To maintain transparency in mineral sourcing, Volvo has announced that it will use Blockchain technology to trace the cobalt used in the car batteries. The company has signed an agreement with their battery suppliers LG Chem (South Korea) and CATL (China).
Owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding, the car manufacturer has LG Chem and CATL as their car battery supplier for the next decade for the upcoming Polestar and Volvo models. The deal also includes XC40 Recharge which is their latest electric auto.
With all the major car manufacturing companies launching their own versions, electric cars are gradually gaining popularity among the consumer section. However, the manufacturers and suppliers are under pressure to show that they are sourcing the mineral for car batteries in a responsible manner.
Thankfully, Blockchain has come to their rescue. It comes with an immutable shared ledger that keeps a track of the supply chain and proves that the sourcing did not involve child labor or conflict minerals.
Martina Buchhauser, the head of procurement at Volvo Cars stated, “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.”
Cobalt is in high demand these days, as it is the main mineral needed to manufacture lithium-ion batteries. However, the problem is in the governance related to the sourcing of Cobalt as it is primarily mined and supplied from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Earlier this year, it was mentioned by Volvo that CATL has successfully conducted a pilot project to track their cobalt supply chain using Blockchain technology. LG Chem is also conducting a similar project to involving their supply chain with RSBN (Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network) and tech companies.
The data shared and recorded in the Blockchain, covered the origin and weight of the cobalt. It also included information related to chain of custody of the mineral.
Volvo stated that, it primary focus is on securing transparent and responsible cobalt, tantalum, tungsten, gold, and tin by 2020. Their future plans involving tracking lithium and nickel as well with blockchain technology.