Report: Panasonic to use notebook batteries to power electric cars


Japan’s biggest business publication, the Nikkei, is reporting that Panasonic is thinking about using lithium ion batterries used in notebooks to power electric cars. Obviously, the big idea is to bring down the overall costs of these vehicles (and make some money for the company, too).

Panasonic aims at replacing the dozens of lithium ion batteries usually required to power an electric car with thousands of cylindrical batteries originally designed for notebooks, resulting in positive cost effects.

In concrete terms, Panasonic wants to push down costs the power systems for (mid-size) electric cars as a whole from the current average of $33,000 to $11,000. The company isn’t first to try this: Tesla’s Roadster from March 2008 also uses batteries originally designed for home electronics.

Via Nikkei [registration required, paid subscription]