At the end of February the German car manufacturer announced a collaboration with blockchain company VeChain. This month a second blockchain partnership has been added, specifically with the British startup Circulor. The companies will work together so that BMW can guarantee the ethical origin of ‘pure’ cobalt on the basis of their blockchain technology.
The German car manufacturer BMW now has a cooperation with the British Circulor after VeChain. The partnership will come in handy as BMW is fully committed to the construction of electric vehicles. The batteries they produce contain quite a bit of cobalt.
BMW therefore wants to use a ‘track record’ via Circulor’s blockchain to check which cobalt suppliers are working correctly. In this way they can use ethically responsible cobalt for the production of their batteries. Because that is a big problem.
Two thirds of the world’s cobalt mining is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where about one-fifth of the cobalt is mined in unregulated craft mines. And that’s where the British startup Circulor comes in handy. They have set up a project where they work together with various cobalt suppliers in Congo, Australia and Canada.
This makes it possible to check which mines are guilty of child labor. The production process is recorded in the blockchain, from the extraction of the raw material to the battery. BMW is then certain that they use ‘pure’ cobalt for the production of their batteries.
Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO of Circulor, thinks it’s logical that large companies choose raw materials that can not put any bad blood. In addition, this way of working can also reduce costs. The statutory regulatory costs can be reduced because fewer middleman are needed, if the distribution of cobalt can be included in the blockchain.
The automotive sector is increasingly inclined to use blockchain technology, especially in Germany. Other car brands, such as Daimler and Porsche, are already on the road with this technology to be able to innovate faster and reduce costs.