Certain nickel hydroxide active cathode materials for use in alkaline rechargeable batteries are capable of transferring >1.3 electrons per Ni atom under reversible electrochemical conditions. The specific capacity of the nickel hydroxide active materials is for example .gtoreq.325 mAh/g. The cathode active materials exhibit an additional discharge plateau near 0.8 V vs. a metal hydride (MH) anode. Ni in an oxidation state of less than 2, such as Ni.sup.1+, is able to participate in electrochemical reactions when using the present cathode active materials. It is possible that up to 2.3 electrons, up to 2.5 electrons or more may be transferred per Ni atom under electrochemical conditions.
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT STATEMENT
 This invention was made with government support under DE-AR0000386 awarded by Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.