Panasonic Debuts New, Improved Oxyride Batteries

By Jeff Malester On Jan 16 2006 - 8:00am

Panasonic has announced new and improved Oxyride Extreme Power batteries, based on oxyhydroxide (NiOOH) chemistry.

Available this spring, the batteries are said by Panasonic to last longer and deliver the best value-per-picture in digital still cameras, when compared with alkaline cells from Panasonic, as well as Duracell and Energizer.

Panasonic also announced earlier in January at International CES its direct Methanol Fuel Cell system, a new fuel supply method for fuel cells powering portable devices such as computers that makes it possible to reduce the size of the fuel cell to one-half of the current industry level.

With this new fuel technology, still in the experimental stage, and developed by Matsushita Battery Industrial, a subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial, a laptop PC is able to achieve up to 20 hours of run time.

Oxyride batteries were first introduced by the Secaucus, N.J.-based company at CES here last year, and to consumers in July of last year. Panasonic said these cells represent the first major innovation in primary battery technology since the alkaline cell debuted in 1965.

New and improved Oxyride Extreme Power batteries are the product of enhancements to the battery materials and manufacturing process used to create the original Oxyride cells, said Panasonic. Tests, according to Panasonic, prove that both the current and new and improved Oxyride batteries outperform Duracell and Energizer by as many as 3.2 times.

As for best value-per-picture, Panasonic said Duracell Coppertop batteries were proven to be 81 percent more expensive than new and improved Oxyride types, and that Duracell Ultra was 61 percent more; Energizer E2 Titanium, 265 percent more; Energizer Max, 118 percent more; existing Oxyride batteries, 22 percent more; and Panasonic Digital alkaline, 62 percent more.

Retail prices per pack range from $3.99 for the new Oxyride to $6.62 for the Energizer E2 Titanium. Other prices per pack used in the test were current Oxyride, $3.99; Ultra, $3.57; Panasonic Digital alkaline, $2.84; Coppertop, $2.74; and Max, $2.74.

The Matsushita Battery Industrial micro fuel cell incorporates new fuel-supply technology with the company's stack technology and a high power lithium ion battery and battery management system. This cell itself is about 24 cubic inches, similar in size to a beverage can, and about half the size of models publicly demonstrated to date, said Panasonic.

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