While electrified and pure electric vehicle sales continue to outpace the new car market, there remain lingering questions around the ethical sourcing and disposal of the batteries that power them.
Companies like BMW and Volvo are using blockchain technology, which, at its core, is a transparent and immutable ledger, to answer questions about the long-term sustainability of electric vehicles.
Those questions have focused primarily on the mining of key components of EV battery production, like cobalt and lithium.
Cobalt mining has historically been associated with child labor and other human rights abuses, and the blockchain’s ability to prove the provenance and traceability has been singled out by industry experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers as the biggest driver behind the widespread adoption of blockchain technology.
For an automotive industry still feeling the effects of dieselgate, consumer trust is a crucial asset.
And part of building that trust is offering proof, not just promises, that the business practices behind a given EV that a company is selling are in line with the moral character of the people buying it.
With blockchain technology companies can take the next step towards ensuring full traceability of the supply chain and thus minimizing any related risks, in close collaboration with the suppliers.
So, blockchain is ensuring that electrified cars aren’t being made by slave labor.
Interestingly, both Ford and Mercedes-Benz have also launched a pilot blockchain projects to track CO2 emissions too — and not just in their respective companies’ cobalt supply chains, but on a municipal, “street level” as well.
The way it works is that low-emission and zero-emission vehicles would constantly switching between “pure” EV and ICE drive based on air quality data.
As pollution shifted amid changing winds, shifting weather conditions, and pedestrian traffic patterns, the hybrids kicked in their electric drives where they would be most beneficial, and switched on the ICE where its direct impact on people could be minimized.”
Blockchain technology would store the data in blockchain ledger on a cloud and shared among relevant stakeholders without being manipulated by one party or another to advance their own agenda.
Reference- Pricewaterhouse Coopers Report, Ford & Mercedes Benz websites, Clean Technica, Wikipedia