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Products & Innovations

New product solutions contribute to CO2 reduction and pave the way for "green mobility" of the future

ElringKlinger has fully embraced one of the megatrends currently driving the automotive industry: emissions reduction. The majority of products in the portfolio contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, or soot particulates - either through new lightweighting concepts, the continued optimization of cumbustion engines by means of downsizing or alternative drive technologies.  

With new legislation being introduced around the globe, manufacturers have no choice but to deliver substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. By 2021, for example, the level of greenhouse gases emitted by new vehicles will have to fall by a further 20% in Europe and by as much as 30% in the United States. At the same time, emerging markets such as China have their sights set on low-emissions technology, with a government-defined target of cutting CO2 emissions by up to 30%.

Drawing on its innovative technologies, ElringKlinger can help to meet these challenging standards. More information about the emission reduction potential of our products can be found under Products and Technologies. 

Research and development forms the basis for a strong culture of innovation

ElringKlinger’s corporate philosophy is all about being close to the customer, spotting trends early, and actively helping to shape innovation. The company has invested some 5 % of its revenue in research and development in recent years, a relatively large amount compared to the industry as a whole. These funds underpin the strong competitive position enjoyed by the ElringKlinger Group.

Focus on research and development

Research and development (R&D) expenditure, including capitalized development costs, amounted to EUR 76.1 million in the 2020 financial year (2019: EUR 80.8 million). This equates to an R&D ratio of 5.1% (2019: 4.7%), which is within the target range of around 5–6%. Although most of the expenditure was attributable to the Lightweighting/Elastomer Technology and E-Mobility units, ElringKlinger also pushed on with development projects in traditional product areas such as shielding technology and sealing technology to make vehicles more efficient with the help of technical optimizations.

It is the Group’s employees whose tinkering, thinking, testing, and tweaking combine to make the future slightly more sustainable. Day in, day out, they actively embrace the culture of innovation that allows them to see things beyond their own horizons. Despite the challenging circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ElringKlinger nevertheless increased its R&D headcount to 623 in the 2020 financial year (2019: 611). ElringKlinger has largely centralized its R&D operations to prevent technology transfer and a “brain drain.” These development activities are mainly concentrated at the Original Equipment and Engineered Plastics sites in Germany and at the US sites in the Detroit area and Michigan. All the company’s other sites largely handle comparably minor development tasks and adjustments.

Besides maintaining a central R&D organization, protecting its intellectual property rights is also a core component of ElringKlinger’s R&D work. A total of 86 property rights were registered in 2020, 41 of which relate to batteries and fuel cells. Intellectual property rights are protected in order to prevent fakes and secure the potential return on the investments made in researching and developing the products at an early stage. Protection against imitations of ElringKlinger products is guaranteed by ensuring that products are only sold to customers by ElringKlinger directly and by applying distinctive features to the products themselves. A thorough quality assurance process also inspects raw and other materials received from suppliers to exclude the possibility of raw materials being contaminated or counterfeited.