Blockchain To Help Volvo Cars To Trace Battery Cobalt


November 11, 2019 7:47 pm

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According to the announcement, Volvo Cars said that it will make the cobalt used in its batteries globally traceable using the blockchain technology. Through a partnership with its two battery suppliers, China’s CATL and South Korea’s LG Chem the motor service has announced the initiative.

Volvo, owned by China’s Geely Holding, has lined up deals with CATL and LG Chem covering the battery supply over the coming decade for next-generation Volvo and Polestar models, including the recently launched electric model XC40 Recharge. Volvo is exploring the benefits of blockchain to improve scrutiny of supply chains and show sourcing does not rely on conflict minerals or child labor.

Martina Buchhauser said:

“With blockchain technology, we can take the next step towards ensuring full traceability of our supply chain and minimizing any related risks, in close collaboration with our suppliers.”

Volvo has initially focused primarily on securing a responsible and transparent supply chain for cobalt. Cobalt is in high demand as it is a key mineral for making lithium-ion batteries, but governance is particularly challenging as the majority of all supplies are from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Volvo Cars, Circulor and tech company Oracle operated the blockchain technology across CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot earlier this summer. The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), RCS Global and IBM, are rolling out the technology in LG Chem’s supply chain.

The data covered in the blockchain includes cobalt’s origin, size, and weight, as well as the chain of custody and information establishing that participants in the supply chain showed behaviour consistent with OECD guidelines.

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