Volvo Cars will become the first carmaker to implement global traceability of cobalt used in its batteries using blockchain. The announcement follows the reveal last month of the company’s first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge.
Traceability of raw materials used in the production of li-ion batteries, such as cobalt, is one of the sustainability challenges facing carmakers. “Volvo Cars is committed to full traceability, ensuring that customers can drive electrified Volvos knowing the material for the batteries has been sourced responsibly,” the company said in a statement.
Blockchain, establishes a transparent and reliable shared data network, boosts transparency of the raw material supply chain as the information about the material’s origin cannot be changed undetected.
Volvo Cars has reached an agreement with its two global battery suppliers, CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea, and leading global blockchain firms to implement traceability of cobalt starting this year. Technology firms Circulor and Oracle operate the blockchain technology across CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot earlier this summer, while the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), together with responsible sourcing specialists RCS Global and IBM, is rolling out the technology in LG Chem’s supply chain.
“We have been committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials,” said Martina Buchhauser, head of procurement at Volvo Cars. “With blockchain technology, we can take the next step towards ensuring full traceability of our supply chain and minimising any related risks, in close collaboration with our suppliers.”