It’s been talked about for quite a while now, but NiZn (Nickel Zinc) batteries are finally available for sale to regular consumers. They cost very little less than a standard rechargeable NiCad or NiMH battery but they charge faster, handle loads better, put out more voltage per cell (a little bit more than a standard alkaline) and are also very recyclable with NO heavy metals being used in their construction. To make this even sweeter, it is an American company that has done all of this. The good people at PowerGenix can’t be thanked for this new technology directly (Edison did this many years ago), but they can be thanked for making it functional and commercially viable.
I plan on getting some to try out in my Xbox controllers and the like. People have long argued that NiCads and NiMH batteries are good for the environment, but then you have to get rid of all that heavy metal, and what if someone throws them in the trash instead of recycling? Finally, there is a rechargeable that is actually good for the environment.
But wait, there’s more! They are lighter too, which for AA application doesn’t matter, but for a car carrying hundreds of lbs of Li-ion batteries right now, it could be a nice upgrade.
Wikipedia has more facts about NiZn batteries if you’re interested.