power.  1 kilowatt is 1000 Watts. Electric power is calculated by multiplying the voltage by the current.  Therefore kilowatt (kW) = (V x A) / 1000.       

Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the measuring unit for electrical power consumption. It is used by electricity utility providers to bill users for the amount of electricity consumed. It can be understood by comparing it to the amount of water that has passed through the pipe analogy. It is the energy provided in one hour by one kilowatt of power.  The capacity of Electric Vehicle batteries is measured in kWh.