Atac, S., Obrenovic, N., and Bierlaire, M. (2019)

An optimization framework for light electric vehicle sharing systems

19th Swiss Transport Research Conference, Ascona, Switzerland

The vehicle sharing systems (VSSs) are becoming more popular due to both financial and environmental effects. On the other hand, they face many challenges, such as inventory management of the vehicles and parking spots, vehicle imbalance, pricing strategies, and demand forecasting. If these are not addressed properly, the system experiences a significant loss of customers. However, some of the methods studied in the literature became inapplicable with the introduction of a new type of light electric vehicle (LEV). The rebalancing methods constructed for conventional VSSs (bike and car sharing systems) are not convenient for the LEVs since an LEV is not as small as a bicycle, making it unsuitable for rebalancing with a truck, and has only one seat, preventing the transport of staff. Demand forecasting becomes a challenging task since LEVs are allowed to be parked on any designated spot in the city. LEVs also serve a higher portion of the population since they do not require a driving license. Moreover, as it is electric there should exist a fleet of workers who replace the batteries. This work provides a new framework for the LEV sharing system management from a wider perspective by addressing the components and their relations.