In Copenhagen, Denmark, the preliminary steps of introducing an Urban Consolidation Centre (UCC) in the perimeter of the city centre has been taken. By implementing a UCC, interests of customers and distributors, as well as improvement of the local urban environment are sought considered . The UCC service aims to consolidate urban freight, as well as implement additional aspects such as off-peak delivery and utilisation of alternatively fuelled vehicles. In the specific case of Copenhagen, a comprehensive traffic survey was conducted in May 2011. The aim of the survey was to estimate freight magnitude and the distribution of goods in the old city centre. Based on the survey, analysis of possible UCC locations was carried out using simulation. Distribution from the UCC is assumed to be conducted with electric vehicles (EVs) as they are considered suitable for the overall aim. However, compared to conventional distribution vehicles they have a limited driving range and a limited freight capacity. In this work, an Electric Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (EVRPTW) is addressed. The EVs are allowed to recharge at certain customers or replenishment stations in order to continue a tour. Furthermore, intelligent location of these recharging points is considered. The objective is to find a least cost plan for routing and recharging the vehicles so that each customer is serviced by exactly one vehicle within its time windows and the vehicle capacity and driving range constraints are satisfied. The EVRPTW is a new problem that only has received little attention in the literature; see for example  and . The costs are compared to distribution conducted by conventional vehicles. A heuristic method is developed and tested on the data generated on the basis of real-life collected data. References  T. van Rooijen and H. Quak, “Local impacts of a new urban consolidation centre – the case of Binnenstadservice.nl,” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 5967–5979, Jan. 2010.  S. Erdogan and E. Miller-Hooks, “A Green Vehicle Routing Problem,” Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 100–114, Jan. 2012.  M. Schneider, A. Stenger, and D. Goeke, “The Electric Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows and Recharging Stations,” 2012.
Electric vehicles; VRP; recharging; urban consolidation centre