The hitherto unglamorous battery market received something of a shakeup this week when Panasonic completed the acquisition of Sanyo it embarked on a full year ago.
By spending around £2.8 billion on 50.2 per cent of Sanyo's stock, Panasonic has positioned itself to become the major player in the lithium-ion battery market that is expected to boom as electric cars become more common.
High cost of oil
Analysts predict that the combination of environmental awareness and the continuing high price of oil will drive buyers into greener electric cars and the market for the batteries to power them to an annual value of around £22 billion by 2018.
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With the purchase of Sanyo, Panasonic now has access to key car-making clients in the form of Honda, Volkswagen and Ford.
Collaboration the key
Speaking to Bloomberg, one Honda spokesperson even went so far as to underline the importance of batteries: "Collaboration between a battery maker and a carmaker is an efficient way to develop car batteries."