Online mechanism design for electric vehicle charging

Enrico H. Gerding, Valentin Robu, Sebastian Stein, David C. Parkes, Alex Rogers, Nicholas R. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are expected to place a considerable strain on local electricity distribution networks, requiring charging to be coordinated in order to accommodate capacity constraints. We design a novel online auction protocol for this problem, wherein vehicle owners use agents to bid for power and also state time windows in which a vehicle is available for charging. This is a multi-dimensional mechanism design domain, with owners having non-increasing marginal valuations for each subsequent unit of electricity. In our design, we couple a greedy allocation algorithm with the occasional "burning" of allocated power, leaving it unallocated, in order to adjust an allocation and achieve monotonicity and thus truthfulness. We consider two variations: burning at each time step or on-departure. Both mechanisms are evaluated in depth, using data from a real-world trial of electric vehicles in the UK to simulate system dynamics and valuations. The mechanisms provide higher allocative efficiency than a fixed price system, are almost competitive with a standard scheduling heuristic which assumes non-strategic agents, and can sustain a substantially larger number of vehicles at the same per-owner fuel cost saving than a simple random scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2011, AAMAS 2011 - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 2 May 20116 May 2011


Conference10th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2011, AAMAS 2011


  • Electric vehicle
  • Mechanism design
  • Pricing


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