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Exide Technologies
Founded 1888; 129 years ago (1888)
Headquarters Milton, Georgia, USA
Products Batteries
Website www.exide.com

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 Canon Hollow, which is north of Forest City, Missouri, and Muncie, Indiana. 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.[1] The plants in Reading, Pennsylvania and Baton Rouge, Louisiana have also been closed.

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.

Their distribution network for solar products covers over 78 distributors and wholesalers, across over 32 different countries.[2]


Electric Storage Battery Company advertisement for Exide batteries in the journal Horseless Age, 1918.

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.[3]

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".[3]

An Exide Nickel Cadmium battery

In 1911, Charles F. Kettering turned to the Electric Storage Battery Company for a suitable automotive battery to complement his new electric starter.[4] This project yielded the first car battery of the modern type.[4] (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.)

When the United States entered World War I, Exide batteries were used to operate airplane radio sets and power radio stations.

In 1938, the Electric Storage Battery Company acquired the Giant Storage Battery Company, and expanded into battery chargers and testers.[3]

During World War II, the Electric Storage Battery Company was a major supplier of batteries for U.S. Navy submarines and primary contractor for batteries used in the Mark 18 electric torpedo. [5]

Exide entered the dry-cell battery industry in 1957 when it acquired the Ray-O-Vac Company, the then second largest producer of dry-cell batteries in the US.

Following the acquisition of the Wisconsin Battery Company, Exide started producing motorcycle and specialty batteries.

NASA used solar-charged, nickel-zinc Exide batteries on all of the Apollo space missions.[6]

Nickel-iron batteries manufactured between 1972 and 1975 under the "Exide" brand, originally developed in 1901 by Thomas Edison.

In 1972, Exide acquired the Edison Storage Battery Company, which had developed a practical nickel-iron battery in 1901. The production of this type of battery was subsequently discontinued in 1975.

In 1987, Exide acquired General Battery Corporation and moved the company headquarters to Reading, Pennsylvania.[3][7]

Exide became a publicly traded company in October 1993.[8]

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).

In 1997, Exide NASCAR Select Batteries were introduced, which is the official battery of NASCAR. Exide NASCAR Select is engineered to start high compression engines that demand nearly twice the starting power of a typical car. In 2000, the battery brand was renamed Exide Select.

Arthur M. Hawkins resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Exide in October 1998.[9] 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 2000, Exide acquired GNB Technologies, a North American supplier of automotive batteries.[3]

In 2002, Exide filed for bankruptcy after compiling a debt of $2.5 billion as a result of the recent acquisitions.[10] 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[11]

In April 2013, Exide's plant in Vernon, California (Los Angeles County) was shut down by California regulators for arsenic and lead leakage and emissions.[1][12][13]

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.


Exide is a sponsor of the Cornell Automotive X-Prize Team.[14]

Exide Technologies has signed an agreement to be the sole lead-acid battery supplier for the REVA (Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Alternative) car-making project in Bangalore, India.[15]

Exide was also formerly a sponsor of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver turned NBC Sports announcer Jeff Burton, as well as an associate sponsor and occasional primary sponsor of Turner Scott Motorsports.


  1. ^ a b http://www.scpr.org/blogs/environment/2013/06/03/13867/exide-technologies-faq-everything-you-need-to-know/
  2. ^ http://www.enfsolar.com/directory/component/41/exide-technologies
  3. ^ a b c d e Information from webpages formerly accessible through http://www.exide.com/history.html. See also http://www.exide.com/en/about/our-history.aspx
  4. ^ a b Waltz, George H. (September 1951), "Bet I'm the toughest battery in town", Popular Science, 159 (3): 110–113. 
  5. ^ Blair, Clay, Jr. Silent Victory (New York: Bantam, 1976), p.280.
  6. ^ The History of Exide Technologies
  7. ^ Spatz, Don (2001-03-24). "Battery Maker to Pay $27.5 Million Fine". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  8. ^ Spatz, Don (1993-11-03). "Exide Goes Public With Stock Offering". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ " "Company News; Exide Technologies Files For Bankruptcy Protection". The New York Times. 2002-04-16. 
  11. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; EXIDE'S PLAN TO CUT $1.3 BILLION IN DEBT IS APPROVED". New York Times. 2004-04-17. 
  12. ^ Peterson, Molly; Zassenhaus, Eric; Keller, Chris. "Exide's shutdown in Vernon". 89.3 KPCC. Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  13. ^ http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/06/03/37535/vernon-battery-recycler-exide-seeks-a-second-chanc/
  14. ^ Cornell automotive list of sponsors
  15. ^ Exide Technologies to Supply Batteries to REVA Electric Vehicle Project; Company Signs Agreement as Sole Battery Supplier

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