Exide Technologies announces $35m grid factory and new product lines

Exide Technologies, the lead battery manufacturer, announced on October 25 it was planning to build a $35 million punched grid factory in Kansas City, Missouri, US, that will produce three billion grids a year.

The 180,000 sq ft facility is in answer to the company’s growing market share in the automotive and industrial battery market, Exide CEO and president Vic Koelsch said.

At the AAPEX 2017 conference in Las Vegas on October 31, new product lines in the so-called ‘start your vehicle’ and ‘power your vehicle’ categories were revealed.

“Our transportation business is up significantly — double digits over last year — with growth primarily in the automotive segment,” Koelsch told BESB. “Growth has been driven by the acquisition of major aftermarket and retail customers as well as growth with existing customers.

“Overall, the market for lead batteries remains strong and growing. We anticipate some market segments to be impacted by lithium where lead acid isn’t able to solve the application problem or provide the solution. We’re certainly seeing this develop in the automotive segment based on the degree of electrification.

“We expect other segments may see a higher adoption rate; a recent example is the golf car. Exide will continue to strengthen its lead product lines while pursuing lithium alternatives where appropriate.”

The new products in the ‘Power your vehicle’ category include additions to the Exide Edge battery line, which are start-stop compatible and include AGM products as well as a new enhanced flooded battery. Exide claims the Edge line provides 10%-20% more power, has up to four times the cycle life and recharges more quickly.

In the ‘Start your vehicle’ line, the Exide Excell line of batteries has new cold cranking capability, the company said.

Exide was not the only battery giant to unveil products at the AAPEX conference.

Saying it was addressing the increasing demands for safety, comfort and sustainability, JCI’s Power Solutions brought 11 new AGM batteries with different sizes to the conference.

“Johnson Controls can now address nearly 90% of cars in the US that would require a replacement AGM battery, including high-electrical-load vehicles and stop-start vehicles, which are expected to grow globally by 60% by 2025,” the company said.

“In anticipation of this growth, Jonson Controls will invest more than $780 million globally between 2015 and 2020 in AGM technology to increase capacity.”