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Volvo car became the first carmaker to implement global traceability of cobalt used in its batteries by applying blockchain.
Volvo Cars is the newest car manufacturer that decided to join the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN) – a cross-industry collaboration for responsible sourcing of minerals, with the focus on strengthening human rights and environmental protection in mineral supply chains.
As per the report sent to CoinSpeaker the consortium is pioneering the use of IBM’s blockchain technology for accountability and compliance in the mining and production of minerals from the mine to the manufacturer.
Volvo therefore joined Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen Group, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Group in a joint effort to bring greater transparency to the global minerals supply chain, such as cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries in electric cars. Technology firms Circulor and Oracle operate the blockchain technology across Volvo’s battery manufacturer CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot earlier this summer.
Martina Buchhauser, Head of Volvo Cars Procurement commented:
“We have always been committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials. With blockchain technology we can take the next step in ensuring full traceability of our supply chain and minimising any related risks, in close collaboration with our suppliers.”
Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, the solution is designed so that participants can contribute their data in a secure and legit waw with no third-party audits and paper-based processes needed. Volvo Cars will be the first company in the consortium to fully apply the RSBN solution starting with spring 2020. The carmaker also wants to apply RSBN to other key minerals found in its batteries, including nickel and lithium in the future.
Nicholas Garrett, CEO of RCS Global Group explained the group is “setting in motion a process of mainstreaming responsible sourcing practices across major industries.”
“The early addition of Volkswagen Group and now Volvo Cars to this collaboration confirms that blockchain technology coupled with responsible sourcing assurance can help address critical sustainability issues impacting the entire industry,” added he.
Volkswagen AG has been working with relevant battery suppliers to address the need for supply chain due diligence, and is now aiming to significantly increase its supply chain mapping and auditing activities for key battery mineral supply chains.
Moreover, it has become recently known that Volkswagen Group initiated series production of its ID.3 electric car. It means that it is seriously aimed at becoming a serious player (if not a leader) on the market of e-cars. ID.3 is scheduled to become available for buyers in Europe in summer 2020. And it is planned that the basic version will be sold at a price of lower than 30,000 euros ($33,487), at least in Germany.
As Coinspeaker has already reported, Ford also prepares to launch its global all-electric Mustang-inspired SUV soon, so, the RSBN becomes an important tool to strengthen transparency and enhance visibility into its global mineral supply chain. Expanding this network beyond cobalt to other battery minerals will compound the RBSN’s positive impact on human rights protection and labor practices.
With all these new competitors entering the market of e-mobility, can we suppose that Tesla is in danger? Let’s not forget that Tesla used to be the only electric car manufacturer in the world but it is already in the past. Now its stock is traded at approximately $320 which is rather close to the price which was set 12 months ago ($340). However, within these 12 months, there were some serious ups and downs ($180 in June). How the situation will change with more and more players joining the industry, we will see soon.