Battery Electric started in 1972. My father actually started the company with my mother. And they started building actually forklift batteries.
Back in the day, it was feasible to buy the cells direct from the manufacturer for the forklifts, and have them shipped in from Japan, from Yuasa product. And they were brought into in-house in crates, and then my father ended up finding a steel manufacturer, local in Edmonton that actually made the steel jars. And in doing so, he bought a lead melting pot and actually made his own lead bars for burning the cells together into a 48 volt, 24 volt, 36 volt battery bank.
So he started the company by actually building the battery. He used to be able to put it all together, bring all the components together and build it. Basically, due to competition and what have you, that went factory direct manufacturing. So it kinda took away the smaller manufacturing facility that we had back in Edmonton back then.
Mid eighties, we were still building some forklift batteries, but we kinda amalgamated into, or, sorry, early eighties, we amalgamated into doing more automotive as well. We used to bring in one of the, a Foreman product and have to fill the batteries, and put them in and have them charged up and ready for the client.
Around mid eighties, going into nineties, we got into the stationary application of batteries, which is what we’re in now in the battery backup application. That’s a terminology for it. The forklifts were more motive application. So we still have ties with the manufacturers we’ve always dealt with. If people need a motive forklift battery, we can get that. If they need an automotive, we can get that as well. Well, that’s not our primary business.
We typically do backup applications, anywhere from your emergency lighting batteries, all the way up to a power generation facility that has a quarter of a million dollar battery bank in it. So we kinda started to walk into that. We started in UPS applications in around the nineties, and we were just mostly supply. We realized around the 2002, 2003, as the ownership had changed hands in the company, that we developed going into service. And seeing where the company needed to be to be sustainable for the future. And in doing that, we developed this supply, and I saw that the customer needed an installer.
And that as part of the supply, we were seeing warranty concerns with clients that weren’t putting the battery in correctly, or the posts were getting cracks around the positive because they were putting them into buildings and shipping them down the road. To all these different things. So as more and more people were asking, “Oh, I saw your truck out on the road. What were you guys in town for?” And you say, “Well, we were just delivering a battery and installing it,” more people would talk. Or you’d get out to a site and people would say, “Hey, you guys just had a battery installer or UPS or something. Who did you use?” And then they start coming to us for it.
So there’s a lot of word of mouth we’ve grown, which has been our best advertisement. And dealing with the customer on the ethics aspect, we always try to give them what they need. And so after 2003, we progressively grew and kept growing. It’s been a steady growth since then. Not too fast, but steady enough that we’ve increased staff to the point where we had, I think we had three people in 2006 to now we’re over nine people, and have a full safety program to nine trucks in the fleet, multiple service techs for different applications.
We have a growth of partners that we can deal with to help us do some of the bigger jobs to smaller jobs. And we’ve now even grown outside our own warehouse that we’ve had to add on another 9,000 square feet for a project that we just took on. So it’s been a steady growth that we’ve been able to grow and control, and still maintain the service from the customers that need the one and two batteries all the way up to the customers that need the million dollars worth of batteries. We can help them all the way through.
This article is a transcript of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ_cz2eVLdA on YouTube.