Press release
October 17, 2012

Lightweight Innovativeness

  • Electric car by Evonik embodies innovative approaches to materials 
  • Emphasis on lightweight design as well as battery and tire technology 
  • High-precision plastic parts ensure fast production times

Evonik—a chemical company based in Essen, Germany—will display its lightweight, electric demonstration vehicle dubbed "Elise-E" at MATERIALICA/eCarTec Munich 2012, a specialized trade fair. Based on a Lotus sports car, the Elise-E showcases Evonik's expertise in innovative battery and tire technology as well as approaches to methods and materials in automotive lightweight design. For example, precision manufacturing of composite components is made possible by a vacuum infusion process based on Evonik's VESTAMIN® hardening technology. The composite is applied as required via vacuum to an object such as the Elise-E's outer skin (except the doors). The car body lost weight compared to the original component without losing stability. Because this technique results in higher-precision parts, a vehicle body's surface does not require extensive finishing. This facilitates shorter production cycles—a prerequisite for efficient, large-scale production.

Evonik engineers also utilized ROHACELL® structural foam to make ultra-light sandwich components. The material’s very good heat resistance allows for processes in the component manufacturing that use epoxy systems for the top layers that are cured at high temperatures (>120°C) in very short cycle times. Sandwich components can thus be manufactured cost-effectively in short production cycles. This sandwich design results in a vehicle body weighing up to 70 percent less than one made of steel.

Side windows made of PLEXIGLAS® by Evonik weigh some 40 to 50 percent less than conventional glass windows. In addition to being lightweight, PLEXIGLAS® also offers excellent transparency, very good weather resistance, and outstanding plasticity.

Evonik's demonstration vehicle runs on a lithium-ion battery featuring one-of-a-kind CERIO® storage technology. A key component of this battery is wafer-thin and extremely heat-resistant: a ceramic, high-performance SEPARION® separator. It reliably separates the anode from the cathode and—in conjunction with other components—raises the bar for lithium-ion cells in terms of cycle stability, power output, and safety. The separator also enables a very compact configuration of the battery cells and, in turn, high energy density at a low weight.

Weight and the rolling resistance of tires are of paramount importance concerning vehicles with an electric powertrain. Thanks to special low-resistance tires developed in-house and featuring Evonik's high-performance ULTRASIL® silica and Si 363® silane, rolling resistance was reduced by approx. 20 percent. This results in energy savings of about five percent compared to conventional passenger car tires.

Trade-fair visitors can even test-drive Evonik's lightweight Elise-E at the eCarLiveDrive test track (Hall B4, Stand 210).

Company information

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