Volvo, owned by the Chinese automotive giant Geely, has used blockchain to ensure that cobalt, an essential rare metal for electric batteries, is ethically sourced for its electric vehicles, as per a report from Reuters.
The automotive company has joined the ranks of Ford, LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt in a blockchain system that has been designed for such an activity. What sets Volvo apart is that it has successfully used the decentralized technology and actually now has electric vehicles running on the road. Volvo, in its initiative of environmental friendliness, has used recycled cobalt, rather than go for mining the mineral.
The recycled cobalt was sourced from the Chinese partner on the blockchain system, Huayou Cobalt. Volvo said that it used the blockchain and,
It tracked cobalt from a Chinese recycling plant to Volvo Cars Zhejiang over a two-month period to June 27.
Car manufacturers around the world are increasingly coming under pressure from investors and customers for ethical sourcing of raw materials. Cobalt is an essential rare metal that is used in car batteries. With electric vehicles production increasing as they become more common, the massive batteries they use mean the metal is in great demand. A major quantity of the mineral is sourced from Democratic Republic of Congo. The country is rife with child labor.
The blockchain platform has been developed by Circulor, a British decentralized technology developer.
Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly using blockchain in their supply chain. Apart from the efficiency the technology has to offer, the immutable nature means that the technology is perfect for ensuring that parts and chemicals for manufacturing are verified to be ethically sourced. Volkswagen is already using the technology for its own batteries.