Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG are turning to laptops for a cheaper way to power their electric cars -- and their sales.
Automakers are testing packs of lithium-ion batteries assembled by Silicon Valley startup Tesla Motors Inc. costing less than bigger, car-only batteries favored by General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. A pack of 6,831 cylinder-shaped cells made by Panasonic Corp. powers Tesla's $109,000 Roadster sports car for up to 245 miles per charge.
The car industry will help lithium-ion battery makers more than triple sales to 5 trillion yen ($60 billion) in a decade from 1.5 trillion yen in the year ending in March, according to Sanyo Electric Co., the world's biggest maker of the batteries. Rechargeable consumer-electronics batteries benefit from an economy of scale that may help cut manufacturing costs and sticker prices in the nascent electric-car industry, said Koji Endo, a Tokyo-based analyst at Advanced Research Japan.
"It may lead to the total component cost of an electric car getting lower than that of a gasoline car," Endo said. "As the cost lowers, there'll be more likelihood that retail prices of electric cars will drop."