Press release
North America
March 5, 2013

University Of South Alabama To Feature Evonik’s Record-Setting Wind Explorer

Wind, Electric Powered Vehicle Crossed Australian Continent On Less Than $15

The University of South Alabama is showcasing Evonik’s Wind Explorer – a lightweight, electric vehicle that crossed Australia on less than $15 of electricity – at Shelby Hall, 150 Jaguar Drive, on March 5-9.

“It is very exciting to have the Wind Explorer here at the University of South Alabama,” said Dr. John Steadman, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of South Alabama. “Many of our students are planning to pursue careers in engineering following graduation and the Wind Explorer provides insight into cutting-edge technology. We believe Evonik’s drive for a more sustainable environment will encourage our students to aspire to create similar products in the future.”

Evonik’s Wind Explorer produced virtually zero emissions during the 3,000 mile journey across Australia, a distance roughly 200 miles further than from New York City to Los Angeles. 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 demonstrates how environmentally-friendly automobiles can be today and showcases Evonik’s drive for sustainability,” said Tom Bates, President of Evonik Corporation. “Evonik continuously seeks to help our customers enhance their products. The technologies in the Wind Explorer are examples of how our products can improve the resource-efficiency of automobiles.”

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 non-flammable fabric woven from ceramic fibers and is manufactured exclusively by Evonik. This 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.

“Having the Wind Explorer in Mobile is very exciting for our employees,” said Bonnie Tully, Mobile vice president and site manager. “The vehicle’s body was constructed from a product manufactured here in Mobile called ROHACELL®, which reduced the vehicle’s weight to allow the vehicle to travel hundreds of miles by kite. Having the Wind Explorer here gives our employees a chance to see the end-result of all their hard work. Our long-term goal is for such innovative technologies to become the standard in automotive design. It’s exciting for our employees to know they play an important part in the evolution of automotive engineering.”

Evonik Corporation is also featuring the Wind Explorer at its site at 4201 Degussa Road in Theodore. Evonik Corporation is one of the area’s largest employers and produces specialty chemicals for a variety of industries. Fumed silicas used for increasing the temperature stability of lipsticks, compounds used in the production of transparent plastics, and light weight foams used for aircraft engineering, are manufactured at the site.

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.