/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/cars_559962.jpgAt SAP, we are always doing something innovative. My mother calls me constantly to tell me she saw something in the local paper (yes, as in actual gray newsprint), that SAP did something cool and did I know about it. And while my mother takes these conversations to brag to her Scrabble friends about what a fantastic company her daughter works for, this is actually the inner workings of telling a part of our corporate story. And while some of our story might require us to translate some of the technology-speak, this one is easy to tell. SAP, in partnership with the Silicon Valley chapter of the Electric Auto Association and San Francisco Bay LEAFs, won the Guinness World Record for largest parade of electric vehicles (EV). Read on to find out how SAP tapped into its grassroots beginnings to achieve such a cool feat!

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For the past four years, SAP in the Bay Area has convened an annual symposium of connected car and EV ecosystem companies to discuss how the auto industry can move us toward a better, cleaner and more sustainable world. During this event, SAP and its partners talked about sustainability efforts across the world and came across an interesting statistic. “Other cities, including Oslo, Montreal and Stuttgart, took the Guinness World Record for the most electric vehicles in a parade in recent years. Just sitting with local Bay area companies, several of whom have 100 or more employees who drive EVs to their offices each day, we knew we could shatter the old record”, said Geoff Ryder, project manager for the SAP Connected Cars Team in Palo Alto. And shatter it they did in the early hours of September 20 where 507 electric vehicles convened at De Anza College in Cupertino, California.

judge_announces_win_Sept20.jpgOrganizing such an event was no easy feat. Finding a suitable location in such a busy urban area was a challenge, and getting the word out to other EV owners required folks to tap into their personal networks to pull it off. “Our partners reached out to EV owners they knew to get the word out,” Geoff explained. “People who drive EVs are enthusiastic about them, and about what they are doing to make a positive impact on the environment. Once they understood what we were trying to do, it was easy to get people to attend.”

SAP Executives Gil Perez and Tanja Rueckert represented SAP at the award ceremony and were handed the official certificate commemorating the victory. They were joined on the platform by officials from Cupertino and Palo Alto (who issued proclamations in support of the event). “Palo Alto actually has a new ordinance that requires EV infrastructure in all new construction, whether it’s residential or commercial,” said Palo Alto Transportation Commissioner Arthur Keller.

Here’s some more coverage of the event:

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