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Our History

2018 marks 100 years of Saft. During all of that time, we have been pioneers, designing and manufacturing batteries and battery systems to get energy to where our customers need it - be that in space, on land, in the air, or at sea. Today, as we celebrate our centenary we are preparing and looking forward to staying at the forefront of our industry for next 100 years.



  • Total acquires Saft
  • Saft celebrates 50 years in space since the launch of the Diapason 1A satellite on February 17, 1966
  • President Obama visits Saft America’s advanced lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant
  • Inauguration of a new, larger advanced-technology facility in Zhuhai to double the Group’s production capacity in China


  • Ghislain Lescuyer appointed CEO
  • Launch of Xcelion 6T® : the lithium-ion drop-in replacement for lead-acid batteries


  • Saft's primary lithium battery powers the Philae Lander on historic comet touchdown and data collection
  • 100 million primary lithium batteries manufactured in Zhuhai, China, for metering and electronic toll collection
  • Launch of Seanergy® marine lithium-ion modules for clean propulsion applications


  • Li-ion battery on board the Airbus A350 XWB's maiden flight
  • Inauguration of manufacturing facility in Bangalore , India, to support local nickel-based market in standby power, railway, telecom and aviation


  • Milestone 1 MWh of Saft lithium-ion batteries in space


  • Inauguration of state-of-the-art lithium-ion plant in Jacksonville, FL (USA)
  • Launch of Intensium® Max megawatt-scale containerized energy storage system


  • Launch of high-energy Evolion® lithium-ion battery system optimized for all telecom applications


  • Launch of Tel.X range, the most compact maintenance-free solution for telecom networks


  • Opening of Saft China in Zhuhai to support domestic market


  • Saft’s Battery Energy Storage System in Fairbanks, Alaska, recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s most powerful battery”


  • The Mars Exploration Rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity” land on Mars with Saft batteries on board. Their primary cells were built by Saft America in Valdese, NC, and Cockeysville, MD.


  • Acquisition of the German company Friemann und Wolf Batterietechnik GmbH
  • The Northrop Grumman Global Hawk contract signed: the first lithium-ion aircraft application


  • Acquisition of Hawker Eternacell , lithium battery supplier to the US and UK armed forces since 1937
  • Inauguration of the manufacturing plant in Valdosta, Georgia (USA) to produce batteries for the telecommunications market


  • Acquisition of Tadiran , an Israeli manufacturer of lithium batteries, with operations in Israel, the USA and Germany
  • A new technology, the Pulse Plus , introduced by Tadiran and the main reason for the rapid growth of the company


  • Saft aquires Ferak , once part of Prague Accumulors, based in Raskovice, Czech Republic


  • Purchase of Gates Aerospace Batteries ,which produces batteries for satellites


  • Acquisition of NIFE in Oskarshamn, Sweden


  • French explorer Jean-Louis Etienne and his team embark on their Transantarctica mission for seven months


  • Acquisition of Alcad Ltd , Saft’s entry into the American industrial standby market


  • Sale of consumer battery activities to Bernard Tapie and acquisition of the activities of the industrial battery company Wonder


  • Acquisition of the Gould Battery Company , representing Saft’s first manufacturing capability of nickel-based portable cells in North America


  • Inauguration of a new factory in Nersac, France


  • Creation of Saft America Inc , with the construction of a factory in Valdosta, Georgia


  • Li-SOCl2 electrochemistry discovered by Saft
  • Concorde prototypes make their first flights using Saft nickel-based batteries


  • Saft files its first patents on primary lithium
  • Construction of Saft’s factory in Poitiers, France


  • Creation of the subsidiary Saft Corporation of America


  • Acquisition of “La Pile Leclanché”, whose roots can be traced back to around 1880 and the first production of Georges Leclanché’s revolutionary battery


  • Cadmium Nickel Batteries established in the UK by Henry Bissle Ltd


  • Acquisition of Saft by Compagnie Générale d’Electricité (later to become Alcatel)


  • S.I.A.A. production starts. Name change to “La Société des Accumulateurs Fixes et de Traction” (S.A.F.T), which manufactures and distributes nickel-based batteries for industrial applications and storehouse trolleys. Some of the first Saft batteries are used to power luggage carousels in Paris railway stations.


  • Swiss chemical engineer Victor Hérold founds “La Société Industrielle des Accumulateurs Alcalins” (S.I.A.A), based on the technology developed by Edison and Jungner, in Romainville, near Paris, France. World War I prevents production from starting.