Exide Technologies is an American manufacturer of lead-acid batteries, including automotive batteries and industrial batteries. Its four global business groups (Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Power Americas, and Industrial Power Europe and Rest of World) provide stored electrical energy products and services.
Exide’s global headquarters are located in Milton, Georgia. It has both manufacturing and recycling plants. The former are located throughout the U.S., Pacific Rim, Europe and Australia. Recycling plants are located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Canon Hollow, Missouri; Muncie, Indiana; and Reading, Pennsylvania. Two former recycling plants in Frisco, Texas and Vernon, California have been closed in 2012 and 2013 due to regulatory inspections that found toxic emissions and/or leakages of lead and cadmium.
Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural, and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, rail transport, photovoltaic (solar-power related), uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including forklift trucks, mining, and other commercial vehicles.
Exide's predecessor corporation was the Electric Storage Battery Company, founded by W.W. Gibbs in 1888. Gibbs purchased the ideas and patents of inventor Clement Payen to make the storage battery a commercial product. Gibbs targeted electric lighting companies so they could use the storage batteries to provide services to their customers.
An important early customer for Electric Storage was the Electric Launch Company, also known as Elco.
In 1899, an Electric Storage battery provided the submerged power for the USS Holland (SS-1), and Electric Storage remained a significant supplier of US Navy submarine batteries at least through World War II. Isaac Rice, president of Electric Storage in 1899, was instrumental in founding the Electric Boat Company as a bailout of the Holland Torpedo Boat Company.
In 1900, the Electric Storage Battery Company developed a product of greater capacity and less weight for electric taxicabs. This battery was the first to bear the name Exide, short for "Excellent Oxide".
In 1911, Charles F. Kettering turned to the Electric Storage Battery Company for a suitable automotive battery to complement his new electric starter. This project yielded the first car battery of the modern type. (Within 5 years, there was a substantial field of aftermarket brands in storage batteries and starters for automobiles, as evidenced by the advertisements in automotive trade journals of the era.)
In 1938, the Electric Storage Battery Company acquired the Giant Storage Battery Company, and expanded into battery chargers and testers.
Following the acquisition of the Wisconsin Battery Company, Exide started producing motorcycle and specialty batteries.
Exide became a publicly traded company in October 1993.
In 1996 Exide acquired the French/Italian battery corporation CEAC, Clichy. With this acquisition also came the rights to the German brands Sonnenschein and dryfit. The company Accumulatorenfabrik Sonnenschein had been founded in Berlin in 1910 by Theodor Sonnenschein, and had patented the gel-cell type of valve-regulated lead–acid battery in 1957. (Marketed worldwide under the name dryfit).
Arthur M. Hawkins resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Exide in October 1998. Robert A. Lutz, former president and vice chairman at Chrysler Corporation, was appointed Exide's Chairman of the Board. He reorganized the worldwide management structure into Global Business Units and sold off non-battery units to allow the company to concentrate on its primary business.
In 2002 Exide filed for bankruptcy after compiling a debt of $2.5 billion as a result of the recent acquisitions. In April 2004, a judge approved the company's plan to eliminate $1.3 billion in debt and exit bankruptcy protection by the end of the month
In June 2013 Exide again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the aim of cutting debt and implementing a restructuring plan to better compete in the market (Exide Technologies, Case No. 13-11482, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware). In April 2015, the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which reduced its debt by approximately $600 million.
- Information from webpages formerly accessible through http://www.exide.com/history.html. See also http://www.exide.com/en/about/our-history.aspx
- Waltz, George H. (September 1951), "Bet I'm the toughest battery in town", Popular Science 159 (3): 110–113.
- Blair, Clay, Jr. Silent Victory (New York: Bantam, 1976), p.280.
- Spatz, Don (2001-03-24). "Battery Maker to Pay $27.5 Million Fine". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- Spatz, Don (1993-11-03). "Exide Goes Public With Stock Offering". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- White, Gregory L.; Sendler, Emily R. (1998-10-19). "Exide Corp.'s Chairman, CEO Resigns; Earnings to Fall Far Short of Estimates". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- " "Company News; Exide Technologies Files For Bankruptcy Protection". The New York Times. 2002-04-16.
- "COMPANY NEWS; EXIDE'S PLAN TO CUT $1.3 BILLION IN DEBT IS APPROVED". New York Times. 2004-04-17.
- Peterson, Molly; Zassenhaus, Eric; Keller, Chris. "Exide's shutdown in Vernon". 89.3 KPCC. Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- Cornell automotive list of sponsors
- Exide Technologies to Supply Batteries to REVA Electric Vehicle Project; Company Signs Agreement as Sole Battery Supplier
- Exide official site
- Report on the Supply of Electrical Equipment for Mechanically Propelled land Vehicles, UK Board of Trade, Monopolies Commission, 1963. Chapter 4 goes into some history concerning Exide, Chloride and Dryex batteries.