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I've heard the name before!

But: who is that actually?

The beginnings of e-mobility go back to the 18th century. At that time, Alessandro Volta experimented with the unknown phenomenon of electricity and thus laid the foundation for a far-reaching phenomenonnd research work. Whether James Watt or Elon Musk – they were and are all pioneers of e-mobility. Here you can find out more about them, their commitment and important institutions.

Herbert Diess

The Austrian Herbert Diess was appointed CEO of Volkswagen AG in April 2018. He will be chairman of the supervisory boards of Škoda Auto, Seat and Audi until the end of August 2022.

After graduating in 1983 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Herbert Diess remained as a research assistant at the Technical University of Munich. There he received his doctorate in the field of assembly automation in 1987 and then headed the department of the same name at the institute. In his professional career, Herbert Diess held several important management positions at home and abroad. Among other things, he worked as technical managing director of Robert Bosch GmbH in Treto, Spain. This was followed by positions in Munich, Birmingham and Oxford (England) for BMW AG, where he was most recently part of the development board until 2015. As of July 1, 2015, the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG appointed Dr. Herbert Diess as member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.

At Volkswagen, the focus is now largely on the group strategy. The Austrian is considered an assertive manager with a clear strategy. Herbert Diess sees himself as a visionary of the electrical age. His comparisons with the Tesla Group are not well received everywhere. It is difficult to modernize a long-established, renowned company like VW, to change structures and to question concepts. The manager preaches efficiency and cost discipline and is resolutely approaching the transformation from one of the largest manufacturers of analog vehicles with combustion engines to the world of digital electromobility. Diess is betting on the future of battery-electric drives and is aligning the Volkswagen Group accordingly.

In the summer of 2020, he and his daughter went on vacation with their daughter in an ID.3 from Lake Constance to Lake Garda and reported on his road trip on LinkedIn.

In autumn 2021, Diess considered restructuring and the associated workforce reductions at the Wolfsburg headquarters. The aim of the measure is to increase productivity cost-effectively in order to be able to compete against Tesla in the long term. This led to a leadership crisis in the group. A board restructuring followed. Diess gave up some of his authority, but kept his job as CEO. On July 22, 2022, Volkswagen announced that Diess would resign as CEO early on September 1, 2022. This expulsion came as a surprise to many, although the media subsequently reported on a number of internal disagreements.

In October 2022, Diess will receive the “Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award” in Los Angeles for his outstanding life achievement and his commitment to electromobility.

"With the beginning of electrification, we are in a situation where everyone knows one thingen piece of paper begins."

Herbert Diess

*October 24, 1958 in Munich, Germany


Elon Musk

"Any product that needs an instruction manual to work is broken."

Elon Musk

* June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa

Elon Musk.jpg

Elon Musk is a co-founder and shareholder of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company as well as PayPal. As CEO of Tesla, he is responsible for the entire production development and manufacturing of Tesla vehicles, battery and solar energy products. The first Tesla product, the Roadster sports car, came onto the market in 2008. This was followed by the Model S sedan, which was introduced in 2012. The Model X SUV followed in 2015. In 2017, Tesla began shipping the Model 3, aElectric vehicle for the volume market with oneRange of up to 600 km (WLPT). Other models include the Tesla Semi, the Cybertruck and the Model Y. Tesla is building the Gigafactory in Berlin-Brandenburg, the first Tesla production site in Europe. In addition to electric vehicles, Tesla also produces battery cells there. Tesla is thus establishing one of the most modern and sustainable production facilities in Europe.

After 861 days of construction, the company boss personally accompanies the ceremonial opening in Grünheide on March 22, 2022. At the same time, the first 30 Teslas manufactured in Germany were delivered. This means that 30 new owners of a Tesla Model Y had the pleasure of receiving their new vehicle personally from Elon Musk on “Delivery Day”.

Elon Musk considers traditional sales networks to be “increasingly unnecessary” and relies heavily on online car sales for sales. Measured by the ever-increasing market value of his company-owned Tesla shares and Space X shares, the multimillionaire will be the richest person in the world in 2022. But he also uses his assets to support sustainable projects such as the non-profit project TeamTrees The Arbor Day Foundation. In January 2021, Elon Musk announced that he would establish a prize for the best technology for sequestering carbon dioxide. He wants to raise at least $100 million for this.  The visionary likes to use social media channels such as Twitter to publish his ideas. There, Elon Musk launched a survey in 2021 about selling Tesla shares in order to make taxable profits.

The electrical pioneer and space entrepreneur is also expanding into other areas. In mid-March 2022, Elon Musk initially acquired 9.2% of Twitter, and his takeover of the Twitter group was announced in April. At the end of October 2022, the takeover was completed after much back and forth and Elon Musk bought Twitter for around $44 billion.

Elon Musk made another external investment in the startup Stripe, a payment service provider from San Francisco.

Elon Musk founded Neuralink in 2018 together with eight other investors. The company's goal is to be able to treat diseases of the brain and the neural system more effectively. In addition, the company conducts research in the field of neurology in order to better understand the human brain and use it more effectively. Neuralink is developing a brain-computer interface. Electrodes are implanted into the brain as an invasive neuroprosthesis.

Elon Musk recognizes problems and then tries to solve them as quickly and efficiently as possible. The ongoing traffic congestion in Los Angeles was the motivation for founding the tunnel construction company “The Boring Company” in 2016. The aim is to redirect the ever-increasing car traffic via an underground rail system and thus relieve the burden on above-ground road traffic and avoid traffic jams. Cars no longer drive on the road, but are “parked” on a sled, taken underground by elevator and transported at high speed to the vicinity of the destination using sophisticated navigation. The vehicle is brought to the road surface again using an elevator and can then continue the rest of the way.

So it remains exciting to see to what extent Elon Musk will influence our mobility of tomorrow: on the road, underground, in the air or in the universe.

Isaac Newton

"I can calculate the movement of celestial bodies, but not the behavior of people."

Isaac Newton

*04.01.1643 in Lincolnshire, +31.03.1727 in Kensington


As an English scientist and researcher, Isaac Newton laid the foundation for classical mechanics. Newton was the first to formulate laws of motion that were valid both on earth and in air: Newton's laws, which deal with motion, force, acceleration, inertia and gravity. Many people have the shot put pendulum named after him on their desk, which illustrates kinetic energies. Isaac Newton also conducted research in the field of optics, particularly the refraction of light. Thanks to him we know how a rainbow is formed. He developed the first reflecting telescope in 1672.

Newton also had a strong interest in religion and mysticism, which he kept secret so as not to be seen as a charlatan or fraud, as was common at the time. Among other things, he searched for the “philosopher’s stone,” but not to gain wealth. For him it was exclusively about scientific aspects.

Just as fanatically as he was concerned with alchemy, Newton studied religious sciences. The Bible, Newton had around 30 editions in different languages, was his most important teaching tool. It was only when he was dying that his closest friends found out about his studies.

Newton is not only the namesake for scientific laws and procedures. Asteroids, Martian craters and an island in Antarctica are also named after him. His portrait is featured on the English 1 pound note. And last but not least, the international unit of vector quantity goes forTorque back at him, thatNewton meter (Nm).

Kurt Sigl

“You have to do things, not just talk. The inhibition threshold must be overcome, now is the time to act.”

Kurt Sigl

*February 12, 1958 in Ingolstadt, Germany


After Kurt Walter Michael Sigl successfully completed the master carpentry school in Munich, he acted as a specialist teacher and chairman of the examination committee at the commercial vocational school for wood and construction technology in Ingolstadt. In 1985, Kurt Sigl moved to Audi AG and headed what is now known as Driving Experience. Since the 90s, Kurt Sigl has acted as a competent specialist presenter and key note speaker in press formats and at mobility events. Sigl was appointed President of the BEM, Federal Association of eMobility e.V., in Berlin from 2009 to the beginning of 2024.

As BEM President, Kurt Sigl campaigned to convert mobility in Germany to electromobility with the use of renewable energies. His main focus was on networking all relevant stakeholders.

The aim of his lobbying work is to break down traditional structures and thought patterns so that innovative concepts can be realised and e-mobility can make a sustainable contribution to reducing emissions and protecting the climate and environment.

Kurt Sigl is, among other things, a member of the industrial advisory board of RWTH Aachen University, a member of the program advisory board of CoFAT (TU Munich), a member of the “Frankfurt RheinMain networked” advisory board of the HOLM (House of Logistics and Mobility) and a member of the “Young Drivers” working group of the government of Bavaria.

In July 2021, Sigl will be appointed to the European Economic Senate. Together with high-ranking representatives from business and society, Sigl will advise political decision-makers in Brussels in the role of Economics Senator and BEM e.V. as a new member of the EWS and will be available to answer their questions.

Kurt Sigl is considered a leading figure in the areas of electromobility and renewable energies. He predicts the change in urban mobility towards climate-friendly diversity. “Lightweight electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular – from cargo bikes to cars like the Microlino, which is ideal for everyday urban life.”

By the way, his two sons are called Max and Moritz.

Alessandro Volta

"You have to be willing to give up even the best ideas when experience shows them to be wrong."

Alessandro Volta

*18.02.1745 in Como, Italy, +05.03.1827 ibid


Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Italian physicist, was already interested in the phenomena of electricity, which was still mysterious at the time, at the age of 18. Volta experimented with electricity and in 1775 invented the electrophore, a generator of high voltage. In 1800 he constructed his first battery: the voltaic column. This column consisted of so-called voltaic elements. These were copper and zinc plates stacked separately by leather cloth, which he moistened with brine. Volta was thus able to prove that electrical energy can be generated from chemical energy. In this way he laid the foundation for vehicles with electric drives. The highest honor that a physicist can receive was received by Allessandro Volta in the 19th century: the international unit of measurement for electrical voltage was namedvolt titled.

By the way: The passionate coffee drinker Alessandro Volta drank his coffee without sugar. When a friend asked why he did that, Volta is said to have replied: "That puts more coffee in the cup!"

James Watts

“There is nothing more foolish in life than inventing. I am now thirty-five years old and have not yet been of any use to the world for thirty-five pfennigs.”

James Watts

*19.01.1736 in Greenrock, Scotland, +25.08.1819 in Heathfield, Staffordshire


James Watt was a Scottish engineer and mechanical engineer. His talent for mathematics was already recognized in his youth. In Glasgow he trained to make mathematical devices. He was fascinated by steam engines, although they were not yet efficient at the time. He improved the efficiency of steam engines by inventing a separate condenser. In this way, heat loss – i.e. the loss of energy – could be reduced and effectiveness increased. By moving the process of conversion back into water (condensation) to the second cylinder, which was permanently cooled, the piston cycle accelerated enormously. That was a breakthrough. The steam engine shaped the 19th century, brought the world closer together by train and ship, and replaced muscle power as the measure of all technology. 

For many years he perfected the functions of steam engines with his inventions. These included, above all, Watt's parallelogram in 1748. He was the first scientist to define a unit of performance: horsepower (HP). After his death, this was replaced by the internationally applicable unit for performance “watt” which was then named to him.

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