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The Capital

Mercedes-Benz Announces Blockchain Partnership

Mercedes-Benz is cooperating with the British blockchain start-up Circulor to make cobalt extraction and delivery routes more climate-friendly. Blockchain technology plays a crucial role in collaboration.

The Stuttgart-based carmaker Mercedes-Benz plans to create a CO2 -neutral fleet of new vehicles by 2039 as part of its “Ambition2039”. To this end, production and supply chains should be made more sustainable. The blockchain start-up Circulor is intended to help the group achieve this goal.

According to a corresponding press release from Mercedes-Benz, the collaboration, in which an “important battery cell manufacturer” is involved, will initially focus on the supply chain of the rare earth cobalt. Cobalt is mainly used for the production of car batteries. The focus of the cooperation is cobalt, which comes from recycling plants. A blockchain-based network is designed to record the CO2 balance of the recycled cobalt in a tamper-proof manner.

“The aim is to take into stronger consideration CO2 savings and the environmentally sustainable handling of resources as it pertains to procurement. In parallel with the recording of emissions data, Mercedes-Benz Cars is conducting workshops with suppliers in order to identify effective CO2 reduction measures,” the company explains in the press release.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, Procurement and Supplier Quality said:

“The key is transparency: It is our aspiration to make all processes transparent and traceable. We are the first manufacturer to use blockchain technology to map CO2 emissions in the global battery cell supply chain. In doing so, we are laying the cornerstone for effective improvements — for the environment and for our businesses.”

BMW, Volvo and Ford also track cobalt with blockchain technology

The collaboration is the latest but not the first for an automaker to use blockchain technology for more sustainable cobalt. The Swedish carmaker Volvo successfully completed a corresponding pilot project — also with Circulor — in June 2019. At the beginning of July 2019, BMW announced that it would only use cobalt from ethically acceptable sources for its 2020/21 production line. Here too, blockchain technology plays a central role; BMW relies on the Hyperledger platform from IBM. Ford also addressed the cobalt problem over a year ago.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz is researching further use cases for blockchain technology. The Chinese branch of the car manufacturer is testing the technology for determining the residual value of used vehicles. To do this, Mercedes-Benz uses a solution from the blockchain start-up PlatON, which in turn hatched from the start-up incubator “STARTUP AUTOBAHN” from Daimler AG.

Author: Marko Vidrih

Featured image credit: Pixabay

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Marko Vidrih

Marko Vidrih

Most writers waste tremendous words to say nothing. I’m not one of them.