Volvo plans to keep track of the raw materials used in its electric car batteries. By using blockchain technology, its intention is to ensure they are ethically sourced.
The announcement follows soon after Volvo’s first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge, was revealed.
A blockchain is a mass of digital records linked with cryptography. At each step, the journey of the material is documented. It allows Volvo to be sure it isn’t paying into unethical companies or conflicts along the supply chain.
Precious materials like cobalt, which are in high demand for car batteries, are often found in volatile and politically precarious regions of the world.
From when they are dug out of the ground to when they are used in a battery, Volvo wants its raw materials to meet guidelines set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
“We have always been committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials,” said Martina Buchhauser, head of procurement at Volvo.
“With blockchain technology, we can take the next step towards ensuring full traceability of our supply chain and minimising any related risks, in close collaboration with our suppliers.”