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Author's profile photo Moya Watson

Electric Vehicles: They’re Here, Complete With Challenges – and Opportunities

Think electric vehicles aren’t ready for prime time? Think again.

I know I work in a rarefied area when it comes to the latest in electric vehicle (EV) technology. On any given day of my Silicon Valley commute to Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, I see hot little Teslas, Fiskers, Volts, and Leafs – sometimes all in the same day. But don’t take my word for it if you haven’t yet seen an EV yourself.  You can take a look at the research and news coverage.

While just last year Gartner held reservations about whether consumers were ready for EVs, not long after they significantly brightened the forecast, and the situation keeps evolving, but the EVs are here.

Which means so, too, are their challenges – and opportunities.

SAP is taking the opportunity to help tackle common new vehicular concerns that come with the electric package, such as range anxiety. Drivers of EVs are now commonly asking themselves, “With gas out of the picture, will my car’s battery be able to take me far enough before I find its next charge spot? And how can I even find my next charge spot?”

Enter SAP for Utilities Cloud EV Readiness Package.

With this solution SAP provides an aggregated view of charge data records from multiple charge spot providers through our cloud, which in turn offers utilities customers excellent visibility into EV charging patterns in their service territory, and new opportunities for customer engagement. Watch this video for an overview of the solution:

Beyond charge data record aggregation as a base service, customers can subscribe to additional services as modules, such as sophisticated pricing through Convergent Charging in the cloud.  The service allows you to build useful mobile applications that surface charging network status and can further promote
engagement with the utility by their end-user customers.

To be clear, the opportunity goes beyond utilities and automotive customers and their consumers — as developers within the SAP community, you will also play an active role in helping these industries adapt. You can look forward to new ways to get involved to help your automotive and utilities companies both overcome and leverage these new challenges in the electric-powered world.  As I reported last year from the Web 2.0 Summit:

From David Hornik at August Capital:

We figured out about six years ago there lots of systems creating data exhaust. If we harness it, that’s big value… Cars are reporting a lot of things — from how fast the car is going, to the temperature outside (is the road about to ice over?), to exactly where they go (so maps can be way more accurate), to whether the windshield wipers are on – are they high or low? This allows our cars of the future to say “here’s the right driving route for you today based on all this factual data.

There are already huge amounts of data to leverage in your car’s exhaust – and in a new world of connected cars, this data will open up to you as services. The possibilities will only increase (even if the exhaust doesn’t).  Stay tuned.

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      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Hi Moya,

      This is very cool!  The use of EV is not so evident here in Boston, but I am pleased that SAP is working on 'range anxiety'. 

      Thanks very much for the informative blog!


      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Susan Keohan -- I wouldn't say EVs are wildly evident out here, but if you're looking for them, they're totally around on 280S -- as are Google self-driving cars, Uber cars, cars with pink mustaches... we've got it all 🙂

      Also check out Richard Hirsch (or Richard Hirsch?)'s great analysis out of the gate: