Volvo Cars Tech Fund Invests in Blockchain Firm Circulor
Trading Enterprises, the exclusive distributor of Volvo cars in the UAE, has declared that Volvo Cars has invested in blockchain technology firm Circulor via the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the company’s venture capital investment arm. Circulor and Volvo Cars have been operating together in current years to implement blockchain technology to encourage the traceability of cobalt utilized in the batteries of its electric cars.
Circulor’s blockchain technology is adopted throughout Volvo Cars’ battery supply chain, which will achieve 100% traceability of cobalt utilized in the XC40 Recharge P8, its first fully electric car. Production of the XC40 Recharge P8 will begin later this year in Ghent, Belgium. XC40 Recharge T5 will be possible from next year, and XC40 recharge T8 will be available from 2022 in the UAE.
The investment in Circulor by Volvo Cars allows both companies to extend their focus beyond cobalt, for instance, by studying the increasing traceability of mica, a mineral utilized as isolation material in the battery pack of electric Volvos. Volvo Cars and Circulor are also examining the opportunity to expand their blockchain technology cooperation to other areas, for instance, tracking and decreasing CO2 footprints, helping Circulor to possibly set standards for ethical sourcing in automotive and other industries.
The investment by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund is part of a funding round by Circulor, which also includes three other investors: Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, SYSTEMIQ, and Plug & Play Tech Fund. “We are committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials. Our partnership with Circulor has been instrumental in that regard,” said Martina Buchhauser, chief procurement officer at Volvo Cars in a statement. “By supporting Circulor’s ongoing development, we can expand the use of blockchain technology in our operations and contribute to a more sustainable business.”
Volvo Cars were the first car maker to execute the global traceability of cobalt utilized in its batteries by implementing blockchain technology over its supply chain. The technology developed by Circulor is implemented in association with LG Chem and CATL, Volvo Cars’ battery supply partners. CATL and LG Chem are renowned battery manufacturers with long and prosperous track records providing lithium-ion batteries to the global automotive industry. They satisfy Volvo Cars’ stringent sourcing guidelines in terms of responsible supply chains, technology leadership, reduction of carbon emissions, and competitive cost models.
The agreements between CATL, Volvo Cars, and LG Chem cover the supply of batteries over the coming decade for next-generation Volvo and Polestar models, involving the XC40 Recharge P8. The Volvo Cars Tech Fund was launched in 2018 and invested in high-potential technology start-ups across the world. It concentrates its investments on strategic technology trends changing the auto industry, like electrification, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, and digital mobility.