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Recognizing Individuals

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Past Winners

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The Personal Award goes to an individual who has dedicated his or her work to the outstanding development and promotion of clean vehicle technologies.

2009 Winner

Steen V. Jensen, Denmark, was honored with the Personal Award for his pioneering work in developing a production electric vehicle in the late 1980s that is still manufactured and sold today.

2008 Winner

Karl Kordesch, Austria, is known as one of the first developers of fuel cells and the developer of a 150 kW Alkaline Fuel Cell for GM’s Electrovan. Kordesch invented the Alkaline Primary Battery Cell, which now holds the greatest share in the primary battery cell market. Additional extraordinary achievements include over 12 patents, 200 publications, and other prestigious international awards.

2007 Winner

Paul MacCready, United States (posthumously awarded), founded AeroVironment, a company specialized in developing high-efficiency electric-energy systems. His masterpiece in automotive technology resulted from GM’s entrance in the first World Solar Challenge in 1987. The GM Sunraycer had a weight of 390 pounds (175 kg), consumed only 1.8 Wh/100 km, and was the winner of the first World Solar Challenge. GM considered this victory a unique opportunity to establish leadership in advanced electric drive technology. In response, MacCready and AeroVironment developed the Impact electric vehicle for the Los Angeles Motor Show in January 1990. This purposefully-designed EV had more impact than expected. Convinced by its excellent performance, the California Air Resources Board implemented the “Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate,” demanding a 2% share of EVs sales among the seven different vehicle manufacturers.

2006 Winner

Hans Tholstrup, Australia, won the 2008 Personal Award for decades of commitment to enabling progress in electric vehicles by establishing the World Solar Challenge, “Solarmobile race.”The World Solar Challenge is a solar-powered car race which covers 3021 km (1,877 miles) through the Australian Outback, from Darwin to Adelaide. The race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations.

2005 Winner

Rene Jeanneret, Switzerland, won the 2005 Personal Award.