is reporting today that Panasonic has decided to buy rival Japanese consumer electronics company Sanyo. While this in an of itself is not particularly important in this space, it does pose some questions in terms of hybrid and electric vehicles. Both companies make a huge array of products, including batteries. Units of the two manufacturers are among the largest producers of batteries for hybrid vehicles. Panasonic, through a joint venture with Toyota, supplies all that company's batteries as well as batteries to General Motors and Chrysler. Sanyo supplies Ford, Honda and has agreements to supply batteries to the Volkswagen group. With so many other companies like Continental, Bosch and Samsung getting into the automotive battery market, this combination probably won't have much impact on supplies or prices, but we'll be watching.