12-13-2004, 08:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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Oxyride Battery to Be Sold
TOKYO - A battery developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial that delivers 1.5 times the power of a regular alkaline battery is going on sale in the United States and Europe in April 2005.
The Oxyride battery, which went on sale in Japan in April, also lasts longer than regular batteries, allowing users to take about twice as many pictures on a digital camera, according to the Japanese manufacturer of the Panasonic brand.
Tadaharu Taguchi, a Matsushita director, said the battery marks "a major milestone in the battery industry."
Oxyride batteries maintain higher voltage and output longer because the material inside that produces electricity is more concentrated.
Oxyride uses oxy nickel hydroxide, an advanced battery substance, and finer grain graphite and manganese dioxide, allowing them to be packed more closely inside the cell.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. also developed a way of blending the powder to stuff more into the battery. A production innovation also pours more electrolyte, a key ingredient that leads to longer battery life, into the cell, Matsushita said.
In a recent demonstration of the battery's power, Matsushita showed a Oxyride-powered coffin-like electric car that crawled along the ground for several feet with a woman aboard lying flat on her back.
Reporters were also shown audio players powered by a regular battery vs. Oxyride. The one with Oxyride delivered a stronger, deeper bass, and Matsushita officials said some music experts express a preference for Oxyride.
The growing popularity of digital cameras, portable music players, handheld video game machines and other gadgets, is boosting demand for powerful batteries, Taguchi told reporters at a Tokyo Panasonic showroom.
AA and AAA Oxyride batteries cost about 10 percent more than regular batteries. In the United States, they will sell for about $3.99 for a pack of four, although prices will vary, Matsushita officials said.
Matsushita, based in Osaka, central Japan, is hoping to sell 100 million Oxyride batteries in the year through March 2005.
Oxyride batteries already comprise about a third of Panasonic AA battery sales, or 7 percent of the overall AA battery market in Japan. Even achieving 1 percent market share is considered significant for products like batteries