Press release
North America
February 8, 2013

Science Museum of Virginia To Feature Evonik’s Record-Setting Wind Explorer

Self-Sufficient Vehicle Crossed Australian Continent On Less Than $15

The Science Museum of Virginia, located at 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond, Va., will exhibit Evonik’s innovative Wind Explorer – a lightweight, electric vehicle that crossed Australia on less than $15 of electricity – February 8-10.

“It is very exciting to showcase the Wind Explorer at the Science Museum of Virginia,” said Richard Conti, Chief Wonder Officer at the Science Museum of Virginia. “The Science Museum of Virginia is the ideal partner to share such cutting-edge technology. Our guests will be inspired by the innovative technologies Evonik produces and view first-hand how these products can help create a cleaner and more sustainable environment.”

Evonik Goldschmidt Corporation is also featuring the Wind Explorer at its Hopewell facility at 710 South 6th Avenue, Hopewell, Va. Evonik Goldschmidt is one of the area’s largest employers and produces specialty chemicals for use in hair and skin care products, fabric softeners, surfactants to create the properties of polyurethane foams for specific applications, and a variety of other high-tech chemical products.

Evonik’s Wind Explorer produced virtually zero emissions during the 3,000 mile Australian journey, a distance roughly 200 miles further than from New York City to Los Angeles. The vehicle was constructed from Evonik’s ROHACELL® sandwich carbon fiber, reducing the body’s weight to allow the vehicle to travel hundreds of miles by kite. The Wind Explorer was so resource efficient that the wind turbine carried aboard could produce enough electric energy to travel 175-225 miles a day.

“The Wind Explorer shows that creating environmentally friendly and resource efficient automobiles with high-tech chemical products is possible,” said Dr. Reinhold Brand, president of Evonik Goldschmidt Corporation. “Evonik is committed to finding innovative solutions for the automotive industry and we want to inspire others to think outside the box. Our long-term goal is for low-rolling resistance tires, lightweight materials and lithium-ion batteries to become the standard in automotive engineering, paving the way for a world of resource-efficient transportation.”

The vehicle, piloted by German extreme sportsmen Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer, ran on a lithium-ion battery developed from Evonik’s LITARION® electrodes and SEPARION® ceramic separators. The SEPARION® technology is manufactured exclusively by Evonik and allows the battery cells to store energy generated from a portable wind turbine. The Wind Explorer’s lithium-ion battery technology is being used in Daimler’s new E-smart generation electric vehicles. Evonik’s silica-silane technology for rubber formulation reduced the rolling resistance of the vehicle’s tires, lowering fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

“Evonik allocates about 60% of its research & development (R&D) resources to the development of new products and technology platforms,” said Phil Munson, Hopewell site manager. “We have major R&D facilities located here in Hopewell and it is very exciting for our employees to see how our company implements their innovative findings.”

The Wind Explorer pilots set three world records during their coast-to-coast trip across Australia, including the first time a continent had been crossed by a vehicle powered by wind and lithium-ion batteries, the longest overall distance covered by an exclusively wind-powered automobile, and the longest distance covered in 36 hours by an electric and wind-powered vehicle.

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About Evonik

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2011 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €14.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.8 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.