Mind the gap: Modelling difference between censored and uncensored electric vehicle charging demand

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Abstract

Electric vehicle charging demand models, with charging records as input, will inherently be biased toward the supply of available chargers. These models often fail to account for demand lost from occupied charging stations and competitors. The lost demand suggests that the actual demand is likely higher than the charging records reflect, i.e., the true demand is latent (unobserved), and the observations are censored. As a result, machine learning models that rely on these observed records for forecasting charging demand may be limited in their application in future infrastructure expansion and supply management, as they do not estimate the true demand for charging. We propose using censorship-aware models to model charging demand to address this limitation. These models incorporate censorship in their loss functions and learn the true latent demand distribution from observed charging records. We study how occupied charging stations and competing services censor demand using GPS trajectories from cars in Copenhagen, Denmark. We find that censorship occurs up to 61% of the time in some areas of the city. We use the observed charging demand from our study to estimate the true demand and find that censorship-aware models provide better prediction and uncertainty estimation of actual demand than censorship-unaware models. We suggest that future charging models based on charging records should account for censoring to expand the application areas of machine learning models in supply management and infrastructure expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104189
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Volume153
ISSN0968-090X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Bayesian modelling
  • Electric mobility
  • Electric vehicle charging demand
  • Latent mobility demand

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