Volkswagen’s modular electric toolkit paves the way for more sustainable electric mobility worldwide
Vienna University of Technology's Porsche Award conferred
Volkswagen's modular electric toolkit paves the way for more sustainable electric mobility worldwide
8 October 2021, Vienna - The Vienna University of Technology's Porsche Award was officially presented today for the 22nd time to Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for Technical Development, in recognition of his work on the modular electric toolkit (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten, MEB). This time around, the panel of judges decided to award the prestigious automotive engineering prize for the modular system developed by Volkswagen AG, which provides the first common platform for the Group brands and a basis for series production of electric vehicles in the volume segment.
The MEB takes Volkswagen's successful platform concept into the electric age and will also open it to other manufacturers. The toolkit will be established as a global standard for electric vehicles, making individual electric mobility carbon neutral, safe and comfortable, as well as affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. The cost of e-mobility can be reduced significantly through broad deployment of the MEB and the associated economies of scale. At the ceremony held in the events hall of the Vienna University of Technology (Technische Universität Wien, TU Wien), the university's rector Professor Sabine Seidler, along with Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, and Dr Hans Michel Piëch, member of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, officially presented the prize of 50,000 euros to Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for Technical Development.
In his laudatory speech, Professor Bernhard Geringer, Director of the Institute for Powertrains and Automotive Technology (Instituts für Fahrzeugantriebe und Automobiltechnik) at TU Wien, said, "Thanks to innovative engineering, the modular electric toolkit will shape the future of electric mobility. Its flexibility will be the basis of new application and design solutions. Cost-effective standardisation of production and the economies of scale associated with broad deployment of the MEB will make electric mobility significantly cheaper. Sustainable individual mobility will hence become affordable for a large group of customers without their having to forego the accustomed level of comfort and driving pleasure."
In his speech, Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, underlined, "The automotive industry is currently undergoing a sea change. Its success depends on people who lead with expertise, courage and passion. The modular electric toolkit will give this revolution a big push and marks a turning point. It is a technological milestone in the development and production of electric vehicles - and a strong basis for sustainable mobility."
This year's prize-winner, Thomas Ulbrich, had already played a leading role in the
development of the MEB and the ramp-up of production at Volkswagen's Zwickau plant
during his time as member of the Board of Management responsible for e-mobility at
Volkswagen (2018-2021). "In developing the MEB, we created not only a highly
industrialised, extremely competitive platform, but also a complete ecosystem with
solutions for our customers to live emissions-free lives," he explained in his
acceptance speech. "This is something that is unique in the volume segment in this
form. Volkswagen is taking electric mobility out of the niche market! With the MEB,
we have laid the foundations for the future of our Volkswagen brand and the
Volkswagen Group as a whole."
Vienna University of Technology's Porsche Award
The Vienna University of Technology's Porsche Award is conferred every other year and in the 44th year of its existence continues to be one of the most prestigious and most coveted prizes for ground-breaking research and development in automotive engineering. The internationally renowned prize was established in 1976 by Louise Piëch, daughter of Ferdinand Porsche, and presented for the first time in 1977. Half of the prize money of 50,000 euros is put up by Porsche Holding Salzburg and the other half by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart.