P.M. BRIEFING : Matsushita Plans New Battery

From Times Wire Services

Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. said it will begin selling a new rechargeable storage battery next month that lasts twice as long as the one widely used in consumer electronics items.

Matsushita is believed to be the first company in the world to succeed in mass-producing the nickel-hydride battery, which will be used in portable telephones, video cameras, office automation equipment and other high-technology products.

Nickel hydride has twice as much storage capacity as nickel cadmium, the material commonly used to make rechargeable storage batteries, the company said Wednesday.