On July 8, 2020, it has been reported that as previously Volvo used Circulor’s traceability solution to track cobalt in its batteries, much of cobalt mining happens in Africa under questionable conditions and involves child labour.
However, in an era where more consumers are becoming concerned with how the products they buy are produced, the ability to verify the entire supply chain may provide a competitive advantage or even become a necessity.
The report said that Volvo Cars may also be planning to use Circulor’s solution to trace carbon emissions. Circulor’s blockchain technology is used throughout Volvo Cars’ battery supply chain, which will achieve 100 per cent traceability of Cobalt used in the XC40 Recharge P8, its first fully electric car.
Martina Buchhauser, the Chief Procurement Officer at Volvo Cars, said that the partnership will contribute to greater sustainability.
“We are committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials and our partnership with Circulor has been instrumental in that regard. By supporting Circulor’s ongoing development we can expand the use of blockchain technology in our operations and contribute to a more sustainable business.”
The investment led by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund is part of a funding round by Circulor, which was also joined by three other investors:
- Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures
- Plug & Play
Volvo Cars was the first car maker to implement global traceability of Cobalt used in its batteries by applying the blockchain technology across its supply chain. Circulor’s blockchain technology is implemented in partnership with CATL and LG Chem, Volvo Cars’ battery supply partners.
The agreements between Volvo Cars, CATL and LG Chem cover the supply of batteries over the coming decade for next-gen Volvo and Polestar models, including the XC40 Recharge P8 AWD electric car.
The Volvo Cars Tech Fund was launched in 2018 to invest in the high-potential technology start-ups around the globe. The main emphasis of the fund is the strategic technology trends that are transforming the auto industry, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, electrification, autonomous driving and digital mobility.