Bertha and Carl Benz Award

Mannheim is the birthplace of the automobile. In 1885 the engineer Carl Benz (1844-1929) developed a three-wheel motor vehicle in his workshop in T6 that he patented in 1886: this was the birth of the automobile. Once again Mannheim’s reputation as a pioneering city of mobility was evident. In 1888 his wife Bertha Benz undertook the first successful long-distance journey by car, driving with her sons Eugen and Richard around 104 km from Mannheim to Pforzheim, her birthplace, in just under 13 hours.

In commemoration and recognition of this epoch-making invention, in 2011 the City of Mannheim launched the Bertha and Carl Benz Award on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the automobile. Although historically this award, which carries prize money of 10,000 euros, is based on the invention of the car, as a “mobility award” it encapsulates a highly topical and forward-looking idea: namely that mobility is about much more than just covering physical distances. Mobility creates opportunities to learn, builds bridges, breaks down social barriers, and promotes an environmentally sound and sustainable future.

Video recording of the Bertha and Carl Benz Prize event on September 20, 2020

(Sandmalerei Frauke Menger,


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More Informations:

Statute of the Bertha and Carl Benz Award

Previous awardees

Background report on the Bertha und Carl Benz Award