According to Reference.com, the word "kilo" is a metric system prefix meaning one thousand. Therefore, to convert kilovolts to volts, the number of kilovolts must be multiplied by 1,000. For example, 20 kilovolts is equal to 20,000 volts.
Volts and kilovolts are used in the measurement of electric potential, electric potential difference and electromotive force. The unit gets its name from Alessandro Volta, who is credited with developing a forerunner to the battery.
The prefix "kilo" comes from the Greek word "khilioi," which means thousand. Other common examples of the prefix include kilometers, kilograms and kilowatts, which represent 1,000 meters, grams and watts respectively.