Luxury Car Maker Volvo Cars to Become First to Trace Battery Cobalt Using Blockchain Technology

Volvo car close-up of from grill with Volvo badge

Volvo Cars will become the world’s first car manufacturer to implement blockchain-enabled traceability of cobalt.

In a press release published Wednesday, the luxury car maker acknowledged that “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 Cars—a subsidiary of the Chinese automotive company Geely—explained that because blockchain technology establishes a transparent and reliable shared data network, it “significantly boosts transparency of the raw material supply chain as the information about the material’s origin cannot be changed undetected.”

Volvo Cars’ announcement came on the back of an agreement reached with its two global battery manufacturing suppliers—China-based CATL and South Korea-based LG Chem—along with various leading global blockchain technology companies. The parties to the agreement aim to implement blockchain-enabled traceability of cobalt “starting this year,” Volvo Cars added.

Commenting on Volvo Cars’ first-of-its-kind announcement was head of procurement Martina Buchhauser. “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.”

Elaborating on how blockchain technology will be used by the involved companies to track cobalt—one of the key components of the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that power electric vehicles—Volvo Cars stated, “data in the blockchain include the cobalt’s origin, attributes such as weight and size, the chain of custody and information establishing that participants’ behavior is consistent with OECD supply chain guidelines.”
Want to learn more about blockchain, the technology Volvo Cars will be using to trace cobalt? Then check out the second module—An Introduction to Blockchain Technology—of Nugget’s News’ ultimate quick-start guide to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

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