Estimating the needed volume of investment in developing a chain of charging stations for electric vehicles along a highway
The problem of developing a chain of charging stations for electric vehicles along a highway crossing a geographic region is considered. A tool for determining an optimal structure of this chain is proposed. The use of the tool, particularly, allows one to estimate the cost of (and thus the needed volume of investment for) developing the chain proceeding from a) the demand for electricity in the chain, b) the existing technological and legal requirements to the structure of such a chain, c) the expected production capacities of all the types of renewable sources of energy, which can effectively be deployed at each charging station from the chain, and d) the cost of the equipment to be acquired and installed at each charging station to provide the chain customers with electricity to be received by each charging station in the chain from both electrical grids and renewable sources of energy, the cost of maintaining this equipment, and the cost of operating it. The problem under consideration is formulated as a nonlinear mixed programming one of maximizing the minimum function of a sum of several linear and two bilinear functions of vector arguments. It is proven that under certain natural and verifiable assumptions, finding solutions to this problem turns out to be reducible to solving either a mixed programming problem with linear constraints or a linear programming problem and an integer programming one. For a set of model data, an illustrative example of formulating and solving the problem under consideration is provided, and the way to use the tool in negotiations with potential investors in the project is discussed.