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Future Fleet: SAP Trials Eco-Friendly Company Cars

Our latest feature from SAP Research looks at the Future Fleet research project and the use of electric vehicles as company cars.

(photo: Christoph Zeidler)

As part of its commitment to sustainability, SAP recently celebrated the inauguration of a contingent of electric cars as part of the Future Fleet project. The project, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, is testing the use of electric vehicles powered by energy generated exclusively from renewable sources, in corporate car fleets. During a field test, SAP will be the first German company to assimilate 27 electric vehicles into its car fleet in Walldorf, Germany, and the surrounding area.

Around 450 SAP employees will take part in a six-month field test begining in February 2011. Participants will use the electric cars for periods of several days in place of their usual company cars, for purposes such as for business trips. The goal of the project is to study the everyday usability and sustainability of electricity-based transportation and the contribution that electric cars can make in company car fleets.

To achieve this, SAP and its project partners – the Mannheim, Germany-based utility company MVV Energie, the Öko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology), the ISOE (Institute for Social-Ecological Research), and the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences – are constructing a dedicated charging infrastructure and integrating it into existing energy grids. At a total of 34 charging stations in the area, the “tanks” can be recharged – with electricity from renewable energy sources, of course. Modern IT technology is also being developed and testing to help ensure efficient energy use.

       

(photos: Christoph Zeidler)

The Institute for Applied Ecology, the ISOE, and the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences are researching the vehicles’ environmental footprint, their acceptance, and user behavior. SAP, meanwhile, developed a software prototype to control the cars’ usage and power levels.

Read the Future Fleet feature and watch a video to learn more about the initiative!

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  • As a current employee in Vancouver, BC.  and an investor in Lithium Ion batteries used in electric vehicles, I only wish our culture was implementing Electric Vehicles faster. 

    I think with this new era in higher energy costs and the need to stay Green, Electric Vehicles will be a key strategic new mode of transportation.  One that can present lower costs through great efficiency and doing our part for the environment.