Will Consumers Shell Out $150 for A Green Laptop Battery?

hpbostonpowersmallUpdated: Would you pay $150 for an energy-efficient battery for your laptop? In this economy? Hewlett Packard and Boston Power, a three-year-old startup that makes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for laptops, are hoping you will, and this morning the companies have officially started selling the Enviro Series notebook battery for HP.

At $150 it’s at the very high end of the laptop battery accessories that HP lists on its site. But for that price customers get a battery that lasts three years, runs for about four hours on a charge that fades less over time than comparable lithium-ion batteries. The companies initially promised a $20-30 markup over a standard lithium-ion laptop battery, and $150 falls within that range.

Consumer electronics companies are increasingly offering gadgets and goods marketed as “greener,” touting their energy efficiency and using more sustainable materials. Apple is selling its latest MacBook line as the “world’s greenest family of notebooks.” Dell is selling a small PC with a bamboo casing that consumes less energy. Cell phone companies like Nokia are offering phones like the 3110 Evolve that use more-easily recyclable materials and a more energy-efficient charger.

But when it comes to paying a premium, consumers have mixed feelings. According to Forrester Research, while almost two thirds of consumers say their purchase decisions are influenced by socially responsible practices, only 18 percent of consumers say they would pay more for products from a company recognized as socially responsible.

This is Boston Power’s first major deal, and HP’s massive marketshare is a game-changing win for such a young company. Boston Power is backed by a total of $70125 million from Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, GGV Capital and Gabriel Venture Partners (the company raised a $55 million round in January).

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