We already knew that Daimler was looking in Tesla's direction for electric vehicle batteries, but we certainly didn't know that those passing glances were only the beginning of an underground battle for supply chain supremacy. As automakers struggle to move cars from lots, it's being reported that some -- Toyota, Tesla, Daimler and Nissan, in particular -- are looking to parts fulfillment for profit. Toyota already has an edge on its rivals by being one of the only companies to actually produce its own batteries, and if demand begins to outstrip supply, other car makers could come running in hopes of stocking up. Of course, you've also got Nissan ramping up production in order to equip some 200,000 electric / hybrid vehicles annually over the next few years, so who knows if all this scheming will eventually backfire. Though, if one firm can somehow figure out how to make their battery stronger, more potent, lighter and cheaper -- well, we needn't tell you how that would play out.

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