A GRASP approach for solving large scale electric bus scheduling problems

Jovanovic, Raka and Bayram, Islam Safak and Bayhan, Sertec and Voß, Stefan (2021) A GRASP approach for solving large scale electric bus scheduling problems. Energies, 14 (20). 6610. ISSN 1996-1073 (https://doi.org/10.3390/en14206610)

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Electrifying public bus transportation is a critical step in reaching net-zero goals. In this paper, the focus is on the problem of optimal scheduling of an electric bus (EB) fleet to cover a public transport timetable. The problem is modelled using a mixed integer program (MIP) in which the charging time of an EB is pertinent to the battery’s state-of-charge level. To be able to solve large problem instances corresponding to real-world applications of the model, a metaheuristic approach is investigated. To be more precise, a greedy randomized adaptive search procedure (GRASP) algorithm is developed and its performance is evaluated against optimal solutions acquired using the MIP. The GRASP algorithm is used for case studies on several public transport systems having various properties and sizes. The analysis focuses on the relation between EB ranges (battery capacity) and required charging rates (in kW) on the size of the fleet needed to cover a public transport timetable. The results of the conducted computational experiments indicate that an increase in infrastructure investment through high speed chargers can significantly decrease the size of the necessary fleets. The results also show that high speed chargers have a more significant impact than an increase in battery sizes of the EBs.