On Thursday during the M2M Zone Conference at CeBIT , Dr. Martin Przewloka, senior vice president and global head of internet applications and services at SAP Research, presented the results from the SAP Future Fleet project.
SAP ’s (Walldorf, Germany) Future Fleet program involved 550 SAP employees, driving 27 electric vehicles, in four different locations, over an eight month period. The project, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, aimed to measure the potential for electric vehicles on a larger scale.
The program took place in Walldorf (the company’s headquarters), as well as St Leon-Rot, Bensheim and Karlsruhe. SAP provided the software prototype for the management of electric car fleets, while MVV Energie, a German electric utility, installed the charging infrastructure. All vehicles were charged using renewable energy.
The results of the project provided an interesting insight into the world of electric vehicles . Of the participants, 75% were content with driving the electric vehicle, while 30% said that car was too unpredictable. The unpredictability of the cars was directly linked to the technology, such as the vehicle dashboard displays, which according to Przewloka is a very important aspect to draw from the project.
When it came to the obstacles that electric vehicles presented, 88% said that the range of the vehicle was their top concern. According to Przewloka this was quite a surprising and high percentage. Przewloka noted that the average range of a fully charged electric vehicle was somewhere in the range of 80-150 kilometers.
“It is crucial to know about the limitations of the car and plan accordingly,” says Przewloka.
The project installed 36 charging stations across the areas that users were driving. If a participant was using the electric vehicle on a one-to-many usage base, which means that they can pick it up and drop it off for others to use, they could plan their departure and arrivals online and the system would automatically find a charging station if necessary. The other scenario was one-to-one use, where only one person used the car.
Of the participants, 20% said they did not plan on purchasing an electric vehicle; 22% said they would in one to three years; 25% said they would in two to five years; and 33% said they would in five or more years.