Design Analysis and Evaluation of Battery-Changing Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles

Project: Research project

Project Details


The environmental, geopolitical and financial implications of the worlds dependence on gasolinepowered vehicles are well known and documented, and much has been done to lessen our dependence on gasoline. One thrust on this issue has been the embracing of the electric vehicle (EV) as an alternative-fuel vehicle. These vehicles have an electric motor rather than a gasoline engine, and a battery to store the energy required for the vehicle to move. Governments and vehicle companies have recognized the value of these vehicles, and are encouraging the ownership of EVs through economic incentives. States and cities are assisting owners of electric vehicles by creating charging stations for EVs in busy areas [references]. For many electric vehicles, such as the Nissan LEAF or Chevrolet VOLT, the current method of recharging the vehicle battery, is to plug the battery into the power grid at home or office when necessary [check and provide refs]. Because the battery requires an extended period of time to recharge, this method has the implicit assumption that vehicle will be used only for short intown driving. EV companies are trying to overcome this extended time requirement with fast charging stations; locations where a vehicle can be charged in only a few minutes to near full capacity. Besides being much more costly to have rapid re-charge stations, the vehicles still take a more time to recharge than a standard gasoline vehicle would take to refuel [Botsford]. These inherent problems, combined with a lack of refueling infrastructure, are inhibiting a wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles. This is especially the case for longer trips, or inter-city trips. The range anxiety (when the driver is concerned that the vehicle will run out of charge before reaching the destination) caused by the limited distance a EV can travels on charge is a major hindrance for the market penetration of EVs [Jeeninga, Sovacool, Yu]. On the other hand, the market penetration of hybrid vehicles, vehicles which have both an electric motor and a gasoline engine, has been successful. This success is mainly because there is no range anxiety; when batteries are spent the vehicle can continue on gasoline power. Since hybrids still require gasoline these vehicles do not overcome the environmental consequences. Another refueling infrastructure design is to have quick battery exchange stations. These stations will remove a nearly depleted battery from a vehicle and replace it with a battery that has already been charged. This method of refueling has the advantage that it is reasonably quick. The unfortunate downside is that all of the vehicles serviced by the battery exchange station are required to use the same batteries. As it has been case for current batteries (and other standard car parts such as tires, wipers, etc.) it is assumed by the developers of such technologies (as well as by the proposers of this research) battery pallets will become standardized so that this will be less of an issue. Battery exchange stations have been tried out by taxi vehicles in Tokyo in 2010 [Schultz]. In fact the country of Denmark is investigating the possibility of having sufficient battery exchange locations so that it relies on none, or very few, gasoline-powered vehicles [refs]. This proposal is to comprehensively address the Design, Analysis and Evaluation of Battery-Changing Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles from a systems perspective. Besides the direct relevance to EVbased transportation, the models and analyses that will be developed in this research will intellectually contribute to the operations research, computer science, industrial engineering, geographical analysis, and related fields. Also, we note that the models and methods being developed in this research are also applicable to alternative fuels where empty tanks or canisters are exchanged for full ones, such as for hydrogen powered vehicles. (refs).
Effective start/end date10/1/129/30/17


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $340,000.00

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