The main goal of e4-share is to derive generic methods and strategies for optimized planning and operating (different variants of) e-car sharing systems to best meet both customer needs as well as economic effectiveness of the systems – besides meeting ecological challenges of car-traffic in cities. We will develop novel, exact and heuristic, numerical methods for finding suitable solutions to the optimization problems arising at the various planning levels as well as new, innovative approaches considering these levels simultaneously. Also, two different service policies are being considered:
- station-based e-car sharing systems, in which pre-bookings are necessary and a fixed, limited set of stations to rent and return cars is available. Thereby we will consider fixed station systems where a single, fixed station is defined for each car and station-to-station systems where pick-up and return station may differ but needs to be specified during booking. Operational strategies and planning decisions and mutual impacts among them will be considered.
- ad-hoc e-car sharing systems where an increased amount of flexibility is offered. This includes systems where, based on a predefined set of stations, users can spontaneously pick-up and return cars. Clearly, this increased flexibility raises the difficulty and the necessary effort in planning and operating the system and we aim to derive operational strategies to face these difficulties. In addition to system design characteristics valid for station-based e-car sharing systems special attention will be paid to the planning of (efficient) maintenance and repositioning operations necessary in ad-hoc e-car sharing systems.