Home / Celebrating 100 Years Of Saft
From inspiration to industry
The making of an international Group
Discoveries and growth
Reaching new heights
Diversification through acquisition
Expanding into emerging markets
Multi-technology leadership around the world
A new era - Saft as part of Total
Introduction of nickel-based technology by Thomas Edison and Waldemar Jungner, originally intended for electric vehicles.
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.
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.
Saft S.A. shares listed on the Paris Stock Exchange
Acquisition of Saft by Compagnie Générale d’Electricité (later to become Alcatel)
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.
Cadmium Nickel Batteries established in the UK by Henry Bissell Ltd
Creation of SAFTA in Belgium, Saft’s first subsidiary.
Inauguration of Saft’s Bordeaux factory in France.
Acquisition of “La Pile Leclanché”, whose roots can be traced back to around 1880 when they first began producing Georges Leclanché’s revolutionary battery.
Creation of the subsidiary Saft Corporation of America
Saft files its first patents on primary lithium
Construction of Saft’s factory in Poitiers, France
Creation of Saft UK, the British subsidiary
Launch of the Diapason 1A satellite on February 17, 1966
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
Saft Iberica, Spain, created in Vitoria
Creation of Saft America Inc., with the construction of a factory in Valdosta, Georgia
Inauguration of a new factory in Nersac, France
Mass production of primary lithium cells (Li-SOCl2 and Li-MnO2)
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
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
Creation of Saft Scandinavia
Sale of consumer battery activities to Bernard Tapie and acquisition of the activities of the industrial battery company Wonder
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.
Saft China created in Hong Kong and Shekou, the site of a factory. They produce and sell portable accumulators
Saft Australia Pty created
French explorer Jean-Louis Étienne and his team embark on their Transantarctica mission for seven months, powered by Saft batteries.
Acquisition of Saft's major nickel-based competitor for industrial batteries, NIFE in Oskarshamn, Sweden
Purchase of Gates Aerospace Batteries, which produces batteries for satellites
Saft America awarded TRP funds by the US military for development of lithium-ion products
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)
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
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
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
Saft sold by Alcatel to Doughty Hanson Funds (DHF)
The Mars Exploration Rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity” land on Mars with Saft batteries on board.
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”
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
Launch of Tel.X range, the most compact maintenance-free solution for telecom networks
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
International expansion continues with new subsidiary in Brazil
Launch of high-energy Evolion® lithium-ion battery system optimized for all telecom applications
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
Launch of first lithium-ion solution for railway applications designed for regenerative hybrid traction
Scuderia Ferrari recognises Saft with 2012 Innovation Award
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
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
Launch of Xcelion 6T® : the lithium-ion drop-in replacement for lead-acid batteries
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
200th satellite equipped with Saft lithium-ion batteries set to launchRead more
China’s COMAC C919 jetliner makes its maiden flight with Saft ULM® batteries on boardRead more
Saft wins major contract to supply marine Li-ion batteries to Rolls-Royce for RRS Sir David Attenborough polar vesselRead more
Welcome to this special issue of Saft International Magazine, dedicated to our 100th anniversary.