Company car redefined: Software giant SAP electrifies employees

Company is testing impact of electric vehicles on cars used for business trips.

SAP figures that if it hopes to be a force in future fleet management applications, it may as well test the idea with its own employees. Makes for a really accessible focus group. That's one reason that the software company has added 30 electric vehicles into its fleet in Walldorf, Germany, as part of a project with MVV Energie.

The pilot, which is part of SAP's "Future Fleet" research is intended to test the effectiveness of sustainable electric vehicles as a a corporate fleet option. Approximately 450 SAP employees will be helping gather information about driving habits, charging challenges and the like. MVV Energie's role in the project is the design, installation and operation of the electric vehicle infrastructure. The reason for this focus? SAP has determined that approximately 80 percent of the company's carbon dioxide emissions that its company products in Europe, Middle East and Africa are from company cars.

Aside from the project in Germany, SAP has one of the largest corporate installations of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the United States, with 16 stations at its Palo Alto, Calif., campus.

There's an ulterior motive to this test, of course. That's the fact that enterprise management software -- and its ability to integrate with other back-end systems -- will be absolutely critical in the rollout of public and private electric vehicle infrastructure. When I spoke last year with an executive one of the best-known companies in that sector -- Coulomb Technologies -- he made a point of mentioning its management software as the critical component in developing, among other things, manageable payment systems and other accounting schemes.

SAP is eying the same opportunity: SAP, Siemens partner on eCar EV concept; focus on charging, billing . As you'll read in the article, the eCar tests will study a number of use cases involving electric vehicles including home energy consumption, and "guest" usage (such as when someone visits a mall, hotel, university or corporate campuses and charges up during their stay). SAP expects the test to help inform its software for utility companies, among other things.

Other resources for those who want to electrify their corporate fleet:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com