Volvo To Launch World’s First EV Battery Passport Before EU Regulations

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Developed over five years, the passport is a collaboration between Volvo, owned by China’s Geely, and UK startup Circulor, which specializes in blockchain supply chain mapping.

Volvo Cars has announced the introduction of the first-ever electric vehicle (EV) battery passport for its forthcoming EX90 SUV, marking a significant milestone as it approaches the start of production. This innovative passport will provide detailed information about the origins of raw materials, the components used, the content that has been recycled, and the overall carbon footprint of the vehicle. The Swedish car manufacturer, which is a subsidiary of China’s Geely, crafted this passport in collaboration with the British tech firm Circulor, which specializes in blockchain technology for tracking supply chains. The development process spanned over five years.

The passport initiative is in anticipation of new regulations in the European Union, which, starting in February 2027, will require electric vehicles to have a battery passport displaying details such as the origin of essential materials, their carbon footprint, and recycled content. Volvo’s global sustainability head, Vanessa Butani, explained to Reuters that releasing the passport almost three years before the EU mandate is part of Volvo’s commitment to transparency and leadership in the automotive industry. Volvo aims to produce exclusively fully-electric vehicles by 2030.

The EX90 SUV equipped with this battery passport is set to begin production shortly at Volvo’s facility in Charleston, South Carolina, with deliveries expected in the latter half of the year to customers in Europe and North America. Volvo vehicle owners will have the ability to access a simplified version of the passport via a QR code located inside the driver’s door.

This pioneering project will be expanded gradually to encompass all of Volvo’s electric vehicles. Additionally, a comprehensive version of the passport will be provided to regulatory bodies. According to Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO of Circulor, the passport will also maintain up-to-date information on the battery’s health over a 15-year period, which is crucial for determining the resale value of used electric vehicles, and will cost Volvo approximately $10 per car.

Circulor’s technology ensures the traceability of battery materials right from the mining stage to their incorporation into individual vehicles, integrating closely with supplier production systems to monitor the entire supply chain and verify the sustainability of energy sources used by suppliers. Should Volvo onboard a new supplier, Circulors’ protocol requires a comprehensive audit to maintain accurate and current data.

Johnson-Poenspen pointed out that tracking the specific journey of parts through Volvo’s manufacturing lines to establish the origin of every single component in each vehicle has necessitated significant modifications to their processes. He noted that such detail-oriented tracking in car manufacturing is a relatively new and complex challenge.

While there is currently no similar regulation in the United States, interest among U.S. automakers is increasing as they may need to demonstrate compliance with criteria to qualify for EV subsidies under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.

Volvo, along with other major industry players like Jaguar Land Rover and BHP, the largest listed miner globally, has invested in Circulor. Johnson-Poensgen highlighted a growing urgency among automakers to develop battery passports to meet the impending EU deadline, suggesting that those starting now might find it challenging to comply in time.

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