Panasonic Powers Cars with PC Batteries

A new technology from Panasonic aims to green the electric car. The Japanese electronics giant announced a technology that binds together the ordinary lithium ion batteries you'd find in your laptop in order to power an entire car. According to the Reuters story, the new technology should enable Panasonic to make electric car batteries at half the cost of specially designed lithium-ion batteries, since it can use existing battery plants and production expertise, the company said.

While there has been much enthusiasm and interest surrounding electric cars, developing a system to power them has been a tremendous engineering challenge. Some companies have developed massive battery packs with hundreds of smaller sized batteries. Other businesses have focused on smaller, easily replaceable batteries; Better Place has one such concept, which calls for multiple service stations that can swap out a battery in minutes. The company recently announced with Renault an expanded commitment to a volume of at least 100,000 electric automobiles in Israel and Denmark by 2016.

Whichever technology takes off, there's clearly public demand for electric cars. The race is on!