By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Sony Australia has released a new range of Ni-MH rechargeable batteries that, like Sanyo’s Eneloop batteries, can hold 85 per cent of their charge for a year after charging.

The Cycle Energy Blue batteries come pre-charged and are rechargeable up to 1,000 times.

Maurice Satya, Sony Australia Recording Media and Batteries product manager, said the new rechargeable batteries were environmentally friendly.

“Thousands of tonnes of disposable batteries are thrown away each year, creating an immense amount of environmental waste. Using rechargeable batteries such as Sony’s Cycle Energy Blue rechargeable batteries is a cleaner, more efficient way to enjoy electronic products.”

Sony also released a new charger to accompany the batteries, the multi-voltage Cycle Energy Blue Power Charger. Usable worldwide, it will charge any of Sony’s AA and AAA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and uses an LED indicator to show when it is charging. A safety timer automatically stops charging after seven hours.

The Power Charger with two Cycle Energy Blue batteries retails for $27.95, while the AA/AAA two-pack will sell for $14.95 SRP. A four-pack of AA or AAA batteries will sell for $26.95 SRP.

All products will be available nationwide.