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Volvo To Use Blockchain To Trace Cobalt Used In Electric Car Batteries

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Volvo Cars Group is set to become the first carmaker to use blockchain technology to trace the cobalt used in lithium ion batteries used for its electric cars. The company announced last month the launch of its first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge.

The carmaker is providing traceability of raw materials, such as cobalt, used in the production of the batteries used in its cars as part of its commitment to provide its customers the information that materials for the batteries has been sourced responsibly.

By implement global traceability of cobalt using blockchain, Volvo Cars will gain provenance of cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries for their electric vehicles and provide customers with transparency of the raw material supply chain as the information about the material's origin cannot be changed on blockchain.

The data on the blockchain will include the cobalt's origin, attributes such as weight and size, the chain of custody and information establishing that participants' behavior is consistent with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) supply chain guidelines.

Volvo Cars has already reached agreements with its two global battery suppliers, China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) and South Korea-based LG Chem to implement traceability of cobalt starting this year.

Last month, Volvo Cars also launched an ambitious climate plan to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent per vehicle by 2025, as well as a continued commitment to ethical business across its entire operations and supply chain.

Volvo Cars Group, founded in 1927, has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding of China since 2010. It has sold 642,253 cars in 2018 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars said it expects half of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars and the rest hybrids by 2025.

In April, German car maker Volkswagen Group joined an industry consortium that will use blockchain technology for the responsible sourcing of strategic minerals which are used in the production of vehicles. Other members in the blockchain network include Volvo Cars, Ford Motor Co., Huayou Cobalt, IBM and LG Chem along with co-founding responsible sourcing specialists RCS Global Group.

The network is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, and powered by the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric.

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