The director of TU Wien, Professor Dr. Sabine Seidler, alongside Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, and Dr. Hans Michel Piëch, member of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, presented the award to Thomas Ulbrich in the ballroom at Vienna University. In his eulogy, Professor Dr. Bernhard Geringer, member of the board of the Institute for Powertrains and Automotive Technology at TU Wien said: “The modular electric drive matrix will shape the future of electric mobility thanks to its innovative engineering. Its flexibility will form the basis of new application and design solutions. The economical standardisation of production and the economies of scale associated with the widespread distribution of the MEB will significantly reduce the cost of e-mobility. This will make sustainable individual mobility affordable for a huge customer base, without them having to forego the level of comfort and driving pleasure they are accustomed to.” Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG, also paid tribute to the groundbreaking significance of the MEB for the success of electric mobility in his speech.
In his acceptance speech, Thomas Ulbrich highlighted the team effort of Volkswagen employees: “I’m accepting this award on behalf of a strong, top-performing team at Volkswagen.” As member of the board for e-mobility (2018–2021), Ulbrich was pivotal in driving the development of the MEB and the Volkswagen brand’s transition to electric mobility. “With the MEB, we have not only created a highly industrialised and extremely competitive platform, we have also built an entire ecosystem with solutions for zero-emissions in the everyday lives of our customers. And this is unique in this form in the high-volume segment. Volkswagen is bringing e-mobility to the masses. With it, we have laid the foundations – for the future for our Volkswagen brand and for the entire Volkswagen Group,” Ulbrich went on to say.
The MEB is crucial to the accelerated ramping up of the global electric offensive within the ACCELERATE brand strategy. The goal is for the fleet of new cars to be fully electrified. By 2030, the aim is for at least 70 percent of Volkswagen’s revenue in Europe to come from all-electric cars, which is the equivalent of well over one million cars. In North America and China, the target for the share of electric cars is at least 50 percent. To achieve this, Volkswagen will launch at least one new electric car each year.
TU Wien’s Porsche Prize of 50,000 euros was donated by Louise Piëch, the daughter of Ferdinand Porsche, and has been awarded by the university’s jury every other year since 1977. In receiving this award, Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix now joins the ranks of previous prize winners such as the anti-lock braking system by Mercedes-Benz (1981), the quattro drive by Audi (1983) and the side airbag by Volvo (1995).