The software company launched the initiative yesterday at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. SAP also unveiled the 50th electric vehicle charging station to be installed at its Walldorf location, part of a global charging infrastructure the company is gradually extending.
SAP is simultaneously developing a management solution that will connect electric cars and charging stations to match employees’ mobility requirements with the available electric vehicle charging capacity.
In alignment with its existing policy for office buildings and data centers, SAP will power its electric company cars solely from 100 percent renewable sources. The measure is part of a long-term program aimed at returning its greenhouse gas emissions to their year-2000 level by 2020. The initiative will involve SAP cutting its CO2 footprint by approximately half of the total figure for emissions in 2007.
The company’s 22,000-car fleet accounted for 24 percent of its overall CO2 emissions last year, the company says.
To address drivers’ concern about range anxiety, SAP conducted research and collaborated with the Future Fleet research project, MVV Energie AG, German environmental research institute Öko-institut, the University of Mannheim, Germany and the German Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE). Based on a field test involving 500 SAP employees, these organizations investigated how to make electronic cars an integral part of company car fleets.
Another element of the mobility program is an incentive system designed to encourage SAP employees to switch from conventional to electric cars by offering a battery subsidy. Combined with the tax benefits that employees in Germany receive when they order an electric company car, this subsidy largely neutralizes the differences in price between an electric car and a conventionally powered car.
Among its other efforts to reduce its fleet’s GHG emissions, last year SAP launched a cloud-based carpool app that has saved the company more than $5 million internally in less than two years.