E-Mobility: SAP E-Mobility solution ensures greater flexibility and better customer experience
Undisputed: Electric vehicles are enjoying growing popularity. In Germany alone, almost one million1 electrically operated cars are now running. In the first half of 2021, 312,000 pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids were approved2. The demand for the appropriate charging infrastructure is correspondingly strong. However, it is precisely here that the number of public charging points grows by just under 1,000 per month, according to VDA President Hildegard Müller3 and around twice as many new loading points would be required.
At the same time, drivers of e-vehicles have to accept higher electricity costs at loading when charging their cars at one of the publicly available charging stations. According to a study4 by Statista on behalf of the Hamburg green electricity provider, the costs of charging are significantly higher than the average household electricity rate. It can be particularly costly for drivers to “fuel” at a charging point that is not part of their store network contract. A much higher loading price can be due from the so-called operator. One reason for this is the location and another is the different billing models and contracts of the different providers. For this reason, it is advisable to register with multiple store network operators to get the optimal load price for each.
“Reason enough to address charging points in the non-public or semi-public areas with the standardized cloud-based application SAP E-Mobility.” states Ulrich Scholl (Global Vice President E-Mobility, SAP SE). As a result, in the first step, the solution addresses, for example, company car fleets with charging points at the location or branch as well as at the driver’s home. As the number of public charging stations in individual areas is also increasing at a slower rate than their needs, it is particularly important to increase the utilization of semi-public charging points and to make the best use of them. Employees load company cars at home at their home charging station. In these scenarios, the simplicity of the billing processes, which can be covered easily and cleanly with the help of the SAP E-Mobility solution, plays a crucial role.
However, the application is more: it forms the basis for the control and management of all business processes around the loading point. Complex processes that previously prevailed along the value chain – from delivery column operators to companies and the owner of electric vehicles – are significantly simplified.
Increased flexibility for fleet managers
At the same time, however, fleet managers or fleet managers in companies also benefit: The solution provides the necessary loading data (loading amount, location, date, duration, vehicle) of the linked accounting and financial software to perform cost center assignments or to initiate a corresponding reimbursement of private electricity costs of the vehicle owner using standard financial processes, such as travel expense reports. On the Facility Manager side, however, SAP E-Mobility means more than just simple billing. Using a dashboard, you can always see the status of all loading columns directly; defective columns can be made ready for immediate use. As a result, they always have an up-to-date overview of the available charging pillars – this is also the case on the part of charging stations operators and enables extensive user and location management. Overall, the result is faster work processes and higher charging column availability, which ensure a better user experience and a positive total cost of ownership (TCO) – an important contribution to increasing the acceptance of electric vehicles. In addition, the solution simplifies the construction of new charging infrastructure and is a manufacturer or Hardware agnostic: New charging pillars can be easily integrated into the network by the operators and monitored and settled using standard communication protocols. SAP uses the Open Charge Point Protocol 1.6 standard for this. For charging point operators and companies, the new solution provides maximum flexibility with very little effort. Certification of charging equipment manufacturers ensures the compatibility of charging stations with the SAP E-Mobility solution and thereby ensures maximum security for operators.
Partner involvement: Loading can be as simple as this
The StartUp industry is booming in the electric mobility environment and there are already companies in this sector that use SAP E-Mobility. One of these companies wants to speed up the lengthy and complicated expansion of the corresponding infrastructure. For example, monitoring the charging infrastructure does not always make life easier for fleet managers, facility managers, and drivers. Complex monitoring systems with non-intuitive and unclear user interfaces (UI) significantly increase effort for all target groups. Idea of the StartUp: You want to simplify these processes and improve the customer experience. That’s where the collaboration with SAP comes in. SAP E-Mobility complements the partner’s technical charging system so that customer-specific requirements can be met to monitor the charging points and operations. The result is less effort than hitherto with regard to the daily operation of the charging pillars. An intuitive user interface and generally simplified processes also increase customer satisfaction.
The result of the holistic solution for customers down to the vehicle owner is not only lower costs, but also more efficient handling of all services. The advantage for charging room operators is that the interaction between SAP E-Mobility and partner solutions gives them full control and direct interaction with their customers – creating closer ties. However, the example also shows that no company can provide all services on its own. A strong partner ecosystem is the foundation on which all services build.
Extensive partner system enables complete system
At SAP, we rely on a network of certified e-mobility partners to provide an end-to-end solution comprising hardware, software, services, and support. SAP E-Mobility is an important part of this process, which offers all parties involved – charging room operators as well as companies and drivers – much simpler processes than the market hitherto. Such solutions will not only speed up and increase the flexibility of the infrastructure needed, but will also provide companies with standardized e-mobility processes to help them achieve their CO2 targets – while promoting the widespread use of electric vehicles, and that from the outset of investment.
Conclusion: E-mobility will only be successful through close collaboration in an ecosystem
E-mobility is on a growth path in Germany. In order to achieve the ambitious climate targets, it is essential to switch to electric vehicles. However, this will only succeed if, in addition to e-vehicles, the infrastructure – consisting of charging stations, billing models, and corresponding software and service – is set up accordingly. Such software, from fleet managers to consumers on the one hand, and charging station operators on the other, is only one step in this direction. However, e-mobility will only be successful if all partners work closely together in one ecosystem – from OEMs and suppliers, to charge point operators and energy providers, to partners for the control of charging stations, coordination between operators, fleet managers in companies, and ultimately vehicle owners. Germany will then also be able to maintain its leading position in the automotive sector.
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