Sanyo has developed a line of rechargeable NiMH batteries that can be sold to users all charged up and ready to go. Most NiMH rechargeables have to be charged before they can be used, but not with these new Sanyo Eneloop batteries. This can be done because the batteries have particularly slow energy loss; they'll lose only about 15% of their charge after a year of non-use, while other rechargables would have been drained by then — even regular alkalines might not last that long. This sounds like a great solution to all those who want to use fewer alkaline batteries, but still want the convenience of not having to recharge batteries all the time.
A pack of two AA Eneloop batteries will cost $10, and will be on shelves November 14. A pack of two AAAs will be $8 and go on sale in Japan on January 21, 2006. Packs of four and eight will also be available.