Electric Vehicle Routing Problem With Variable Vehicle Speed and Soft Time Windows for Perishable Product Delivery

Zhishuo Liu, Xingquan Zuo, Mengchu Zhou, Wei Guan, Yusuf Al-Turki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This work studies perishable products' distribution using electric commercial vehicles (ECVs). Extra energy is consumed for refrigeration to keep such products from deteriorating, which shortens the limited driving range of ECVs. Besides charging at public recharging stations, their travel speed can be adjusted to improve their driving range and decrease distribution cost. We propose an Electric Vehicle Routing problem with variable vehicle speed and soft time windows for perishable products (EVRP-VS). An energy consumption rate function of refrigerated ECVs during driving is introduced into the problem. The function considers refrigeration and has a nonlinear relationship with ECV speed and weight. As long as the carriage is not empty, the vehicle needs refrigeration during driving and during its stay at customers and stations. A mathematical programming model is developed for EVRP-VS, to minimize total distribution cost, including vehicle cost, power cost, refrigeration cost, and penalty cost due to delayed delivery. An adaptive hybrid ant colony optimization (AHACO) with a two-stage speed optimization strategy is proposed to solve EVRP-VS. In the first stage, local speed optimization is used to optimize the speed of each ant (ECV) in each transfer step. In the second one, global speed optimization further optimizes the speed for each fixed route constructed by ants. AHACO is applied to many problem instances. Experimental results show that it can effectively solve EVRP-VS in comparison with CPLEX and other meta-heuristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6178-6190
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Electric commercial vehicle
  • ant colony optimization
  • perishable products
  • variable speed
  • vehicle routing problem


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