The top 5 EV charging industry definitions

As the EV charging industry grows we are starting to see new business terms come up. And there is not necessarily wide agreement on their meaning.

Sometimes it seems that our industry is in the business of inventing acronyms!

In the wider business community, even our basic acronym - “EV” for electric vehicle – might not be familiar to everyone.

At least with electric vehicle technology-related acronyms, there is wide agreement, and plenty of resources available, to explain PHEV, BEV, FCEV, HEV etc.

But what about EV charging industry definitions… the charging industry insider terms… do you know your CPSO from your CPNO? Here’s how we see some of those new EV charging industry definitions:


EMO - Electric Mobility Operator

All companies and organizations that run electric vehicle charging point networks as their core business, or as a division, business unit, or major project. Many EMOs are Chago customers.

CPNO - Charging Point Network Operator

A CPNO runs a network of charging points and is responsible for maintenance, service, supply: essentially looking after the network so it works for EV drivers. CPNOs sometimes white label their services for e.g. EV charging service brands, municipalities, or other companies. Some CPNOs are also EV charging service brands in their own right. This is a subset of EMOs. 

CPSO - Charging Point Services Operator

This is not widely used but it may become a useful term in the future. CPSO refers to a supplier of white label services. This then differs from a CPNO that may have a consumer-facing brand. It's another subset of EMOs.

EVSE - Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

This is the hardware for electric vehicle charging, including charging points, cables and connectors. EV charging point manufacturers are sometimes called EVSE manufacturers.

CPMS - Charging Point Management System

This is the back-office software that controls charging points. EMOs, CPNOs and CPSOs rely on CPMS software. You can clearly differentiate EVSE manufacturers by the quality of their CPMS offering, in addition to the quality of their hardware.

"We consider Chago EV Cloud to be an advanced, next generation CPMS solution as it enables load balancing and performance monitoring, as well as collision detection, temperature and usage diagnostics for preventive maintenance. Chago EV Cloud works like a remote control for our hardware and also enables easy data flow to external systems."

Would you like some ICE with that?

As the world becomes more familiar with electric vehicles and technologies we will probably read more about the decline of “ICE”, the old-fashioned Internal Combustion Engine. 

Have you been “ICEd”?

In the UK there is the popular Twitter account "I’ve been #ICEd" (@ivebeeniced) where EV drivers shame non-EV cars that have parked in spaces designated for charging.


Parking in the right bay and getting ICEd in charging bays is part of the new social etiquette that the driving community is learning. In business, we are building new models and new relationships. And it helps that when we talk, and talk the same language.

We supply hardware, software and service solutions to all kinds of organizations to make EV charging smart business. 


Check our EV charging supplier request for proposal (RFP / RFQ) template. It will help you handle your suppliers better, increase your EV knowledge, and keep you from losing resources on bad decisions.