The allocation problem of electric car-sharing system: a data-driven approach

Xiang Huo, Xinkai Wu, Ming Li, Nan Zheng, Guizhen Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Car-sharing is an emerging transportation mode with increasing applications of electric vehicles (EVs). One of the important issues for one-way electric car-sharing systems (ECS) is unbalanced vehicle distributions and high relocation costs. To improve its efficiency and overall profit, this research proposes a data-driven optimization model with the consideration of demand uncertainty. Firstly, a large amount of historical order data from an ECS company are analyzed to characterize the dynamics of the vehicles and the behavioral features of the users. An important observation is that the daily demand by users, i.e., pick-ups, follows Poisson distribution; and the arrival rates vary across time exhibiting four major temporal stages. Based on this observation, this research constructs the ECS reallocation problem as a data-driven optimization model which is a combination of a probability expectation model and a linear programming problem with real-time data as input. More importantly, different from existing research, this research formulates the profit as the mathematical expectation of a discrete random variable with uncertain consumer demands. This allows for a comprehensive consideration of all possible future demands. Furthermore, driving range constraint has been considered in the proposed model as EV is the focus of this paper. A linear solution method is proposed to obtain the global optimal. At the end, the model is validated using real data from 30 ECS stations. The results indicate the daily improvement of profit could be as high as 19.05% with an average of 10.16%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102192
Number of pages21
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Allocation
  • Car-sharing
  • Data-driven
  • Electric vehicles
  • Optimization
  • Uncertain demand

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