Volvo to deploy blockchain tech for traceability of cobalt in li-ion batteries

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 06 Nov 2019

Volvo Cars to radically reduce carbon emissions as part of new ambitious climate plan.

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 technology firms to implement traceability of cobalt, starting this year.

With this, Volvo Cars will become the first car manufacturer to implement global traceability of cobalt used in its batteries. It will be using blockchain technology to trace the raw material used for the lithium-ion batteries in its electric cars. Blockchain tech helps establish a data sharing network and boosts the transparency of the raw material supply chain. As a result, information about the core material’s origin cannot be changed undetected.

The traceability of raw materials used in lithium-ion batteries, such as cobalt, remains one of the key sustainability challenges for car makers. Volvo Cars says it is keen on ensuring that customers can drive electrified Volvos knowing the battery material is sourced responsibly. Martina Buchhauser, Head of Procurement at Volvo Cars said, “We have always been committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials. 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.”

Technology firms Circulor and Oracle operate the blockchain technology across CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot earlier this year, 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.

Volvo XC40 recharge battery package.

Volvo Cars launched the XC40 Recharge, the first of an upcoming family of fully electric cars under the Recharge banner last month. By 2025, it expects half of its global sales from fully electric cars, with the rest from hybrids. It also targets radical reduction of carbon emissions by 40 percent per vehicle by 2025.