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Volvo Cars to use blockchain traceability of cobalt used in electric car batteries

By Ramla Soni

Volvo Cars will become the first car maker to trace battery cobalt using blockchain technology

Volvo Cars is to implement global traceability of the cobalt used in its batteries by applying blockchain technology, becoming the first car maker to do so.

The automobile manufacturer has reached an agreement with its two global battery suppliers, CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea to implement traceability of cobalt starting this year.

The carmaker said blockchain specialist Circulor and tech firm Oracle will operate the blockchain technology across CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot earlier this summer.

The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), together with responsible sourcing specialists RCS Global and IBM, are rolling out the technology in LG Chem’s supply chain.

The traceability of raw materials used in the production of lithium ion batteries, such as cobalt, is one of the main sustainability challenges faced by car makers, Volvo said.

As a result, Volvo Cars is “committed to full traceability”, ensuring that customers can drive electrified Volvos knowing the that material for the batteries has been sourced responsibly.

The announcement follows the reveal of the company’s first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge, last month.

By 2025, Volvo expects half of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest being hybrids, the company said.

Last month, Volvo Cars also launched an ambitious climate plan, which included a radical reduction of carbon emissions by 40 per cent per vehicle by 2025, as well as a continued commitment to ethical business across its entire operations and supply chain.

Meanwhile, automakers including Honda, BMW and Renault recently revealed that they are to begin field tests in the US for the industry’s first blockchain-based vehicle identification system.

Mastercard also revealed last month its collaboration with Envisible’s Wholechain traceability system powered by its blockchain-based Provenance Solution and used by Topco Associates, a US food co-operative, to help trace the provenance of groceries, meat and seafood.

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