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DEUTZ AG Annual Report 2020

Sustainably innovative

The Nicolaus August Otto Award presented by DEUTZ recognizes dedication, pioneering spirit, and the courage to innovate. It is named for the man who invented the four-stroke engine and co-founded the company that is now DEUTZ AG.

Nicolaus August Otto was a bold man – he had the courage to innovate and develop new technologies, and in doing so he laid the foundations for today’s DEUTZ AG. In the spirit of his legacy, the Company has been presenting the Nicolaus August Otto Award since 2019. The prize recognizes lifetime achievements in the fields of alternative drive systems, transportation, energy efficiency, inno­vative technology, and pioneering research. It is intended to promote a wider culture of innovation. In 2020, DEUTZ presented the award to Professor Wolfgang Reitzle.


Inventor of the four-stroke engine: Nicolaus August Otto


“Professor Reitzle is a worthy recipient of the Nicolaus August Otto Award. He firmly believes that hydrogen drive systems are a realistic alternative to today’s internal combustion engines and battery-powered motors and that they can pave the way for zero-emission transport. He has pursued his vision with great determination and focus in recent years in order to facilitate the breakthrough of hydrogen drive technology,” says Dr. Frank Hiller, Chairman of the Board of Management of DEUTZ AG, about this year’s laureate.

DEUTZ regards the hydrogen internal combustion engine as an attractive alternative to fuel cell technology, which is currently still very costly. It also offers an additional way of getting closer to carbon neutrality, particularly in the off-highway segment. A great advantage of this technology is that there is a well-established supply chain and ample production capacity for combustion engines already on hand in Germany – ideal conditions for a swift realization of hydrogen-based internal combustion drives.

“Professor Reitzle has pursued his vision of facilitating the breakthrough of hydrogen drive technology with great determination.”

Dr. Ing. Frank Hiller

Professor Reitzle studied engineering and eco­nomics at the Technical University of Munich. He began working as a production specialist for BMW, rising to become Head of Research and then Chief Development Officer. From there, he moved first to Ford and later to the industrial gas and technology firm Linde. Today, he is chairman of the board of directors of Linde plc and chairman of the supervisory board of Continental AG, in addition to a number of other positions.

The Nicolaus August Otto Award is presented annually and is endowed with prize money
of € 30,000.

“I am delighted to have received this award, says Professor Reitzle. For many years, I have been striving to address the social challenges of a world in transition through innovative transportation concepts. The award provides fresh momentum to this endeavor. If we want to achieve the 2030 climate goals, hydrogen drive technology will be an important part of the mobility mix.”

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle