Infrastructure Planning for Electric Vehicles with Battery Swapping

59 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2012 Last revised: 20 Jul 2014

See all articles by Ho-Yin Mak

Ho-Yin Mak

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Ying Rong

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management

Zuo-Jun Max Shen

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research (IEOR)

Date Written: March 14, 2012

Abstract

The transportation sector is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As a step toward a greener environment, solutions involving electric vehicles (EVs) have been proposed and discussed. When powered by electricity from efficient and environmentally-friendly generators, EVs have significantly lower per-mile running costs compared to gasoline cars, while generating lower emissions. Unfortunately, due to the limited capacity of batteries, typical EVs can only travel for about 100 miles on a single charge. Because recharging takes several hours, it is impossible to recharge an EV in the middle of a long (round) trip exceeding 100 miles. Better Place (BP), a start-up based in Palo Alto, CA, proposed a novel strategy that potentially overcomes the recharging problem. In the plan, in addition to charging adaptors at homes, work places and shopping malls, "swapping stations'', at which depleted batteries can be exchanged for recharged ones in the middle of long trips, will be located at strategic locations along freeways. With its battery swapping equipment, BP has demonstrated how to effectively refuel an EV in less than two minutes.

The possible success of EV solutions based on the idea of battery swapping hinges on the ability of the charging service provider (BP or other similar firms) to deploy a cost-effective infrastructure network with comprehensive coverage. Unfortunately, since the adoption rate of electric vehicles, and thus demand for swapping service, is still highly uncertain, the service provider must make deployment plans with incomplete information on hand. In this paper, we develop models that aid the planning process for deploying battery swapping infrastructure, based on a robust optimization framework. We further show that our models can be tightly approximated by mixed-integer second-order cone programs (MISOCPs), which are readily solvable by commercial solvers. Using these models, we demonstrate the potential impacts of battery standardization and various technology advancements on the optimal infrastructure deployment strategy.

Suggested Citation

Mak, Ho-Yin and Rong, Ying and Shen, Zuo-Jun Max, Infrastructure Planning for Electric Vehicles with Battery Swapping (March 14, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2022651 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2022651

Ho-Yin Mak (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Ying Rong

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Antai College of Economics and Management ( email )

No.535 Fahuazhen Road
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Shanghai, Shanghai 200052
China

Zuo-Jun Max Shen

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research (IEOR) ( email )

IEOR Department
4135 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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