Volvo to Trace Cobalt Used in Batteries Using Blockchain Technology

Volvo Cars, a global car manufacturer, announces the implementation of global traceability of cobalt in batteries of electric cars using blockchain technology starting this year.

The production of lithium-ion batteries faces some of the most challenging sustainability issues in the electric car supply chain. Rare metals such as cobalt are not only costly and finite resources; they also face issues of human rights violations in the sourcing of the material.  

Last month, with the launch of their first fully electric car XC40 Recharge, Volvo Cars announced the launch of a climate plan including the reduction of carbon emissions by 40% per vehicle by 2025, as well as continuously committing to ethical business across the supply chain.

In line with these commitments, Volvo Cars traces all transactions of cobalt used in their batteries using blockchain technology. Within supply chains, the technology creates unchangeable records of all the transactions with one unit of cobalt. The data recorded will include weight and size, the origin, chain of custody as well as information establishing the participants’ behavior is consistent with the OECD supply chain guidelines. The overall goal is to create transparency and trust between all participants in the supply chain while promoting responsible sourcing of raw materials.

Volvo Cars is supplied with batteries by CATL from China and LG Chem from South Korea. The companies Circulor and Oracle operate the blockchain technology across CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot this summer. LG Chem is rolling out the technology with The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN) and the responsible sourcing specialists RCS Global and IBM.

“We have always 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 minimizing any related risks, in close collaboration with our suppliers.”


Source: Volvo Cars |
Image: Volvo Cars |
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