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Exide was originally a
brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that distinguishes one seller's good or service from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for recognition and, importantly, to create an ...
name for batteries produced by The Electric Storage Battery Company and later became Exide Corporation doing business as Exide Technologies, an American multinational lead-acid batteries manufacturing company. It manufactures automotive batteries and industrial batteries. It is based in
Milton, Georgia Milton is a city in Fulton County, Georgia, Fulton County, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States. Located about 30 miles due north of Atlanta, Georgia, Atlanta, Milton is known for its rural and equestrian heritage. The City was incorporate ...
,
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. Exide 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 Muncie ( ) is an incorporated city and the county seat, seat of Delaware County, Indiana, Delaware County, Indiana. Previously known as Buckongahelas Town, named after the legendary Delaware Chief.http://www.delawarecountyhistory.org/history/docs ...
. Two recycling plants in
Frisco, Texas Frisco is a city in Collin County, Texas, Collin and Denton County, Texas, Denton counties in the U.S. state of Texas. It is part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex and about from both Dallas Love Field and Dallas/Fort Worth International Air ...
and
Vernon, California Vernon is a city five miles (8.0 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, California, the nearest separate city to downtown Los Angeles. The population was 112 at the 2010 United States Census, the least of any incorporated city in the state. ...
have been closed in 2012 and 2013. The plants in
Reading, Pennsylvania Reading ( ; Pennsylvania Dutch language, Pennsylvania Dutch: ''Reddin'') is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The city had a population of 95,112 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census and is ...
and
Baton Rouge, Louisiana Baton Rouge ( ; ) is a city in and the List of capitals in the United States, capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. Located the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the county seat, parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, E ...
have also been closed.


History

Exide's predecessor corporation was the Electric Storage Battery Company, founded by William Warren 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 The Electric Launch Company, later renamed Elco Motor Yachts ("Elco"), is an American boat building and electric motor company that has operated from 1893 to 1949 and from 1987 to the present. History Elco first made its mark at the World's Col ...
, also known as Elco. In 1893, The Electric Storage Battery Company was producing chloride accumulators for stabilizing electric grids. Nine years later there were 220 lead chloride accumulator installations in service enabling electric street rail. W. W. Gibbs, president of the Electric Storage Battery Company, stated on the night of Sunday December 16, 1894 that the company had consummated the day before in New York the purchase of all patents and patent rights concerning the manufacture and use of electric storage batteries of the General Electric Company, the Edison company, the Thomson-Houston, the Brush, the Accumulator company, the Consolidated Electric Storage Company and the General Electric Launch Company. Mr. Gibbs asserted that this secured to the Electric Storage Battery Company the sole right to supply this country electric storage batteries of all the various types heretofore developed, as well as the protection of every decision thus far rendered by the federal courts in the interpretation of patents of this kind. In 1898, an Exide brand battery provided the submerged power for the USS ''Holland'' (SS-1), the first submarine commissioned in the US Navy. Electric Storage remained a significant supplier of
US Navy The United States Navy (USN) is the maritime service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most powerful navy in the world, with the estimated tonnage ...
submarine A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely op ...
batteries at least through
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
.
Isaac Rice Isaac Leopold Rice (February 22, 1850 – November 2, 1915) was a Germans, German-born Jewish American businessman, investor, musicologist, author, and chess patron.
, president of Electric Storage in 1899, was instrumental in founding the
Electric Boat Company Electricity is the set of physics, physical Phenomenon, phenomena associated with the presence and motion of matter that has a property of electric charge. Electricity is related to magnetism, both being part of the phenomenon of electromagne ...
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
taxicab A taxi, also known as a taxicab or simply a cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a Driving, driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of thei ...
s. This battery was the first to bear the name ''Exide'', short for "Excellent Oxide". In 1902, The Electric Storage Battery Co. formed Willard Storage Battery Co. when they acquired the battery-making assets of a jewellery manufacturer in Cleveland, OH and incorporated them. By 1950 Willard automotive batteries were outselling Exide automotive batteries although The Electric Storage Battery Co. was larger due to diversification. In 1911, Charles F. Kettering turned to the Electric Storage Battery Company for a suitable
automotive battery An automotive battery or car battery is a rechargeable battery that is used to start a motor vehicle. Its main purpose is to provide an electric current to the electric-powered starting motor, which in turn starts the chemically-powered internal ...
to complement his new
electric starter A starter (also self-starter, cranking motor, or starter motor) is a device used to rotate (crank) an internal-combustion engine so as to initiate the engine's operation under its own power. Starters can be electric motor, electric, pneumatic ...
. 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.) When the United States entered
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, Exide batteries were used to operate airplane radio sets and power
radio station Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves to radio receivers belonging to a public audience. In terrestrial radio broadcasting the radio waves are broadcast by a land-b ...
s. In 1920 the Electric Storage Battery Company purchased 40 acres of land in Crescentville, Philadelphia Pennsylvania to build a new plant at the estimated initial cost of two million US dollars. In 1934 the Electric Storage Battery Company filed for the trademark Exide Ironclad and in 1935 their trademark was registered. In 1938, the Electric Storage Battery Company acquired the Giant Storage Battery Company, and expanded into battery chargers and testers. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, the Electric Storage Battery Company was a major supplier of batteries for U.S. Navy
submarine A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely op ...
s and primary contractor for batteries used in the Mark 18 electric
torpedo A modern torpedo is an underwater ranged weapon launched above or below the water surface, self-propelled towards a target, and with an explosive warhead designed to detonate either on contact with or in proximity to the target. Historically, su ...
. The Electric Storage Battery Company 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. NASA used solar-charged, nickel-zinc Exide batteries on all of the
Apollo program The Apollo program, also known as Project Apollo, was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which succeeded in preparing and Moon landing, landing the ...
missions. In 1967 The Electric Storage Battery Company was merged into ESB Incorporated. From 1974 through 1978 ESB Inc. became Inco Electroenergy Corporation as the result of the first hostile takeover in the US. In 1983 Inco sold their Exide Corporation unit to the First Chicago Investment Corporation and principals of the Spectrum Group. In 1972, ESB Inc. 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 Corp. (doing business as Exide Technologies) acquired General Battery Corporation and moved the company headquarters to
Reading, Pennsylvania Reading ( ; Pennsylvania Dutch language, Pennsylvania Dutch: ''Reddin'') is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The city had a population of 95,112 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census and is ...
. 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 Berlin ( , ) is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3.7 million inhabitants make it the European Union's most populous city, according to population within city limits. One of Germany's sixteen constituen ...
in 1910 by Theodor Sonnenschein, and had
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of disclosure, enabling disclo ...
ed 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 The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock car racing. The privately owned company was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, and ...
. Exide NASCAR Select were engineered to start high compression engines that require 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. Robert A. Lutz, former president and vice chairman at
Chrysler Corporation Stellantis North America (officially FCA US and formerly Chrysler ()) is one of the "Big Three (automobile manufacturers), Big Three" automobile manufacturers in the United States, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is the American subs ...
, 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. In 2002, Exide filed for
bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debt ...
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 April 2013, Exide closed its battery-recycling plant in Vernon, California (Los Angeles County). In June 2013, Exide again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the aim of cutting debt and implementing a restructuring plan (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. On May 20, 2015, the company announced the appointment of Victor M. (Vic) Koelsch, former executive vice president, Michelin North America, as president and chief executive officer of the company. On May 24, 2017, Exide completed a series of financing transactions to fund growth and additional capacity. On October 25, 2017, Exide Technologies unveiled a $35 Million grid manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Missouri. On May 24, 2018, Exide expanded its motive power offering with acquisition of Aker Wade Power Technologies. On November 14, 2018, Exide named Timothy D. Vargo, former president and CEO of AutoZone, President and chief executive officer of the company. Tim is also chairman of the board. Between January 10 and July 30, 2019, Exide appointed new leadership in its CIO, CLO, COO, CFO, and President EMEA positions. On April 2, 2019, Battery Systems, Inc. acquired Exide's branch network business and became the exclusive distributor of Exide-branded aftermarket transportation batteries. On June 26, 2019, Exide completed a comprehensive new financing and recapitalization transaction which "enhanced the Company’s liquidity, extended debt maturities and deleveraged its balance sheet." On May 19, 2020, Exide (and four subsidiaries) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to facilitate the sale of its North American assets. In July 2020, Exide sold certain North American assets to Atlas Holdings. On August 25, 2020, Atlas Holdings launched standalone companies Stryten Manufacturing and Element Resources following its acquisition of substantially all the operating assets of the Americas business of Exide Technologies, LLC. The transaction completes a court-supervised sale process, pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code. On October 16, 2020, a federal bankruptcy court allowed Exide to divest itself of responsibilities for multiple waste sites including Exide's battery recycling plant in Vernon, CA, near Los Angeles.


Locations

Exide Technologies' global headquarters is located in
Milton, Georgia Milton is a city in Fulton County, Georgia, Fulton County, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States. Located about 30 miles due north of Atlanta, Georgia, Atlanta, Milton is known for its rural and equestrian heritage. The City was incorporate ...
. It has both manufacturing and recycling plants located throughout the U.S. and Europe. Exide's European Headquarters is located in Gennevilliers, France. Exide operates in approximately 80 countries around the world. Exide operates three R&D facilities including one in the U.S. (Milton, Georgia), and two in Europe ( Büdingen, Germany and Azuqueca, Spain). Exide operates seven manufacturing plants and three recycling plants in the U.S. In Europe, Exide operates ten manufacturing plants and three recycling facilities. Exide maintains principal sales offices in
Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbr.: CDMX; Nahuatl: ''Altepetl Mexico'') is the capital city, capital and primate city, largest city of Mexico, and the List of North American cities by population, most populous city in North Amer ...
,
São Paulo São Paulo (, ; Portuguese for 'Saint Paul') is the List of largest cities in Brazil, most populous city in Brazil, and is the capital of the São Paulo (state), state of São Paulo, the List of Brazilian states by population, most populous and ...
,
Dubai Dubai (, ; ar, wikt:دبي, دبي, translit=Dubayy, , ) is the List of cities in the United Arab Emirates#Major cities, most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, the most populated of the 7 ...
,
Shanghai Shanghai (; , , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flow ...
,
Hong Kong Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special ...
and
Sydney Sydney ( ) is the capital city of the States and territories of Australia, state of New South Wales, and the most populous city in both Australia and List of cities in Oceania by population, Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metro ...
.


Products

Exide produces batteries and accessories for the transportation market, including original-equipment and aftermarket products for auto/truck/SUV, heavy duty, lawn and garden, marine/RV, golf carts and power sport, using absorbed glass mat (AGM), flooded, enhanced flooded battery, and gel (VRLA) technologies. Exide also markets
lithium-ion batteries A lithium-ion or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery which uses the reversible Redox, reduction of lithium ions to store energy. It is the predominant battery type used in portable consumer electronics and electric vehicles. It als ...
for
motorbikes A motorcycle (motorbike, bike, or trike (if three-wheeled)) is a two or three-wheeled motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled land vehicle, commonly wheeled, that does n ...
in Europe. Exide serves the industrial market with lead–acid and lithium-ion batteries for
motive power ''Motive Power'' is a bi-monthly railway related magazine that focuses on diesel locomotives in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian contine ...
material handling (forklifts),
railroad Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in Track (rail transport), tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the ...
,
mining Mining is the Extractivism, extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein (geology), vein, coal mining, seam, quartz reef mining, reef, or placer deposit. The exploitation of ...
and
submarine A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely op ...
applications. Exide also provides chargers and fast chargers for material handling applications, as well as modeling and real time monitoring products. Exide produces energy storage for industrial network power markets including
telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of ...
, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), utilities, and
solar energy Solar energy is solar irradiance, radiant sunlight, light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of technologies such as solar power to generate electricity, solar thermal energy (including solar water heating), and solar arc ...
, as well as for other critical backup needs.


Criticism and controversies

Exide is one of the world's largest producers, distributors and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. As early as 1937 employees claimed that the Electric Storage Battery Company was negligent in protecting their workers. Since 2010, operations at seven Exide lead-acid battery plants have been linked to ambient airborne lead levels that posed a health risk to the environment and residents in communities and neighborhoods surrounding the Exide plants. Exide has been the subject of much controversy regarding environmental practices in the past. Lead and other dangerous chemicals coming from Exide's plants have repeatedly polluted communities around the United States, triggering protests and extensive media coverage. In March 2001, Exide pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy charges and agreed to pay a fine of $27.5 million to end a federal criminal investigation into auto battery sales to customers of
Sears Sears, Roebuck and Co. ( ), commonly known as Sears, is an American chain of department stores founded in 1892 by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck and reincorporated in 1906 by Richard Sears and Julius Rosenwald, with what began as ...
. The case arose from investigations and accusations that Exide conspired with Sears to sell used batteries as new to Sears customers and that Exide officials had paid bribes to conceal the fraud. In 2002, two former top executives of Exide were sentenced to prison for their scheme to sell defective batteries to Sears. Former Exide president Douglas N. Pearson was sentenced to five years and four months in prison and ordered to pay a $150,000 fine. Pearson's accomplice, former Exide chief executive Arthur M. Hawkins, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a $1 million fine. The two were convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a huge scheme to sell defective Exide batteries to Sears for its Die-hard battery line. In 2008, it was reported that Exide was emitting two times the number of pollutants allowed into the environment at their secondary lead-acid battery smelter plant in
Bristol, Tennessee Bristol is a city in the State of Tennessee Tennessee ( , ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a landlocked state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly kno ...
. In 2013, Exide was under federal criminal investigation for emitting high levels of harmful pollutants from its battery recycling plant in
Vernon, California Vernon is a city five miles (8.0 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, California, the nearest separate city to downtown Los Angeles. The population was 112 at the 2010 United States Census, the least of any incorporated city in the state. ...
. Hundreds of residents had complained for years about Exide's toxic emissions before state and federal agencies acted. Updates on the Vernon facility's closure can be found o
ExideVernon.com
. In fall 2017, the Department of Toxic Substances Control began to implement their plans to remove lead-contaminated soil from 2,500 residential properties near the closed Exide lead-acid battery plant in Vernon. It is believed to be the largest environmental cleanup effort of its kind in California history, encompassing seven
Los Angeles County Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, and sometimes abbreviated as L.A. County, is the List of the most populous counties in the United States, most populous county in the United States and in the U.S. state of California, ...
neighborhoods. California state regulators estimate that Exide's operations may have threatened the health of an estimated 100,000 people and 10,000 residential properties. A total of $192 million has been authorized by the state for the massive cleanup effort; $176.6 million of which was approved by Governor
Jerry Brown Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. (born April 7, 1938) is an American lawyer, author, and politician who served as the 34th and 39th governor of California from 1975 to 1983 and 2011 to 2019. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Par ...
in April 2016.


Sustainability and recycling

Exide is one of the largest secondary recyclers in the world, and one of few battery companies with the ability to provide Total Battery Management, also known as "closed loop recycling." Closed loop recycling frees customers from the burden of handling spent batteries in their own facilities. Recycling recovers 99% of all lead received at Exide's recycling centers. Every year Exide recycles millions of pounds of
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate ...
and recovers and neutralizes millions of gallons of
sulfuric acid Sulfuric acid (American spelling and the preferred IUPAC name) or sulphuric acid (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth spelling), known in antiquity as oil of vitriol, is a mineral acid composed of the elements sulfur, oxygen ...
. In 2017 Exide Technologies recycled 35 million pounds of plastic in the United States alone, which was used to produce 13 million new batteries. Lead battery recycling is one of the best examples of a
circular economy A circular economy (also referred to as circularity and CE) is a model of Production (economics), production and Resource consumption, consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, Reuse, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing ...
as recognized by the
World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international non-governmental organization, international non-governmental and Lobbying organization, lobbying organisation based in Cologny, canton of Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded on 24 January 197 ...
. Industry-wide, this “closed loop” process for recycling lead batteries keeps more than 1.7 million tons of lead batteries out of U.S.
landfills A landfill site, also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump, or dumping ground, is a site for the disposal of waste materials. Landfill is the oldest and most common form of waste disposal, although the systematic burial of the waste ...
annually. Exide Technologies is a contributing member of th
Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC)
an
Lead Battery Research Working Group
formed by the North American lead battery industry with goals to advance technology, "undertake pre-competitive research to improve performance and longevity of lead batteries," and develop understanding of the crystal precipitation/dissolution process. Exide is also a member o
EUROBAT
an Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers whose purpose is "to study all matters of interest to storage battery manufacturers and their sub-contractors in Europe, Middle East and Africa." Exide's president, CEO, and chairman, Timothy D. Vargo, is also a board member o
Battery Council International
"a not-for-profit trade association formed to promote the interests of the international battery industry."


References

Blair, Clay, Jr. ''Silent Victory'' (New York: Bantam, 1976), p.280.


External links

* {{official, http://www.exide.com

UK Board of Trade, Monopolies Commission, 1963. Chapter 4 goes into some history concerning Exide, Chloride and Dryex batteries. Consumer battery manufacturers Motor vehicle battery manufacturers Electric vehicle battery manufacturers Manufacturing companies based in Georgia (U.S. state) Companies based in Fulton County, Georgia Companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002 Companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013 Companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020 Vernon, California Manufacturing companies established in 1888 American companies established in 1888 1888 establishments in Pennsylvania American brands