Battery Swapping/Charging Station for Electric Vehicles in Cities: Application of Blockchain-IoT for Sustainable and Resilient Swap-Pay-Go Battery Service

The convenience and time-saving opportunities offered by swap-pay-go battery service have encouraged the electric vehicle (EV) sector to consider battery swapping/charging stations (BSCS). The BSCS allows the immediate exchange of discharged battery of an EV for a fully charged one. In such a business model, batteries are generally owned by the BSCS, whereas the EV owners only pay for the service. Thus, with the use of the product-as-service business model, the BSCS reduces the waiting time for charging the EV battery and offers operational flexibility to the EV owners. However, BSCS performance is influenced by multiple factors, such as the battery degradation, improper handling and intentional tampering. Such situations can significantly impact the sustainability as failed batteries would have to be replaced with new ones, thus increasing the associated environmental impacts. Moreover, if the degraded and tampered battery stock do not meet the requirements of EV operations, the resilience of the swap-pay-go service will decrease. Since the long term feasibility of the BSCS depends on its ability to allow optimal exchanges, it is imperative to monitor the battery condition at the site of swap-pay-go service. Lately, blockchain integrated with Internet of Things (BC-IoT) has been applied to enhance traceability, transparency, and trust (triple-T) in physical and financial transactions. For this reason, we examine the BC-IoT system enabled BSCS to track the battery condition and its authenticity. A mixed-methods approach that combines life cycle assessment with models to estimate available battery stock that meet EV operation standards is applied for the evaluation of sustainability and resilience of BSCS. Two scenarios, 1. baseline BSCS and 2. BSCS with BC-IoT, were simulated considering the participatory stakeholder decisions (EV owner, BSCS owner, and EV charging regulatory authority). This study revealed that the battery handling conditions by both the EV owner and the BSCS owner impact the sustainability and resilience in both scenarios. However, when the battery is damaged/tampered by the EV owner or poorly managed by BSCS, the baseline scenario was unable to detect. The sustainability and resilience metrics for BSCS with BC-IoT performed better even with varying intensity of damage to the swapped battery. Besides, based on the stakeholders' decisions, a multi-criteria decision-making algorithm is solved, which revealed that the BSCS with BC-IoT scenario performs better in terms of sustainable and resilient operations by ensuring triple-T.


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