January 19, 2011 // By: Sebastian Nikoloff
The road to sustainable mobility is still an arduous one: Today’s batteries won’t last great distances and take too long to recharge. But the real challenges aren’t the technological ones, explains Hervé Couturier, head of SAP Research: “E-mobility is not about installing new engines in cars. It’s about tapping existing resources more effectively – cars, sources of energy, roads, parking lots.”
To do this, you first need to understand what’s happening in the cars and in the heads of the people who use them. That’s precisely the aim of the Future Fleet, SAP’s fleet of electric cars, which was ceremoniously unveiled at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany last Friday. The distinguished guests underlined the significance of the project: Henning Kagermann attended in his capacity as the chairman of the German National Platform for Electric Mobility, while Katherina Reiche – parliamentary state secretary in the Federal Ministry for the Environment – was there as a representative of the German government.
Together with its 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 – and sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, SAP is dispatching 27 electric cars to the roads around Walldorf. “We are proud to be one of the first German companies to use electric cars,” says SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, who spoke at the opening ceremony and is impressed by employees’ enthusiasm for Future Fleet: More than 1,000 employees signed up to take part in the project. In the end, 450 were selected according to socio-demographic factors.
Next page: SAP employees participate in trials