BY AceFisch | 7 Comments

Reusable batteries are toted as a great money-saver for the electronically minded, as well as the environmentally conscious, for their help in reducing excess battery waste. They’re even becoming popular in the search for alternative fuel sources. But our day-to-day rechargeables can also be a pain with bulky rechargers and short lives.

As good as rechargeable batteries are, they could be better. 

This is where the USBCELL comes in. Developed by Moxia Energy, an investor in renewable energy sources, the USBCELL is a new type of rechargeable battery that is charged through any ordinary USB port. Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH) cells, utilized in the USBCELL, are able to be recharged up to 500 times, as opposed to just 50 times with a normal alkaline rechargeable battery. NiHM batteries also have the bonus of not needing to be fully drained to recharge correctly and without corruption. Whether the battery is full or not, just plug it in. 
Because USBCELL lasts longer, it reduces not only the amount of C02 waste from regular alkaline batteries, but also from rechargeable alkaline and Nickle-cadmium (NiCD) batteries that don’t last as long. Besides holding 10-25% more power than normal NiCD batteries, NiHM cells are also devoid of cadmium, a toxic metal commonly found in the millions of tons of e-waste generated annually. NiHM batteries are also able to utilize recycled nickel from industrial scrap. 
Moxia makes a variety of USBCELL sizes, from AAA to 9volt batteries, as well as specialized phone and PDA batteries. All include a USB plug, either hidden under a lime green cap or flipped into the device itself. Any USB plug will charge the cell, including laptop, game station and keyboard outlets. The USBCELL NiHM batteries do require a rather long 5 horu charge, better done over night, but they do hold up to 2500mAH (milliamps per hour), as opposed to NiCD batteries ranging at about 800mAH. 
A twin-pack of USBCELL AA batteries will run you about $20 (US), depending on where you shop. The price can be a shock, considering the lack of charger, but well worth the investment in lifespan and ease of use.