Management of a shared, autonomous, electric vehicle fleet : vehicle choice, charging infrastructure & pricing strategies
MetadataShow full item record
There are natural synergies between shared autonomous vehicle (AV) fleets and electric vehicle (EV) technology, since fleets of AVs resolve the practical limitations of today's non-autonomous EVs, including traveler range anxiety, access to charging infrastructure, and charging time management. Fleet-managed AVs relieve such concerns, managing range and charging activities based on real-time trip demand and established charging-station locations, as demonstrated in this paper. This work explores the management of a fleet of shared autonomous (battery-only) electric vehicles (SAEVs) in a regional (100-mile by 100-mile) discrete-time, agent-based model. The dissertation examines the operation of SAEVs under various vehicle range and charging infrastructure scenarios in a gridded city modeled roughly after the densities of Austin, Texas. Results indicate that fleet size is sensitive to battery recharge time and vehicle range, with each 80-mile range SAEV replacing 3.7 privately owned vehicles and each 200-mile range SAEV replacing 5.5 privately owned vehicles, under Level II (240-volt AC) charging. With Level III 480-volt DC fast-charging infrastructure in place, these ratios rise to 5.4 vehicles for the 80-mile range SAEV and 6.8 vehicles for the 200-mile range SAEV. However, due to the need to travel while "empty" for charging and passenger pickup, SAEV fleets are predicted to generate an additional 7.1 to 14.0% of travel miles. Financial analysis suggests that the combined cost of charging infrastructure, vehicle capital and maintenance, electricity, insurance, and registration for a fleet of SAEVs ranges from $0.42 to $0.49 per occupied mile traveled, which implies SAEV service can be offered at the equivalent per-mile cost of private vehicle ownership for low-mileage households, and thus be competitive with current manually-driven carsharing services and significantly less expensive than on-demand driver-operated transportation services. The mode share of SAEVs in the simulated mid-sized city is predicted to be between 14 and 39%, when competing against privately-owned, manually-driven vehicles and city bus service. This assumes SAEVs are priced between $0.75 and $1.00 per mile, which delivers significant net revenues to the fleet owner-operator, under all modeled scenarios, assuming 80-mile-range EVs and remote/cordless Level II charging infrastructure and $10,000-per-vehicle automation costs.