Volvo has announced that it will use blockchain technology to track cobalt supplies. The mineral is used for lithium-ion batteries of electric cars.
Volvo launched the XC40 Recharge electric model this year and plans to launch a new electric car model every year by 2025.
“Cobalt is essentially for electric vehicle batteries, but supplies are limited. Companies like Volvo accelerate their production significantly, with half of Volvo cars planned to be electric by 2025. Each car requires 10-20 kilograms of cobalt in their batteries, ”
said Mark Rakhmilevich, blockchain product manager at Oracle.
Volvo will apply blockchain technology to ensure the global traceability of raw materials used in the supply chain. Rakhmilevici explained:
“Volvo ensures that their cobalt deliveries are clear and trouble-free, tracking raw materials on the Oracle blockchain. We are working with Volvo this summer to implement an application for tracking cobalt supply on the Blockchain. “
Cobalt mining, problematic
Most of the cobalt comes from the Republic of Congo, an area criticized for conditions in the mining industry. According to Amnesty International, children under the age of seven are working in risky conditions in Congo to mine cobalt. Young children and adults are often paid just $ 1 a day to work in these dangerous conditions.
Volvo has also partnered with Circulor, a traceability service provider, to track raw materials. This end-to-end solution would ensure transparent and reliable data distribution, significantly stimulating the transparency of the entire supply chain with raw materials.
Successful pilot project
This summer, Volvo Cars completed a successful pilot project with Oracle and Circulor. It also reached an agreement with two global battery suppliers, CATL from China and LG Chem from South Korea, to implement cobalt traceability on the blockchain starting this year.
The data stored on the Oracle blockchain platform will include the chain of custody and mineral source information to ensure that the extraction is in accordance with globally recognized guidelines.
Blockchain is an ideal solution for tracking materials on a supply chain, as technology creates records of transactions that cannot be altered. This allows network participants to independently verify and audit transactions.
Caspar Rawles, senior analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said:
“As more car manufacturers produce electric vehicles, they need to be aware that supply chain management will be crucial. It is good news that Volvo adopts blockchain monitoring. “