History of BAE Batterien GmbH

History

In 1899 the “Akkumulatorenwerke Oberspree AG” (AO) was founded in Berlin Schöneweide by Ludwig Loewe. The accelerator to this development was the founding of "Allgemeine Elektrizitätsgesellschaft" (AEG) in Berlin Schöneweide by the famous Emil Rathenau. Because of the settlements of many other industrial companies the location in Berlin Schöneweide became one of the most important industrial areas in Europe and was known as “Electropolis”.

In 1901 the AO was taken over by the “Akkumulatorenfabrik AG” (AFA). In 1904 AFA founded at the current BAE location VARTA, one of the most recognized international battery brands, and all production activities of the AFA were concentrated in Berlin Schöneweide. In 1905 the company started with the production of small portable lead-acid batteries which were used for torches and annunciators. In 1922 the AFA was taken over by Guenther Quandt and the company became one of the largest producers of lead-acid batteries for electrical vehicles and aircrafts.

After the Second World War the AFA and their facilities were expropriated by the Soviets and the new company “Akkumulatorenfabrik Oberschöneweide” (AFO) was created. A decade later in 1958 the “Berliner Akkumulatoren- und Elementefabrik” (BAE) was finally founded, caused by the merger of the AFO and the “Berliner Elementefabrik”. BAE focused on producing a broad range of batteries for all kind of applications including primary batteries. However the focus was in particular on the supply of batteries for railway applications and BAE became the largest supplier for railway batteries to the former Comecon countries by the end of the eighties.

During the German reunification in 1990 BAE came under the “Escrow Management Trust” by the German government and BAE signed a licence agreement with the VARTA Batterie AG, which allowed BAE to produce batteries under the name of VARTA. In the year 1993 BAE was privatized and BAE Batterien was founded. After the privatisation in 1993 BAE introduced straight away new product lines for both motive power and stationary applications. BAE reached another milestone in 1995, when BAE got certified for ISO 9001 by the “German Institute for Standardisation”.

In the following years huge investments were done in optimizing the production and assembly lines. In the year 2004 BAE was certified according to ISO 14001. Over the last decade, BAE heavily increased the activities in research and development and continuously extended its product range, e.g. maintenance-free block batteries and renewable energy batteries. Another milestone was reached in the year 2012 with the certification according to OHSAS 18001. While doing so BAE has become a well-established manufacturer in the premium market for industrial batteries. BAE currently employs 180 people and is a truly global player via its international partner network.