Volvo is a company which is owned by Geely Holding, China. They have dealt with LG Chem and CATL for supplying the batteries for their next generation Polestar and Volvo models and even for the newly launched XC40 Recharge which is an electric model too. They have this deal at least for the coming decade.
A representative from Volvo cars has declared that they will adapt to use cobalt globally in their batteries which can be traced with the help of blockchain technology. The agreement for the supply of cobalt batteries has been finalized with LG Chem of South Korea and CATL of China. All their upcoming models along with the one which was recently launched named XC40 Recharge will be provided batteries from the above said companies.
How they are using Blockchain
Blockchain is an immutable ledger technology. And the carmakers are feeling pressurized to ensure that the sourcing of electric vehicle batteries is responsibly done. They are in their way to explore the maximum utility of blockchain for improved examination of supply chains. Along with it, they also need that the sourcing of these cobalt batteries does not completely rely upon child labor or conflict minerals.
The Cobalt Problem
The demand of Cobalt is getting high because for making lithium-ion batteries, cobalt is the essential mineral required. But it is challenging in terms of governance because most of the supplies come from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A carmaker which is Gothenburg-based said that tech firm Oracle and blockchain specialist Circular used to operate this Blockchain Technology throughout the CATL’s chain of supply and followed a successful pilot too.
RCS Global and IBM together with the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN) are turning out the blockchain technology in the supply chain of LG Chem.
According to Volvo, the data which should be covered in the blockchain include the size, origin and weight of cobalt along with the chain of custody. It should also include the information which tells if the supply chain had a consistent behavior according to the OECD guidelines.
As the carmakers were concerned for the availability of a supply chain which is transparent as well as responsible for their work. This is the condition in case of Cobalt as well as tungsten, tin, tantalum and Gold. But, the blockchain tracking is to be applied only on the key materials like nickel and lithium in future.