An optimization framework for the development of efficient one-way car-sharing systems
Electric vehicle-sharing systems have been introduced to a number of cities as a means of increasing mobility, reducing congestion, and pollution. Electric vehicle-sharing systems can offer one or two-way services. One-way systems provide more flexibility to users since they can be dropped-off at any station. However, their modeling involves a number of complexities arising from the need to relocate vehicles accumulated at certain stations. The planning of one-way electric vehicle-sharing systems involves a host of strongly interacting decisions regarding the number, size and location of stations, as well as the fleet size. In this paper we develop and solve a multi-objective MILP model for planning one-way vehicle-sharing systems taking into account vehicle relocation and electric vehicle charging requirements. For real world problems the size of the problem becomes intractable due to the extremely large number of relocation variables. In order to cope with this problem we introduce an aggregate model using the concept of the virtual hub. This transformation allows the solution of the problem with a branch-and-bound approach. The proposed approach generates the efficient frontier and allows decision makers to examine the trade-off between operator’s and users’ benefits. The capabilities of the proposed approach are demonstrated on a large scale real world problem with available data from Nice, France. Extensive sensitivity analysis was performed by varying demand, station accessibility distance and subsidy levels. The results provide useful insights regarding the efficient planning of one-way electric vehicle-sharing systems and allow decision makers to quantify the trade-off between operator’s and users’ benefits.