This should appeal to those owners of digital cameras which take AA batteries, Rayovac have announced a new 1-hour charger which can charge AA, AAA or 9V rechargeable NiMH or NiCD batteries, best of all it retails at just US$30. In addition Rayovac have also announced new 1600mAh AA NiMH and 700mAh AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries.

Press release:

RAYOVAC ANNOUNCES CHARGER TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH

New 1-Hour Charger Answers Consumer Demand For Speed and Convenience

MADISON, Wis. - Rayovac announces today a breakthrough in technology with the introduction of the market's first one-hour Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery charger for today's high-capacity NiMH batteries. Rayovac also introduces new, improved, longer-lasting NiMH batteries that can last up to four times longer than regular DuracellÒ alkaline or up to two times longer than DuracellÒ ULTRA or EnergizerÒ e2 in digital cameras. They can also be charged up to 1,000 times, saving consumers hundreds of dollars. Both new products are part of Rayovac's commitment to provide powerful solutions for consumers and why Rayovac is the number one selling rechargeable brand in the U.S. today, according to A.C. Nielsen.

Rayovac's new 1-Hour Charger and high-capacity NiMH batteries were designed to meet the power needs of today's high-tech devices, such as digital cameras, which now account for about half of all cameras sold, according to industry sources. Consequently, rechargeable battery sales are the fastest growing segment of the total batteries category in the U.S. retail market, growing at nearly three times the rate of alkaline. And over 50% of those sales are NiMH.

"The proliferation of high-drain devices such as digital cameras has created the need for more power. Our new 1-Hour Charger and high-capacity NiMH batteries are designed to meet that need, providing consumers the ultimate in speed, convenience and mobility," said Dave Jones, Rayovac chairman and CEO. "In the U.S. retail market, rechargeable batteries are the fastest growing segment of the total batteries category. We've worked hard to earn the number one position in the rechargeable segment and will continue to maintain our lead by providing the battery solutions consumers need."

Rayovac Leads the Way in Charger Innovation

Unlike any other charger on the market, the new Rayovac 1-Hour Charger fully charges today's high-capacity NiMH batteries in just one hour. Most battery chargers sold today take up to 7-8 hours to recharge batteries. Even battery chargers claiming "fast charge" typically take two to four hours. And some "one-hour" chargers on the market cannot charge high-capacity NiMH batteries in one hour. The innovative new Rayovac 1-Hour Charger is the only product on the market that charges four AA or AAA high-capacity NiMH batteries in only one hour.

The Rayovac 1-Hour Charger features a sleek, high-tech look and is not much larger than many cellular phones. In addition, an accessory kit features a carrying case and DC adaptor that plugs right into the car lighter. Now you can charge batteries right in the car during family vacations, for example, and never get caught with dead batteries again.

This feature also makes the 1-Hour Charger an ideal choice for individuals like insurance adjusters and real estate agents, who use battery-operated, high-drain devices such as digital cameras in their jobs and spend a lot of time on the road. Just carry the charger in the car, plug it into the lighter and charge "as you go."

The Rayovac 1-Hour Charger employs "smart charger" technology, which allows it to detect the amount of charge in each battery and charge each individually to maximum capacity, without over-charging. The charger will also charge a 9V NiMH battery in two-three hours and can charge Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) in addition to NiMH.

New, Improved NiMH Batteries Complete the System

In conjunction with the introduction of the new 1-Hour Charger, Rayovac will also introduce higher-performing NiMH batteries, specifically for use in the most demanding electronic devices. The AA and AAA size capacities will increase by approximately 25%, to 1600 mAh and 700 mAh, respectively.

The superior performance of high-capacity NiMH batteries explains why leading photography industry sources, such as OlympusÒ and FujiÒ, recommend NiMH for use in digital cameras versus any alkaline product. No alkaline battery can meet the power demands of high-tech devices as well as a high-capacity NiMH battery can. And not only does Rayovac's NiMH battery last up to four times longer than regular DuracellÒ, it also lasts up to two times longer than even the new "super-premium" alkalines, including DuracellÒ Ultra and EnergizerÒ e2. And because Rayovac's NiMH batteries are rechargeable-up to 1,000 times-the cost-savings to consumers are significant.

Powerful New Graphics

The new 1-Hour Charger and improved NiMH battery packaging will feature bold new graphics to clearly differentiate them from other battery systems. Consumers will be reminded of the product's superior performance with a "lasts 2x longer than any alkaline in digital cameras" claim printed right on the packaging.

The new Rayovac 1-Hour Charger, accessory kit and improved NiMH batteries will be available at retail beginning in summer 2001. The charger is expected to retail for $29.99. A package of four AA or AAA NiMH batteries will retail for around $10.