Sanyo has developed a rechargeable battery that comes charged — so buyers don’t have to charge it before use. The new battery is a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cell of the type commonly found in many portable electronics products but with a key difference. Typically, NiMH batteries lose charge over time if they are not used. Sanyo said its new battery loses about 15 percent of its charge after a year of no use compared to competing batteries that lose almost all their charge over the same period.
The battery technology, which will be used in an AA-battery that will go on sale in Japan in the middle of November, is the first product to be born from Sanyo’s “Think Gaia” corporate restructuring plan. Under the leadership of Chairman Tomoyo Nonaka, Sanyo is attempting to refocus around environmentally-friendly products.
The batteries, carrying the “Eneloop” product name, will go on sale starting November 14. A pack of two AA batteries will cost $10. They will also be available in packs of four and eight, and also with a recharger. AAA-size batteries in the same range will go on sale in Japan on January 21, 2006, and cost $8 for a pack of two.
Being a rechargeable battery, eneloop has a proper structure for recycling organized by industry groups, unlike dry cell batteries. Once used, eneloop is collected, as rechargeable batteries have been, through prescribed recycle boxes installed at 30,000 electronics retailers throughout the country. Also, through an environment-friendly design, precious resources such as nickel etc. can be reused, thus contributing to efficient use and saving of resources. Sanyo has created a tube and external packaging that is free from polyvinyl chloride. The outside packaging made with careful regard to the environment uses recycled PET material and only this material, thus eliminating any hassles when separating garbage at the time of disposal.
See the press release here.
You can also get packs of Eneloop batteries from Amazon.