By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Panasonic has introduced a new line of alkaline batteries that includes what Guinness World Records has dubbed the world's "longest lasting AA alkaline battery cell."
Panasonic said that the recognition of its new Evolta battery is the first of its kind for Guinness, which created a new category for batteries.
The line derives its name from "evolution" and "voltage" to symbolize growth and power, and was specifically designed to work with a variety of electronics devices, ranging from low-middle-drain remote controls, portable radios and MP3 players to high-drain digital cameras and remote-control cars.
The structure of the Evolta battery provides more internal space than Panasonic's previous-generation batteries, allowing storage of extra-active materials and incorporating an improved sealing technology, creating a more durable battery, the company said.
Newly developed active materials for the battery's cathode (manganese dioxide and oxy-hydroxide titanium) and anode (zinc) facilitate a chemical reaction that, according to Panasonic "delivers superior performance. To maximize the chemical reaction within the battery, Panasonic has improved the manufacturing process to pack active materials more evenly and densely."
To support its claims, Panasonic conducted device testing following industry-standard protocols issued by the American National Standards Institute and the International Electrotechnical Commission. The batteries were tested against Panasonic's current Alkaline Plus line of batteries.
Results of those tests include:
a digital camera powered by Evolta batteries took 272 shots compared with 209 shots when powered by Panasonic's Alkaline Plus batteries — an increase of 30 percent;
an FM radio played up to 14 hours longer when powered by two Evolta AA batteries; and
a remote-controlled car traveled as much as 8.7 miles farther when equipped with six Evolta AA batteries.
"I believe that Evolta is the ultimate power solution for any and all consumers that will enhance everyday life by delivering superior portable energy solutions," said Matt Sora, sales and marketing VP for Panasonic Battery Corp. of America.
To demonstrate the power of Evolta batteries, Tomotake Takahashi, an engineer in Tokyo, created a mini robot nicknamed "Mr. Evolta." The 6.7-inch-tall robot, powered by two Evolta AAs, in May climbed a 1,740-foot rope dangling from a cliff in Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park. The climb took six hours and 46 minutes and covered a distance that was 290 feet more than the height of Chicago's Sears Tower, the company said.
"Evolta was launched in Japan in April and is currently enjoying tremendous success," Sora noted. "We expect that Evolta will also be favorably accepted by consumers in the U.S. market."
The batteries are available now in stores. AA and AAA batteries are offered in four-packs and eight-packs. The suggested retails are $4.99 for an AA or AAA four-pack and $8.99 for an eight-pack.
To promote the battery, Panasonic launched a sweepstakes promotion that runs through March 31, 2009. Consumers can enter for a chance to win a variety of Panasonic products with a total value of $25,000. The grand-prize winner will receive a 42-inch Panasonic Viera plasma HDTV and a Blu-ray Disc home theater system.
Thirty other prizes will be awarded in all, including five Panasonic Viera plasma HDTVs, 10 Blu-ray Disc players and 15 Lumix digital still cameras. No purchase is necessary to participate in the sweepstakes.
Sweepstakes rules as well as more information on the batteries and an online purchasing option can be found at www.panasonic.com/evolta.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.