Interesting Historical Facts
Exide Technologies is the world's second-largest producer of automotive lead acid batteries for automotive and industrial applications. The Company’s four global business groups – Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Power Americas and Industrial Power Europe and Rest of World – provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications.
Transportation markets include original-equipment and after-market automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial vehicles.
Exide was founded by W.W. Gibbs in 1888 and was then called Electric Storage Battery Company. 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.
In 1900, the 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".
When the United States entered World War I, Exide batteries were used to operate airplane radio sets and power radio stations. In 1938, Exide acquired Giant Storage Battery Company, and expanded into battery chargers and testers.
Exide bought out the dry battery business of a company called Brittania Batteries Ltd.
During World War II, Exide was a major supplier of batteries for U.S. Navy submarines and primary contractor for batteries used in the Mark 18 electric torpedo.
Exide entered the dry-cell battery industry in 1957 when it acquired the Ray-O-Vac Company, then the 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. In 1987, it acquired General Battery Corporation.