Mechanism Design for Efficient Online and Offline Allocation of Electric Vehicles to Charging Stations

07/19/2020
by   Emmanouil Rigas, et al.
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We study the problem of allocating Electric Vehicles (EVs) to charging stations and scheduling their charging. We develop offline and online solutions that treat EV users as self-interested agents that aim to maximise their profit and minimise the impact on their schedule. We formulate the problem of the optimal EV to charging station allocation as a Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) one and we propose two pricing mechanisms: A fixed-price one, and another that is based on the well known Vickrey-Clark-Groves (VCG) mechanism. Later, we develop online solutions that incrementally call the MIP-based algorithm. We empirically evaluate our mechanisms and we observe that both scale well. Moreover, the VCG mechanism services on average 1.5% more EVs than the fixed-price one. In addition, when the stations get congested, VCG leads to higher prices for the EVs and higher profit for the stations, but lower utility for the EVs. However, we theoretically prove that the VCG mechanism guarantees truthful reporting of the EVs' preferences. In contrast, the fixed-price one is vulnerable to agents' strategic behaviour as non-truthful EVs can charge in place of truthful ones. Finally, we observe that the online algorithms are on average at 98% of the optimal in EV satisfaction.

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