The development of cost-effective and active water-splitting electrocatalysts that work at mild pH is an essential step towards the realization of sustainable energy and material circulation in our society. Its success requires a drastic improvement in the kinetics of the anodic half-reaction of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), which determines the overall system efficiency to a large extent. A simple electrochemical protocol has been developed to activate Ni electrodes, by which a stable NiOOH phase was formed, which could weakly bind to alkali-metal cations. The electrochemically activated (ECA) Ni electrode reached a current of 10 mA at 75 °C) and a mild pH of ca. 10 with excellent stability (>24 h), greatly surpassing that of the state-of-the-art NiFeOx electrodes under analogous conditions. Water electrolysis was demonstrated with ECA-Ni and NiMo, which required an iR-free overall voltage of only 1.44 V to reach 10 mA cmgeo(-2) .