Solar photovoltaic generation for charging shared electric scooters


Scooter-sharing has been introduced as a new transportation mode. However, e-scooters have a limited battery capacity and require frequent charging, which causes the operational cost significantly high and hinders the viability of the service.

To tackle this problem, this study proposes a solar charging solution with the creation of a real-time shareability network that maximizes the scooter-sharing capability and minimizes the total trip distance, constrained by e-scooters with real-time battery levels. Specifically, hourly solar potential is simulated based on a three-dimensional solar irradiation model so that photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation can be estimated when PV modules are installed at the parking stations, which enables solar charging when the origin–destination matrix of scooter-sharing trips is clustered and associated to the charging stations.

As a case study in Singapore, the proposed solar charging system only needs 1–3 m2 PV modules at each station and 24%–67% of the total number of e-scooters to support almost all the real trips with a 98% reduction of trips used for charging. The system also supports 90% of on-demand mobility for at least three consecutive days without solar charging, which suggests the resilience of the system and inspires us to promote the proposed solar charging in the other global cities.

R. Zhu, D. Kondor, C. Cheng, X. Zhang, P. Santi, M. S. Wong, C. Ratti, Solar photovoltaic generation for charging shared electric scooters, Applied Energy 313 (2022) 118728

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