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Celebrating
Years of Saft
1918
"La Société des Accumulateurs Fixes et de Traction" (S.A.F.T.) is officially founded by Victor Herold
1949
Manufacturing of active material at one of Saft's first factories in Bordeaux
1955
In Strasbourg, buses were already equipped with Saft batteries
1970
Supersonic Concorde airplanes flew with Saft batteries
1989
French explorer Jean-Louis Étienne and his team embarked on their Transantarctica mission powered by Saft batteries
2014
After ten years in space, Saft’s lithium battery powered successfully Rosetta’s Philae lander on comet 67P
50+
years in space
1st
to start the production of nickel and lithium-ion batteries in France
3
polar expeditions with Jean-Louis Étienne
1
Guinness World Record for the World’s Most Powerful Battery in 2005

The evolution of Saft’s logo

2018
2005-present
2005-2017
1991-2004
1972-1990
Beginning-1971

The history of Saft

1901

1918

From inspiration to industry

1920

1955

The making of an international Group

1960

1975

Discoveries and growth

1980

1994

Reaching new heights

1995

2004

Diversification through acquisition

2005

2006

Expanding into emerging markets

2007

2015

Multi-technology leadership around the world

2016

present

A new era - Saft as part of Total

1901

Introduction of nickel-based technology by Thomas Edison and Waldemar Jungner, originally intended for electric vehicles.

1913

Franco-Swiss chemical engineer Victor Herold founds “La Société Industrielle des Accumulateurs Alcalins” (S.I.A.A.), based on Edison and Jungner technology, in Romainville, France. World War I prevents production from starting.

1918

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. Some of the first Saft batteries are used to power luggage trolleys in Paris railway stations.

1924

Saft S.A. shares listed on the Paris Stock Exchange

1928

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

1936

French submarine Ouessant equipped with Saft's nickel-cadmium battery. Even if the submarine was underwater at a depth of 15 meters for two years (1940-1942), the battery remained intact.

1946

Cadmium Nickel Batteries established in the UK by Henry Bissell Ltd

1949

Creation of SAFTA in Belgium, Saft’s first subsidiary.

Inauguration of Saft’s Bordeaux factory in France.

1952

Acquisition of “La Pile Leclanché”, whose roots can be traced back to around 1880 when they first began producing Georges Leclanché’s revolutionary battery.

1955

Creation of the subsidiary Saft Corporation of America

1965

Saft files its first patents on primary lithium

Construction of Saft’s factory in Poitiers, France

1966

Creation of Saft UK, the British subsidiary

Launch of the Diapason 1A satellite on February 17, 1966

1969

Li-SOCl2 electrochemistry discovered by Saft

Concorde prototypes make their first flights using Saft nickel-based batteries

Saft Akkumulatoren und Batterien GmbH, the Germany subsidiary, created in Offenbach

1972

Saft Iberica, Spain, created in Vitoria

1974

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

1975

Inauguration of a new factory in Nersac, France

1980s

Mass production of primary lithium cells (Li-SOCl2 and Li-MnO2)

1980

Saft Singapore Ltd created

The CGE group slowly transitions into Alcatel and Alsthom

CGE decides to combine two of its battery subsidiaries into one and creates Saft-Mazda

1983

Creation of Saft Italia using the two agents already working for Saft in Cegelec Alsthom Italiana.

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

1985

Creation of Saft Scandinavia

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

1987

Acquisition of Alcad Ltd, an international firm based in the UK and the US. Saft’s first significant entry into the American industrial standby market.

1988

Saft China created in Hong Kong and Shekou, the site of a factory. They produce and sell portable accumulators

Saft Australia Pty created

1989

French explorer Jean-Louis Étienne and his team embark on their Transantarctica mission for seven months, powered by Saft batteries.

1991

Acquisition of Saft's major nickel-based competitor for industrial batteries, NIFE in Oskarshamn, Sweden

1993

Purchase of Gates Aerospace Batteries, which produces batteries for satellites

1994

Saft America awarded TRP funds by the US military for development of lithium-ion products

1995

Alcatel repurchases all the shares of Saft S.A. that were de-listed in 1995

Saft aquires Ferak, once part of Prague Accumulors, based in Raskovice, Czech Republic. The company has been producing nickel-based batteries since 1934 under licence from DEAC, the company that produced Thomas Edison’s first battery.

Lockheed F-22 contract signed – the first application of Saft’s nickel AMFB (Aircraft Maintenance-Free Battery)

2000

Acquisition of Tadiran, an Israeli manufacturer of lithium batteries, with operations in Israel, the US and Germany. Disposal of some product lines to focus on the Lithium Thionyl Chloride technology

A new technology, the Pulse Plus, introduced by Tadiran is the main reason for the rapid growth of the company

2001

Acquisition of Hawker Eternacell, lithium battery supplier to the US and UK armed forces since 1937

Manufacturing of LiSo2, LiSOCl2, LiMnO2 begins in the UK

2003

Acquisition of the German company Friemann und Wolf Batterietechnik GmbH (Friwo), and the assets of Emisa and Centra, from Exide, producer of industrial nickel-based and lithium batteries for the defense industry and torpedoes.

Saft Batterie Italia SRL created

Saft Baterias S.L. created to cover the Spanish, Portuguese and South American markets. It is the outcome of Saft’s acquisition of some of EMISA’s (Exide Technologies) assets from Tudor Spain

Saft’s Czech subsidiary acquires CENTRA

The Northrop Grumman Global Hawk contract signed: the first lithium-ion aircraft application

2004

Saft sold by Alcatel to Doughty Hanson Funds (DHF)

The Mars Exploration Rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity” land on Mars with Saft batteries on board.

2005

Saft becomes a Public Limited Company with shares listed on Paris Euronext

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

2006

Opening of Saft China in Zhuhai to support domestic market

Creation of joint-venture between Saft and Johnson Controls Inc. to develop, produce and sell advanced-technology batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs)

Saft takes control of AMCO Power Systems Ltd of Bangalore, the nickel-based battery business of Amalgamations private Ltd. The entity is called AMCO-Saft India Ltd.

EADS and Saft America combine their expertise in thermal batteries via ASB to form a new subsidiary, Advanced Thermal Batteries Inc., located in Cockeysville, Maryland

2007

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

2008

Saft, Conergy and Tenesol launch SOLION, Europe's largest photovoltaic energy storage development project

Johnson Controls-Saft opens world’s first production facility for lithium-ion hybrid vehicle batteries in Nersac, France

2010

International expansion continues with new subsidiary in Brazil

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

2011

Inauguration of state-of-the-art lithium-ion plant in Jacksonville, FL (USA)

Launch of Intensium® Max megawatt-scale containerized energy storage system

Sale of shares in Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture

2012

Launch of first lithium-ion solution for railway applications designed for regenerative hybrid traction

Scuderia Ferrari recognises Saft with 2012 Innovation Award

2013

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

Opening of new subsidiary in Moscow for Russia and CIS markets

Sale of small nickel battery activity (SNB) in Nersac, France

2014

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

2015

Launch of Xcelion 6T® : the lithium-ion drop-in replacement for lead-acid batteries

2016

Total acquires Saft

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

Opening of a new subsidiary in Japan to strengthen Saft’s presence in Asia

2017

200th satellite equipped with Saft lithium-ion batteries set to launch

Read more

China’s COMAC C919 jetliner makes its maiden flight with Saft ULM® batteries on board

Read more

Saft wins major contract to supply marine Li-ion batteries to Rolls-Royce for RRS Sir David Attenborough polar vessel

Read more
Saft International Magazine #38 | Centenary issue

Welcome to this special issue of Saft International Magazine, dedicated to our 100th anniversary.

Saft International Magazine #1
Spring 1992
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Saft International Magazine #2
Winter 1992
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Saft International Magazine #3
Summer 1993
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Saft International Magazine #4
Winter 1994
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Saft International Magazine #5
Summer 1994
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Saft International Magazine #6
Winter 1995
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Saft International Magazine #7
Fall 1995
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Saft International Magazine #8
Summer 1996
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Saft International Magazine #9
Spring 1997
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Saft International Magazine #10
Spring 1998
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Saft International Magazine #11
Winter 1998
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Saft International Magazine #12
Summer 1999
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Saft International Magazine #13
Spring 2000
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Saft International Magazine #14
Spring 2001
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Saft International Magazine #15
Fall 2001
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Saft International Magazine #16
Spring 2002
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Saft International Magazine #17
Summer 2002
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Saft International Magazine #18
Spring 2003
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Saft International Magazine #19
Summer 2003
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Saft International Magazine #20
Spring 2004
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Saft International Magazine #21
Summer 2004
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Saft International Magazine #22
Fall 2005
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Saft International Magazine #23
Spring 2006
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Saft International Magazine #24
Winter 2007 to Spring 2008
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Saft International Magazine #25
Spring 2009
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Saft International Magazine #26
Spring 2010
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Saft International Magazine #27
Spring 2011
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Saft International Magazine #28
Spring 2012
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Saft International Magazine #29
Summer 2013
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Saft International Magazine #30
Spring 2014
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Saft International Magazine #31
Fall 2014
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Saft International Magazine #32
Spring 2015
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Saft International Magazine #33
Fall 2015
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Saft International Magazine #34
Spring 2016
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Saft International Magazine #35
November 2016
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Saft International Magazine #36
June 2017
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Saft International Magazine #37
November 2017
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Saft Magazine #1
May 1984
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Saft Magazine #2
September 1984
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Saft Magazine #3
December 1984
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Saft Magazine #4
March 1985
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Saft Magazine #6
November 1985
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Saft Magazine #7
April 1986
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Saft Magazine #8
June 1986
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Saft Magazine #9
October 1986
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Saft Magazine #10
January 1987
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Saft Magazine #11
May 1987
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Saft Magazine #11
- Additional magazine - May 1987
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Saft Magazine #12
October 1987
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Saft Magazine #13
January1988
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Saft Magazine #14
May 1988
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Saft Magazine #15
October 1988
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Saft Magazine #16
January 1989
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Saft Magazine #17
May 1989
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Saft Magazine #18
October 1989
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Saft Magazine #19
February 1990
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Saft Magazine #20
July 1990
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Saft Magazine #21
November 1990
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Saft Magazine #22
February 1991
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Saft Magazine #23
July 1991
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Saft Magazine #24
December 1991
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Saft Magazine #25
April 1992
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Saft Magazine #26
July 1992
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Saft Magazine #27
December 1992
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Saft Magazine #28
April 1993
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Saft Magazine #29
July 1993
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Saft Magazine #30
July 1993
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Saft Magazine #31
May 1994
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Saft Magazine #32
August 1994
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Saft Magazine #33
October 1994
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Saft Magazine #34
January1995
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Saft Magazine #35
June 1995
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Saft Magazine #36
December 1995
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Saft Magazine #37
July 1996
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Saft Magazine #37
July 1996
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Saft Magazine #38
December 1996
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Saft Magazine #39
July 1997
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Saft Magazine #40
March 1998
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Saft Magazine #41
October 1998
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Some CEOs from Saft’s history

Victor Herold
1918 - 1948
Victor Herold
1918 - 1948
Franco-Swiss chemical engineer Victor Herold was the founder of S.A.F.T. (La Société des Accumulateurs Fixes et de Traction).
Pierre Jacquier
1948 - 1957
Pierre Jacquier
1948 - 1957
Pierre Jacquier was originally a production engineer in the parent company CGE. After the Liberation of Paris, he joined Saft as President and CEO. He pushed continuously for the research program to move forward as a top priority.
Robert Rémillon
1969 - 1979
Robert Rémillon
1969 - 1979
Robert Rémillon started as CEO in 1969 and became President and CEO from 1972. He was the instigator of the internationalization of Saft (particularly in the USA with the creation of Saft America Inc.). He also achieved much in terms of modernization.
Georges-Christian Chazot
1981 - 1987
Georges-Christian Chazot
1981 - 1987
Georges-Christian Chazot joined Saft in 1976 as Managing Director for industrial batteries. He became Saft’s CEO in 1981 and president in 1983. He successfully pursued Rémillon's modernization and extension policy.
John Searle
2002 - 2014
John Searle
2002 - 2014
President and CEO John Searle positioned Saft as a world leader in the manufacturing of advanced technology batteries. He enabled Saft to enter new markets and put the emphasis on Li-ion battery development and manufacturing.