VW Joins Blockchain Group for Sustainable EV Materials

April 18, 2019 at 4:21 PM

Volkswagen AG has joined a consortium that will use blockchain technology to trace and validate “ethically sourced” minerals, including those used in lithium-ion batteries for electrified vehicles.

The group, which includes Ford, IBM and LG Chem, was formed earlier this year. Using IBM’s open-industry blockchain platform, the partners aim to improve the efficiency and transparency in global mineral supply chains to support human rights and environmental protection.

The group includes participants at each major stage of the supply chain from mine to end-user. Approved material suppliers are validated by RCS Global Group for compliance with responsible sourcing standards.

An initial pilot program will focus on cobalt. EV batteries use an average of 20 lbs of the pricey material. Following the pilot program, the consortium plans to add other battery materials and so-called “conflict minerals” to the initiative, including tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, plus rare earths.