Operations Management and Econometrics

Online Mechanism Design for Electric Vehicle Charging

Dr Enrico Gerding, School of Electronics and Computer Science University of Southampton, UK

19th Apr 2011  04:00 pm - Room 498, Merewether Building

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are expected to place a considerable strain on local electricity distribution networks, requiring charging to be coordinated in order to accommodate capacity constraints. In this talk I will present a novel online auction protocol for this problem, wherein vehicle owners use computer agents to bid for power and also state time windows in which a vehicle is available for charging. This is a multi-dimensional mechanism design domain, with owners having non-increasing marginal valuations for each subsequent unit of electricity. In our design, we couple a greedy allocation algorithm with the occasional “burning” of allocated power, leaving it unallocated, in order to adjust an allocation and achieve monotonicity and thus truthfulness. We consider two variations: burning at each time step or on-departure. Both mechanisms are evaluated in depth, using data from a real-world trial of electric vehicles in the UK to simulate system dynamics and valuations. The mechanisms provide higher allocative efficiency than a fixed price system, are almost competitive with a standard scheduling heuristic which assumes non-strategic agents, and can sustain a substantially larger number of vehicles at the same per-owner fuel cost saving than a simple random scheme.