Posted July 13, 2006
Someone should make a sequel to the current art-house documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” called “Who Killed the Rechargeable Battery?” I'm not talking about car batteries, but everyday household batteries. After all, they've been around for decades, and yet the overwhelming majority of us still buy one-time-use batteries and then send them, by the billions, straight into landfills. Fortunately, Duracell has lately been increasing distribution of its best rechargeable batteries, which had previously been suspiciously out of stock any time you tried to find them. The excellent Duracell 30-Minute Charger with 4 AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries kit is now consistently available from Amazon—and big retail chains including Walgreens are regularly stocking extra AA and AAA batteries for this unit. In the previous instance (more than a year ago) of battery-related eco-consciousness in “Best Bets Daily,” we recommended a top-rated Sony battery recharger. But the batteries for that unit took roughly five hours to juice up. The Duracell 30-Minute Charger safely gets the job faster by, in part, cleverly incorporating a cooling fan right into the unit so the batteries don't get scorchingly hot (which happens with other fanless quick-charge units) as they're getting power crammed back into them.
$29 at amazon.com.