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A remarkable history

  • 1887
    Adolf Müller sets VARTA® on the road to success
    In the 1880s the spirit of invention is all around as numerous technology firsts, including the internal combustion engine, X-ray and electric light, transform everyday life. In another first, founder Adolf Müller launches the company Büsche & Müller in Hagen, Germany, paving the way for VARTA's future.
  • 1890
    AEG & Siemens invest
    As AEG and Siemens work to produce accumulators, a key component in batteries, they decide to invest in the VARTA predecessor, Büsche & Müller. The result is called Accumulatorenfabrik AG (or AFA for short).
  • 1893
    VARTA batteries power the first electric cars in Germany
    The Baker ‘Runabout’, the first vehicle bought and driven by Thomas Edison, becomes the first American electric car to be introduced to Germany by Adolf Müller. Fittingly, it’s powered by batteries from VARTA predecessor, AFA.
  • 1904
    The VARTA name is born
    AFA sub brand VARTA is established, initially to manufacture small, portable lead accumulators used for engine ignition, making hand-cranking a thing of the past. The name VARTA is an acronym for Vertrieb, Aufladung, Reparatur Transportabler Akkumulatoren and that stands for Distribution, Recharging and Repair of Portable Accumulators.
  • 1905
    Night driving becomes safer
    As drivers increasingly venture out on to the roads after dark, VARTA delivers the first ever batteries for automotive lighting.
  • 1914
    VARTA leads the way
    VARTA lead acid batteries become an increasingly popular choice for quick, reliable automotive starting.
  • 1923
    Our first Chairman of the Board
    Dr. Günther Quandt becomes Chairman of the Board of the VARTA predecessor, AFA. Ever since, he and his predecessors have been responsible for the company’s continued international expansion.
  • 1926
    The range grows and so does our success
    VARTA precursor AFA takes over the Pertrix Chemische Fabrik AG, developers of the first storable dry-cell battery. Ever since, VARTA’s battery range has been the most comprehensive on the market.
  • 1934
    More than 3 million cars drive battery demand
    As the number of cars on the world’s roads exceeds 3 million, fuelling increased demand for reliable, powerful starting batteries, VARTA continues to pull ahead in the market.
  • 1935
    Factory fitted in the first ever forklift
    The precursor of the modern forklift truck, ‘the electric vehicle with lift pole’ is launched. From day one they’re factory fitted with VARTA batteries.
  • 1936
    Standardisation makes buying VARTA batteries simpler
    VARTA offers the first standard sized starter batteries that fit in every single car, making replacement quick, easy and cost effective.
  • 1950
    Modern assembly for a thoroughly modern product
    The first ever assembly line for automotive batteries is launched, making VARTA batteries faster and cheaper to produce. The cost savings give our customers more affordable products.
  • 1955
    Reaching out to over 20 countries
    In the prelude to mass production, VARTA’s Ellwagen portable battery plant devises a paper lined battery with double-clad separator. It’s a clear success as 23 countries adopt the patent.
  • 1960
    Helping the sixties go with a swing
    It’s a big change from 6V to 12V batteries in cars as VARTA quickly responds to the growing power requirements of vehicles launched in the sixties.
  • 1962
    Now extra reliability is built in
    VARTA replaces key components wooden separators with plastic separators to create a more robust product.
  • 1965
    Series production for dry charged starter batteries
  • 1966
    Lighter batteries make transportation easier
    The hard rubber crates of starter batteries are replaced by simple plastic boxes. As a result, they’re easier to move from place to place.
  • 1970
    Battery leaks are consigned to history
    The first ever leak-proof car battery the VARTA Super Dry is introduced, further increasing the brand’s reputation for reliability.
  • 1977
    Our toughest battery yet
    The first vibration resistant and cycle-proof starter batteries are developed to cope with the considerable demands now being placed on construction vehicles.
  • 1978
    A new way to lower overall battery costs
    The first ever maintenance free starter batteries with selenium technology are introduced, resulting in low self-discharge, low water consumption and lower costs all around.
  • 1983
    Maintenance free Heavy Duty for reduced TCO
    VARTA launch maintenance free Heavy Duty batteries with calcium grid alloy.
  • 1986
    From minimal maintenance to none whatsoever
    VARTA launch the world’s first totally maintenance free LF (liquifix) starter batteries with bound electrolyte technology.
  • 1987
    VARTA gets on the grid with Grand Prix batteries
    Maintenance free VARTA Grand Prix batteries with improved cold cranking performance due to new grid and separator technology.
  • 1993
    Delivering ten times the standard vibration resistance
    Our Super Heavy Duty truck batteries with an innovative glass mat layer are launched. They’re the perfect solution for construction vehicles, providing improved cycle life and starting performance, plus unshakeable resistance to the vibration.
  • 1995
    The ultimate battery for high performance cars
    Silver technology for car batteries launches across Europe and is quickly taken up by leading manufacturers. Now, our Silver Dynamic battery is the ideal match for high performance, highly equipped vehicles, providing a longer service life, unrivalled performance and zero maintenance.
  • 1998
    Streamlining our operations
    For greater efficiency, all the portable battery divisions in VARTA are merged into one. The new subsidiary is named VARTA Gerätebatterie GmbH. As a result, innovation is delivered to consumers faster than ever.
  • 2000
    Our dedicated centre of innovation opens
    VARTA unveils a new technology centre for automotive battery development in Hanover, bringing together some of the most proficient designers and engineers in the business.
  • 2002
    Johnson Controls invests for the future
    In November 2002, global market leader Johnson Controls, Inc. acquires the VARTA Automotive Battery Division giving this business unit a solid foundation for future growth.
  • 2003
    New AGM technology is quickly taken up by OE manufacturers
    VARTA batteries are the first ever AGM (Advanced Glass Mat technology) batteries for OE manufacturers of luxury vehicles. AGM is spill proof and with no maintenance required.
    A new level of performance for commercial vehicles
    Silver technology for truck batteries is launched to instant acclaim. VARTA Promotive Silver is the perfect energy source for high performance commercial vehicles from premium coaches to the latest trucks. This zero maintenance product delivers a longer service life and exceptional performance.
  • 2006
    The VARTA dynamic Trio launches
    Johnson Controls launches the class-leading VARTA Dynamic Trio automotive SLI battery range. Silver, Blue and Black options ensure cars at any lifecycle stage are provided for.
  • 2007
    Innovative Start-Stop batteries make an impact
    Our new Start-Stop batteries rapidly gain the trust of manufacturers such as BMW and Mini. And it’s not long before the VARTA brand is the leading supplier of batteries for Start-Stop, Hybrid and Electric vehicles.
  • 2008
    The unique PowerFrame® technology is introduced
    This patented, next generation grid technology is one of Johnson Controls’ finest achievements. It delivers optimum energy flow, unparalleled performance and uncompromising reliability, no matter what the battery application.
  • 2009
    3 big awards in 1 year
    Positive feedback for VARTA batteries: Johnson Controls is proud winner of the "Best Sales Marketing & After Sales Support Award 2009" by the international buying group TEMOT International. In addition, Johnson Controls was awarded the "Truck Supplier Award 2009" by VOLVO and also the "Supplier of the Year Award 2009" by General Motors EMEA.
    The tried and trusted choice of leading Start-Stop vehicle manufacturers
    By the start of the year, over 80% of Start-Stop vehicles are already fitted with VARTA batteries.
  • 2010
    125 years of Johnson Controls
    Johnson Controls celebrates 125 years at the forefront of battery technology.
    Enhancements to the VARTA Start-Stop battery range
    The innovation at Johnsons Controls continues with the development of the optimised VARTA Start-Stop Plus battery featuring AGM technology for advanced Start-Stop vehicles and the VARTA Start-Stop battery featuring EFB technology for entry level vehicles.
    Recycling program ecosteps® is launched
    The ecosteps initiative is introduced to facilitate the professional and eco-friendly recycling of vehicle batteries for improved sustainability.
    3 big awards in 1 year
    Positive feedback for VARTA batteries: Johnson Controls is proud winner of the "Volkswagen Innovation Award" and "Volkswagen Group Award for Sustainable Energy Storage System". In addition, Johnson Controls was awarded the “Supplier of the Year Award 2010” by General Motors EMEA.
  • 2011
    VARTA Start-Stop Service Programme
    The VARTA Start-Stop Service Programme [VSSP] is launched providing independent workshops with extra technical support and tools to facilitate changes in Start-Stop vehicles and enhance their business and customer support.
    Edison Best New Product Award 2011
    The VARTA Start-Stop battery range is named the winner in the Edison Best New Product Award within the ‘Energy and Sustainability: Sustainable Power Systems Segment’
    Increased European Production
    With the increased demands placed through the Start-Stop battery range, Johnson Controls expands production capacity across Europe to meet expectation.
  • 2012
    MAN Truck and Bus Supplier Award 2011
    Johnson Controls is honoured with the MAN Truck and Bus Supplier Award 2011. International Buying Group TEMOT International awarded us with “Innovation Award” for our quality AGM technology.
  • 2013
    Johnson Controls relaunches its VARTA brand – It All Starts With VARTA
    Johnson Controls relaunches its VARTA brand with a new logo, brand new battery labels, a refined product line-up, a brand new website, catalogues and support material.
  • 2014
    Johnson Controls includes AGM and EFB in its powerful Dynamic Trio
    In 2014, Johnson Controls added VARTA® Silver Dynamic AGM and Blue Dynamic EFB to the tried and tested Dynamic Trio. AGM and EFB batteries offer unmatched performance and unrivaled endurance for high-performance vehicles and Start-Stop applications.
Adolf Müller sets VARTA® on the road to success
In the 1880s the spirit of invention is all around as numerous technology firsts, including the internal combustion engine, X-ray and electric light, transform everyday life. In another first, founder Adolf Müller launches the company Büsche & Müller in Hagen, Germany, paving the way for VARTA's future.
VARTA® Promotive EFB

VARTA® wins award for
the best battery brand
for trucks.

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