Daily Management Review

Volvo’s New Car Uses Blockchain For Recycled Cobalt


Volvo has commented that the company has finished its first project of blockchain in China which uses “recycled cobalt”.

Geely from China owns Volvo cars, as the latter has created the first cars which contain “recycled cobalt” map that uses blockchain technology. Moreover, Volvo has also informed that the company has entered into a “separate project” with “Democratic Republic of Congo” for monitoring cobalt.
The manufacturers from the auto industry are facing pressure from the investors and customers alike as they compete to show that there is no dependency on conflict minerals for electric vehicles while the processes is free of child labour involvement. The blockchain technology is used to “create an immutable ledger” which is expected to bring in an improvement throughout the supply chains’ accountability.
In an email Volvo had commented that the company has finished its first project of blockchain in China which uses “recycled cobalt”. It said:
“It tracked cobalt from a Chinese recycling plant to Volvo Cars Zhejiang over a two-month period to June 27”.
While its aim was focussed on achieving “full transparency and traceability”.
The said technology of blockchain was designed by “British blockchain specialist Circulor” with the help of Oracle’s technology. In fact, it is expected to be “rolled out widely this year”, although no further information about its “next steps” were given by Volvo.
Moreover, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd has worked to create the batteries. Additionally, Volvo has also confirmed that it will be joining a project with other auto manufacturers, including Ford, IBM, LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt, while the project will be overseen by “responsible-sourcing group RCS Global”.
On the other hand, RCS Global’s email stated that the company looked forward to collaborate with Volvo for contributing towards improvement across the supply chain which will the “quantifiable and continuous”. From all the minerals of battery, cobalt seems to be pose particular challenge as nearly “two thirds of all supplies are from Democratic Republic of Congo”.
The country has its extreme case of governance challenges. Likewise, Glencore that produces “industrial-scale cobalt in Congo” had to deal with “a series of problems” this year one of which was “an incursion of artisanal miners on its concession”. However, people involved in minerals tracking are of the opinion that blockchain alone cannot be the solution.
Although Reuters added:
“But they are testing how entering data from each stage of a mineral’s journey into a blockchain can improve accountability and even fend off disputes between, say, transportation companies and those using them”.
The chief executive officer of Circulor stated:
“No technology can completely replace due diligence. What it will do is improve enforcement of standards by highlighting when things are not working as intended”.
Oracle has worked with blockchain projects of wide spectrum like “certifying the origin of olive oil” as well as “reducing costs by streamlining cross-border banking payments”. Furthermore, IBM has also worked with retailers like Walmart to track food supply chain.