Rechargable batteries outlast disposables

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Innovation in battery design continues to meet consumer and product demands, and some rechargeable cells are now outlasting disposables.

Research firm SBI said that sales of rechargeable batteries grew at a compound annual growth rate of five per cent from 2002 to 2007, compared with flat growth for disposables.

SBI expects the overall battery market to dip in 2008, followed by steady growth in spite of challenging economic times to top US$9 billion by 2012.

"The emergence of so many battery operated devices, particularly computers and cell phones, has sped up battery innovation for long-lasting on-the-go power," said Cathy Minkler, editor of SBI.

"Growing consumer use of these devices has fuelled the development of new battery technologies such as pre-charged rechargeables and on-the-go chargers that use batteries to recharge phones.

"Now, batteries that can tap into biodegradable materials, solar power or even nanotechnology represent the new frontier."

Although alkalines are still the most popular type of household-use battery, rechargeables are gaining traction due to consumer concerns about the environment.

Product differentiation and consumer sophistication also present opportunities for retailers that have the knowledge to provide customers with battery products that meet their power needs.
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