Electric Transportation Infrastructure Innovation Research Cluster

The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Innovation Research Cluster at the FedEx Institute of Technology is a University of Memphis interdisciplinary group focusing on research that addresses readiness of infrastructure to support the rising demand for electric vehicles. In 2020, Deloitte forecasted that demand for electric vehicles with increase by 29% annually for the next ten years and that by 2030 we would see 31.1 million EVs on the road in the United States. This rising demand requires innovative research that addresses improvements in infrastructure that will be required to accommodate this massive fleet.

Research Highlights

Dynamic Wireless Charging Facility Location Problem for Battery Electric Vehicles under Electricity Constraint

Lead Researcher: Sabya Mishra, Civil Engineering

Despite the recent development in technology, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) pose several drawbacks including recharging time, limited range, and inadequate number of charging facilities. In an effort to address these drawbacks, Dynamic Wireless Charging (DWC) technology is gaining attention. DWC can be implemented by embedding the induction coil under a roadway pavement to dynamically charge the BEV in motion without a need to stop. This prompts an important question for planning the infrastructure for the future of BEV: how to optimally locate DWC infrastructure in a road network. Planning optimal DWC plan, needs to consider how BEV drivers will react to the newly implemented DWC facility in terms of route choice to reflect their unilateral utility minimization objective. Further complexities of DWC implementation include availability of zonal surplus electricity. In this study, we propose a two level planning approach considering both the objectives of the planners and the drivers. The approach explicitly incorporates five elements: system-level social costs, travel patterns of individuals, trip completion assurance, zonal DWC implementation constraint due to energy availability from grid, and total budget availability from the public agency. The proposed framework is first demonstrated in a numerical experiment setting using Sioux Falls network. Then the framework is also implemented with city of Chicago network to demonstrate its applicability to real-size networks. The numerical results using these two networks provide valuable insights for planners for developing an optimal DWC implementation plan.

Efficient Crowd-sourced Data Collection for Quality of Life in Smart Urban Communities

Research Team: Junaid Khan, Eddie Jacobs and Land Wang

In this project, we propose a crowd-sensing approach allowing smart connected devices to self-organize
and share collected data from urban neighborhoods with a city. More specifically, the city provides sensor packages to citizens who volunteer to install them near their homes. In return, they get financial rewards whenever data is obtained and used by the city. Because collecting data from a large number of devices in close proximity can result in redundant information, we plan to develop a platform where only a number of sensors are dynamically selected as \delegates", e.g., based on their data quality and city's changing needs, to share data with the city. This approach not only reduces the consumption of energy, bandwidth and other scarce resources, but also provides high quality sensory information from the urban neighborhoods. Our research will address the following questions: (i) what are the criteria to select sensor delegates dynamically? (ii) how to fuse data from neighboring sensors? (iii) how to ensure the privacy of citizens? We will develop a novel ranking system for sensor selection that considers past data quality, i.e., timeliness, completeness, and accuracy, as well as relevance to the city's specific data needs. High quality sensors with sufficient computing resources will initiate a self-organization process where they contend to become \delegates" in the neighborhood for a given data collection session.

Transit Asset Management Plan: Replacing the Gasoline Powered Buses with Electric Buses

Research Team: Sabya Mishra and Mihalis Golias

As part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act of 2012 and the subsequent Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the FTA has enacted regulations for transit asset management that require transit service providers to establish asset management performance measures and targets, and develop a TAM Plan. TAM plan that consists of the following contents: (1) Asset Inventory Portfolio: a worksheet-based database that contains information (i.e. purchase date, cost, ID) about all assets of MATA, categorized into Class, Category, and Sub-Category, (2) Asset Condition Assessment: the examination and assessment of asset condition as well as the development of a tracking tool that predict asset’s condition in the near future for the purpose of predicting future maintenance needs, (3) Decision Support Tool: a tool aiding the process of optimally allocating resources to selected asset maintenance projects over a span period of time that maximize the objective of the transit agency, (4) Asset Maintenance Plan (AMP): the final implementation strategy which states what asset maintenance project is selected for each asset and when should it be implemented. In this TAM plan one of the goals is to replace the existing gasoline powered buses with electric buses considering mileage, life expectancy, and budget availability. In addition to electric buses the corresponding charging infrastructure needs to be maintained. The TAM plan has immediate short-term goals as well as long-term goals to maintain the fleet to meet needs of the users.

Exploring Cyber Security Issue and Solution for Energy Storage at Smart Microgrid System

Research Team: Mohd Hasan Ali, Dipankar Dasgupta

A smart grid aims to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electrical power. Two-way digital communication and computer-based remote control and automation are the keys to a smart grid system. Microgrids are localized grids that can strengthen grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances while supporting a flexible and efficient electric grid via integration of renewable energy sources, energy storage, and demand response. Without the energy storage system, smoothed power cannot be delivered to customers. The charge and discharge of an energy storage system can be regulated through an internet based supervisory control system. Thus, there is a high possibility of cyber-attacks, which may significantly affect the functionality of the energy storage system. If the energy storage does not function properly, then the distributed generators will provide fluctuated power, voltage and frequency to the customers, i.e., the power quality of the smart grid system will be deteriorated. The goal of this project is to investigate and test cyber security for the energy storage system with a view to building a resilient and reliable smart microgrid.


An Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Plan for the State of Tennessee Considering Travel Pattern, Vehicle Ownership, and Built Environment  

Lead Researcher: Sabya Mishra

In order to have an electric vehicle charging infrastructure plan one has to consider the variety of options available in terms of charging type, such as slow charging, fast charging, wired charging, wireless charging, charging while vehicle is parked and charging in motion. There is a need to consider travel patterns as well as some roadways carry primarily commuters versus others carry long-distance travelers. Vehicle ownership plays an important role as one needs to consider what is the current fleet ownership of each household, and the expected vehicle purchasing preference. The built environment also plays a critical role as to finding whether the environment will support electric vehicle charging infrastructure or not. This project aims to consider all three factors namely travel pattern, vehicle ownership, and bulti environment to make a plan for electric vehicle charging infrastructure plan for the state of Tennessee.



For more information, contact Cody Behles, cbehles@memphis.edu